With increasing media attention on the current climate crisis, there is a coinciding feeling of natural angst about the topic. The state of the environment, with the rapidly worsening projects are unsettling to say the least. We have explained the fundamentals and drivers of understanding environmental sustainability and climate change in a recent article. Contributions to the powerful greenhouse gas emissions were discussed, particularly in regard to those omitted from animal agriculture, cows especially.
Such emissions that accelerate climate change also contribute to global food security risks that are being increasingly acknowledged, meaning that we must transition to a more sustainable diet. This explains why arguably the easiest, and most powerful choice of an individual is to adopt a plant-based diet. The bonus is that there are now many studies to suggest that individuals who do not consume animal products, and instead thrive on a plant-based diet significantly reduce their risk of heart disease (and can reverse it), obesity, type 2 diabetes and some forms of cancer. Not ironically, the Blue Zones, representing the areas that live the longest in good health, primarily adopt plant-based diets.
Step One: The easiest, and most powerful choice of an individual is to adopt a plant-based diet.Plantd
A primary uncanny concern surrounding the timeline of climate change regards the uncertainty of how fast the Arctic ice is melting. Permafrost refers to the ice that remains below 0 degrees celsius for over two consecutive years, and plays an important role in regulating the temperature of the planet. The Arctic trends of the permafrost have been monitored over some time now, and many experts have indicated that it is melting at a much faster rate than originally predicted. As this permafrost melts, masses of carbon (and methane) are released, which we know is the fastest way to accelerate the irreversibility of the climate crisis.
To retain and save the Arctic ice and permafrost, we must meet the Paris Agreement of mitigating global warming to no more than 1.5 degrees celcius set by the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). In order to achieve this, experts assert that we must have a global transition to 100% renewable energy across all sectors, including power, heat and transport. This transition is largely in the hands of policy and governments to make the transition possible and feasible, however, we need to embrace the transition to clean energy now. This industry is also creating a myriad of new jobs, stimulating the economy.
Step Two: We need to embrace the transition to clean energy now.Plantd
We have been staying in Tulum in Mexico, and many of the hotels run entirely on renewable energy, which has us wondering why this isn’t the case everywhere. Perhaps we need to shift our perspective from waiting for policies to change, and for these transitions to become easier, to assume that every business that chooses to continue running on carbon-heavy energy, has made the choice not to convert. Every hotel we stay at has made the choice not to take responsibility for their environmental footprint. Every supermarket that we support with our dollars has chosen not to transition to renewable energy. And whilst there are upfront costs, for such businesses, they will actually save money in the long run.
The final step is to fully understand that our ability to reverse climate change is almost entirely in the hands of the quality of our policies, which is in the hands of the quality of our politicians. A finish research team from Lappeenranta University of Technology (LUT) and the Energy Watch Group (EWG) from Germany has published a comprehensive global roadmap on how we can achieve the elimination of carbon before the 2050 deadline. This report titled “Global Energy System based on 100% Renewable Energy – Power, Heat, Transport and Desalination Sectors” is one of the first viable solutions that are not only feasible, but also do not entirely rely on carbon capturing technologies. They report that “the energy transition is not a question of technical feasibility or economic viability, but one of political will.” This reinforces that we must start to participate and hold politicians and policy makers accountable, as these transitions almost entirely rely on them to drive.
Step Three: The final step is to fully understand that our ability to reverse climate change is almost entirely in the hands of the quality of our policies, which is in the hands of the quality of our politicians.Plantd
Politics can be overwhelming and consuming, but the privilege of being in positions of power on this issue cannot be underestimated. Although it is tempting to shy away from the topic, we need continued advocation and activation. Arguably the most important action that you can take is to research the climate change solutions and commitment of politicians and political parties, and vote accordingly. Any person in a position of power who does not accept responsibility for the international security risks that are threatening our planet, do not deserve to be in a position of power. Remember that we vote for politicians, and the public can hold them accountable with either their vote or disapproval. At this time in history, it is possible that the action of political parties has never been so important. So please, reclaim your power by being informed and vote for those who have the security of the planet as their priority. It’s time to participate.