A day doesn’t seem to go by lately without a celebrity speaking out to advocate for the environment and climate crisis. From the Oscars and Grammy’s going vegan, much loved celebrities are influencers are demanding real climate action from those in power. We live in a world where 16-year-old climate activists are winning globally renowned awards for boldly standing up to world leaders, to acting icons setting goals to get arrested for their activism every Friday. Amongst what often feels like a losing battle, we commend the brave who are standing up and demanding more. Let this inspire us to all become a little more activist!
Why do we need to take a stand?
Well, for a long time now environmental activists have been dismissed as being extremists, and political corruption swept under the rug. World leaders, including governments in power, and Presidents and Prime Ministers of developed countries who should be leading climate change action, continue to not only bury their heads in the sand, but to actually fund millions if not billions, in the exact causes that are causing climate destruction. The craziest part? There are no policies to protect the public, nor to hold these so-called leaders accountable for immoral and unethical behaviour.
What should we stand for?
Better Policies. Firstly, governments should be prioritising policies that protect and restore the natural environment, and actually contain global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius as outlined by the UN Paris Climate Agreement. Despite confusing publicity and media attention, many governments are not taking sufficient action. For example, the United States and Australia are two powerful countries that have virtually taken no action from a government level at this point in time.
Removing Fossil Fuel Reliance. We need governments to action immediate plans to rapidly transition from our reliance on fossil fuels and coal mining, which alongside animal agriculture, are the biggest contributor to global greenhouse gases. Instead of taking responsible action, governments continue to sacrifice the future of our climate for short-term economic gain. This is evidenced through the opening of brand-new coal mines approved in Australia, as well as two approved coal mines in Utah in the US.
In comparison, European countries have been largely praised for their efforts to reverse climate change. However, they have recently contradicted their reputation by voting to spend 29 billion euros to support 32 major gas infrastructure projects that accelerate the reliance on fossil fuels in the future. This is a direct contradiction of their “green deal priorities” in achieving their goal of carbon neutrality by 2050. The greenwashing continues, from giants with massive corporate interests, and sadly, from our government bodies.
Funding Green Projects, Not Destruction. As we can access vast amounts of information online, we should not be tricked. If government markets their “climate policies” just ensure that they are not participating in the following (warning: they probably are):
- Claiming to be solving climate change but subsiding the factory farming and dairy industries more so than plant-based farmers and those who are protecting the health of our soil.
- Providing billions of dollars to support and continue oil and gas projects, more so than to actual invest ‘real money’ in green energy transition plans and action, and carbon capturing technologies.
- Actively reducing the chances of natural disasters, such as floods and wildfires, in addition to developing up-to-date adaption and resiliency plans due to the unprecedented natural disaster prevalence that is expected to continue. As opposed to quietly ignoring warnings from experts and cutting budgets for our first responders.
How do we take a stand?
- Voting power. Understand that your vote is one of the most important things that you can do at this point in time. With upcoming elections, take the time to delve deeper into the plans of your party, and of your candidate. We need to ensure that history is not repeated if we have any chance of reversing climate change with the support of government investment and actual actions. At the very least, they must acknowledge and “believe” in climate change, otherwise, what hope do we have?
- Write to your local council. Australians can write to their Member of Parliament (MP) following this step-by-step guide with instructions outlined by the incredible Australian Climate Council. Those from the US, Europe or other parts of the world can still utilise the guide referenced above, but write to their appropriate government, council representative or senator. Feel free to comment on our posts @plantd.co sharing how to write to make a difference in your local area so we can share.
- Boycott. Remove all monetary support possible to industries and companies that are not taking climate responsibility. They can only survive from financial and economic gain. If you stop driving, afford a hybrid or electric car, do so, and you won’t be supporting fuel companies. If you can get solar, which is often subsidised by local councils, do so and transition to green energy. Buy from organic farmers instead of factory farmers.
- Donate and volunteer. Donate your time or money to those who are genuinely committed to environmental causes. This may include those protecting rainforests, reforestation, carbon capturing, government petitioning against fossil fuel investment, or otherwise. Do your due diligence on where donations are going. We recommend looking into joining 1% for the planet, like we have, where 1% off all personal income or company revenue is donated to their credible environmental partnering projects, no excuses.
- Media Freedom. Finally, be sure to support media channels who are committed to publishing on environmental issues with truth, and who refuse to be biased and corrupt by accepting financial remuneration from fossil fuel industries. We encourage you to read and support The Guardian.
Let us know in the comments @plantd.co what climate action you are taking, and what tips here you found most helpful!