Some simple actions against climate change

LETTER

Re: Small window now to act, October 16 comments.

Neil Walker asks “what concrete thing can you suggest” (to combat global warming)?
Neil, I refer you to Drawdown.org — which lists 100 concrete actions to combat and reverse global warming. Eighty of them are costed, with estimates of how much CO2 equivalent will be avoided, or drawn from the atmosphere, for each action.

Simple actions such as “eating less meat”, and eating less generally, if acted on by 50 percent of the world’s population, are estimated to avoid 26.7 gigatons of emissions by 2050.
Similarly, reducing food waste by 50 percent globally could avoid 26.2 gigatons of CO2.

We can all contribute to the above actions and be healthier for it. I also believe that if we all write to our MP regularly asking them to support and sponsor regulations limiting emissions, such as increasing vehicle efficiency, we can encourage those MPs to be active and speed up moves to decarbonise our world.

All the technologies to make the necessary changes have already been invented. Governments just need to be brave enough to use them. They will not do it unless they know that is what we want to happen.

Bill Hambidge





Re: Small window now to act, October 16 comments.

Neil Walker asks “what concrete thing can you suggest” (to combat global warming)?
Neil, I refer you to Drawdown.org — which lists 100 concrete actions to combat and reverse global warming. Eighty of them are costed, with estimates of how much CO2 equivalent will be avoided, or drawn from the atmosphere, for each action.

Simple actions such as “eating less meat”, and eating less generally, if acted on by 50 percent of the world’s population, are estimated to avoid 26.7 gigatons of emissions by 2050.
Similarly, reducing food waste by 50 percent globally could avoid 26.2 gigatons of CO2.

We can all contribute to the above actions and be healthier for it. I also believe that if we all write to our MP regularly asking them to support and sponsor regulations limiting emissions, such as increasing vehicle efficiency, we can encourage those MPs to be active and speed up moves to decarbonise our world.

All the technologies to make the necessary changes have already been invented. Governments just need to be brave enough to use them. They will not do it unless they know that is what we want to happen.

Bill Hambidge





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Stuart Moriarty-Patten - 1 month ago
The argument that we only need to make simple changes in our personal lives that collectively will be enough to halt current trends of environmental degradation is deceptive and removes our gaze from the real culprits destroying our world.

Those that promote ethical consumerism are guilty of promising that we can minimise our environmental impact by buying the right product. Also touted is the argument that we are on the verge of technological breakthroughs that will address the problems we face. The allure of these arguments may give us hope that we will be able to extract ourselves from the crisis without too many changes.

Placing the onus of responsibility of solving the disaster of climate collapse on individuals, rather than on the economic and political actors who created it to further their own gains, is actually more damaging in the long run as it actively undermines the ability to create the necessary systemic changes. These cannot be made with individual action, only with a mass collective action. The problems we face have not been caused by a lack of personal action. They are not mere glitches in the system that can be solved by the system that created them.

I don't want to dissuade anyone from changing their behaviour and consumption patterns, but just to recognise their impact is dwarfed by the impact of corporations and industries over which we have no control. Entities whose responsibility is solely to make profits for their shareholders rather than have any duty of care for the planet or the rest of the population. Entities that often operate outside of the control of the rules and regulations we attempt to establish to protect society.

By spreading the false idea that we bear a responsibility to clean up THEIR mess, and that we even have the capacity to do so, means that the necessary radical and far-reaching changes that would make a difference, are never brought to the discussion as to what we should do.

Furthermore, the touted technological solutions are highly unlikely to be achieved soon enough, or on a scale large enough to avert the worst of climate change and environmental degradation. Even if they were, most bring their own further environmental problems that undermine their use as a way to halt the damage.

Great changes are needed to be able to restrict climate collapse, and they will be more difficult to achieve than the small lifestyle changes that are ultimately of little consequence, but in looking at who really has the power in society, and how they use that power to benefit themselves, and not the whole planet, then we can begin to build the new world in the rapidly decaying shell of the old.