Climate change is not a threat, it’s a reality. It would be easy to think that the climate crisis cannot be addressed. That it is too big a problem. That the challenges created by our ancestors and perpetuated by us, even to this day are unsurmountable. They are not though. We can make a difference.
There are so many opportunities to shape the world we live in, shape our economies, shape our societies and ultimately shape our future in ways that are good. We can do what’s needed to ensure the security of future generations and the planet we depend upon.
In his Ted Talk, Kevin Kelly talks about how The future will be shaped by optimists [TED]. He makes some really good points about how humanity solves problems. While humanity has caused the climate crisis, this was not intentionally done. They were a byproducts introduced as the solutions to earlier problems. He goes on to talk about how people can and do get involved and take the action necessary when faced with big problems.
People all around us recognise the issues and the importance of solving them.
In a survey of almost 27000 EU citizens performed on behalf of the EU Commission prior to the COP26 International Summit in 2021, 90% agree that Greenhouse Gas Emissions should be reduced to make the EU Climate-neutral by 2050 [EUCOMM]
In the same year Pew Research survey of over 16000 people of advanced economies in Asia, Europe and North America 80% of people surveyed are willing to make changes to the way they live and work to help reduce the impacts of climate change [PEW].
In Ireland a survey performed by the Environmental Protection Agency of 4000 people, 90% of people say that the country has a responsibility to act on climate change,over half said they would meet with an elected official or their staff and almost as many said they would write to or phone government officials about climate change [EPA].
“Participants (80% to 90%) underestimated the US population’s concern for climate mitigation policies.”
We may not always realise the extent of people around us who share our desire for change. In conjunction with the recent US Climate Bill, The Inflation Reduction Act, recent polls by Yale Program on Climate Change indicate that 66% to 80% of people in the US support major climate mitigation policies. However, many participants (80% to 90%) underestimated the US population’s concern for climate mitigation policies [SCIENTAM].
We should all believe in the power of people to rally behind a cause, to solve big problems, to achieve their highest potential. Whether it’s to make a difference in the world or just to make something of themselves. People accomplish great things when they’re given the right opportunity (and sometimes a little help).
We know the technologies needed to mitigate disaster and they are advancing rapidly to replace incumbent technologies. Take for instance the advancement, ubiquity and reduction in cost of renewable energy technology versus fossil fuels. Project Drawdown has assessed that there are potentially between $7 trillion and $13 trillion to be made in locations where Distributed Solar Photovoltaic energy production could be used versus fossil fuels. This versus a net cost of $517 billion investment to implement those solutions. [PROJDRAW]
We also know the policies to be implemented. Governments this week have been debating the various proposals at COP 27 [FOEI] that need to be implemented. They don’t go far enough but the point is – we know them! We know what needs to be done.
Change doesn’t happen without people.
You. Me. Everyone.
Waves of people can and will change the world for the betterment of everyone and our planet’s sustainability.
We must start now.
Every Little Thing Counts.
The future will be shaped by optimists (Ted Talks Daily, 2022) – Accessed 23 Aug 2022
Special Eurobarometer 513 Climate, Report (EU Commission & Kantar, 2021) – Accessed on 01 Nov 2021
In Response to Climate Change, Citizens in Advanced Economies Are Willing To Alter How They Live and Work (Pew Research, 2021) – Accessed on 01 Nov 2021
Climate Change in the Irish Mind (EPA, 2021) – Accessed on 17 Feb 2022
Climate Change Actions Are Far More Popular Than People in U.S. Realize (Scientific American, 2022) – Accessed on 28 Aug 2022
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