Listen to the scientist, get behind the science, and then take action. Simple yet piercing words from Greta Thunberg, the 16-year old climate change activist who spoke at the committee hearing in the U.S. Congress.
Climate change is happening. Ms. Thunberg implored lawmakers and the government in general, to pay attention and act on the report published by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) on the global warming of 1.5°C (34.7°F). The signs are clear—the ice caps are melting, frequent extreme weather conditions, and a rising atmospheric carbon dioxide level.
For millennia, carbon dioxide emission has not exceeded 300 parts per million. Since 1950 and until today, that level spiked to nearly 420 parts per million.
It doesn’t matter if you live inside the exterior walls of a modern city like Houston or in the far-flung village of the Amazon forest. Climate change is going to affect everyone.
Greta is leading the charge of the world-wide campaign for a climate strike this September 20-21, 2019. What can you do to join the fight against climate change? Here are a few ideas:
Facts Based on Science
There’s no denying it. Ninety-seven percent of scientists have a consensus that the climate is heating because of human activities. Many scientific bodies around the world share this position.
What Can You Do?
There’s a long list. But here’s what you can do to fight climate change:
- Get informed. You too need to listen to the scientists. Educate yourself. Find out what the scientists are saying. You can download and read the IPCC report from their website. The polar caps are melting, and there are valid photographs from space to prove this. Find out about the work of many non-government organizations (NGOs), research bodies, and UN agencies. Once you get informed, get others to join in the conversation. Do you like using social media? Make it matter by spreading meaningful information.
- Join the movement. The campaign to fight climate change began decades ago. Be part of local initiatives to do something for the environment, whether it’s a neighborhood clean-up drive or the effort to remove plastic wastes from the Atlantic ocean. If you want to save a forest, pick an organization that specializes in this topic. If you're going to help reduce energy consumption or man’s carbon footprint, find out how you can help.
- You’re that Man in the Mirror. The King of Pop was talking to you in his 1988 song, and you need to change your ways. Get on-board with energy-saving and energy-efficient practices. For example, replace your existing light bulb with LED or another energy-efficient light bulb. Conserve water by scheduling your laundry properly, shaving without a running faucet, washing your car using buckets of water instead of a hose, or fix leaking pipes immediately. Avoid using single-use plastic straws for your drinks, and transition to reusable ones like metal or bamboo straws. Dump the use of plastic altogether! These are small steps, but done by many, they will create the necessary ripple effect.
- Change Public Policy. You must convince your legislators, whether it’s at the local, state, or federal level, to institute policies in favor of saving the environment. This means, for example, fighting for the enactment of laws to better regulate the world's biggest polluters like energy companies and food manufacturers. This is the hardest but most important thing.
Take public transportation, use your bicycle, and eat the right food. There are many steps to take. Start now!