Thursday, October 1, 2020

Global Warming: What Changes Need To Be Made?

January 15, 2020 by  
Filed under Business, Health, Opinion, Weekly Columns

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( Manmade climate change is undeniable. Yet, many still either deny or ignore it. That’s the baffling thing about the political and societal climate of 2020. Obviously, this has been the case for decades, but that’s another baffling fact in itself. The changes that we should be making are not being made. The reasons for inaction are numerous. Governments don’t want to be at an economic disadvantage in comparison to other countries, businesses want to protect their profit margins, and people, generally, want to maintain their consumer lifestyles. Money is one of the main driving forces behind inaction, obviously, but the daunting prospect of tackling such an overwhelming issue probably plays a part, too.

There is no way to undo the damage that has already been done (unless technology drastically improves over the coming years and carbon can be removed from the atmosphere in significant amounts). At this point, damage control should be our goal. There is a lot that everyday people can do to prevent additional global warming, even if governments and international corporations with their immense resources could make the biggest difference. When acting as a collective, ordinary citizens can effect change. That’s why plenty of people are already rethinking their lifestyles to help the planet. So, let’s talk about the way forward for our society. What changes need to be made?

Energy sources need to be improved.

Firstly, the world needs to move on from fossil fuels. Technological advancements, such as solar panels and wind turbines, were invented decades ago. Yet, they contribute such a small amount to the energy that is generated on a global scale. In order for the world to change in a positive way, power plants need to stop polluting the environment. It’s as straightforward as that. Of course, that isn’t straightforward. Businesses in the oil industry and other fossil fuel industries have been campaigning for years to protect their brands by pushing campaigns to disprove the existence of climate change. Some companies in the oil industry have even paid scientists to deny climate change in public reports and interviews, and that rhetoric has been somewhat effective, despite those scientists not working in the field of climate science. The real reports say otherwise, of course, and businesses have found it harder to shy away from the reality of climate change. Some corporations, such as Shell, have been attempting to gradually transition from fossil fuels to renewable sources of energy. They’ve invested in electric cars, installing electric recharging stations at gas stops.

Of course, for everyday people, it feels like a waiting game. What can everyday citizens do to bring about positive change in terms of global warming. Well, for starters, you could try to improve the way in which you use electricity. Being more conservative around the house might help; you could invest in more energy-efficient appliances. You might even want to invest in solar panels for your home to get off the grid and use renewable energy. Obviously, that would be costly, but it could be a good long-term investment; you could sell some of your energy back to the grid and earn money to compensate the cost of the panels. Of course, even if you’re limited in a financial sense, you could help to improve energy sources in your town, city, or country. Campaigning for change is a good place to start. Join local groups and protests that are striving to encourage governments to do more to counteract global warming. Whilst the world transitions to cleaner sources of energy, we should opt for the best available options. It’s worth noting that natural gas is a cleaner energy source than many other fossil fuels. You might want to do some more research on the topic to learn about the different energy sources out there.

People should try to eat less meat.

Another way in which people could help the planet is by eating less meat. You don’t even have to fully commit to vegetarianism or vegan to help the environment. If every person on the planet were to eat half as much meat per week, for example, think of the effect that would have. It would be a significant reduction in worldwide consumption of animal products. Dairy consumption should be included in this discussion, too. If you want to help to reduce additional global warming, then you should aim to consume less meat and dairy on a weekly basis.

Why does this matter? Well, ethically, it’s about more than the welfare of animals. The meat and dairy industries are two of the biggest polluters on the planet. Plus, the astonishing amount of land that’s required for crops to feed cattle could simply be used for crops to feed humans, instead. The meat and dairy industries are completely inefficient. If you don’t want to give up meat, then focus on simply eating less of it. This could help to reduce demand for an industry that has grown astonishingly large and is doing a lot of damage to the environment.

Consumerism needs to be reduced.

As has been discussed throughout this article, if we want to preserve our planet, we need to change the way we live. Consumerism needs to be reduced. Global warming is the result of a capitalist system that tells us infinite growth is possible. It isn’t, unfortunately. Unlearning that is difficult because it requires a massive overhaul of our existing lifestyles. However, that’s still better than the alternative of damaging the planet beyond repair. Obviously, as mentioned earlier, humans have already done that; now, we just have to conduct damage control. Again, the responsibility falls heavily on big companies and governments who perpetuate the cycle that causes continued global warming, but consumers can make a difference, as well.

So, focus on the lifestyle you lead. You could reduce your monthly energy bills by insulating your house more effectively, for instance. With thicker walls, double-glazed windows, and an insulated attic, you’d be able to conserve more of the heat that you generate. You wouldn’t have to turn up the thermostat to such a high level. You’d save money and use less power. If everybody did that, they’d be financially secure and the planet would benefit. You might also want to avoid fast fashion. Buy clothes that’ll last, and wear them until they’re old and tattered. Consuming less will save you a lot of money, so it’s a win-win move to make. True change comes from individuals working together. Every small lifestyle improvement contributes to a better future for the planet. It’d be great if countries were to adopt the same mentality and start taking steps towards a greener future.

Staff Writer; Ron Parker

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