As we read that average global temperatures have already increased 1.1 degree and that a 1.5 degree increase is now unavoidable, and as we watch deadly fires and floods and heatwaves on the news, some of us think, “Who’s going to reverse this disastrous climate trend and start us on the road to recovering our future?”
Should the federal or local government mandate the “immediate and sustained emissions cuts” recommended in the recent IPCC report? Should China be lowering its emissions 50 percent by 2030? Should Exxon-Mobil or Royal Dutch Shell stop fracking and producing fossil fuels? Should Brazil quit allowing destruction of the “lungs of the planet” in the Amazon forest?
Obviously we can’t wait for others to lead. This huge problem facing the world population requires action by all of us. Every one of us, every elected leader and every citizen has to figure out how to reduce their carbon emissions at least 50 percent in less than nine years. Our leaders can help by setting personal examples and by incentivizing our needed changes, but all of us must change, and change rapidly, if we are to preserve a livable future.
The recent climate emergency working group report and city/county climate action plans give us numerous guidelines. However, it seems that the most rapid reductions can only be achieved by changing our energy sources and our modes of transportation. Changing farming methods, planting forests, adopting plant-based diets, even electing climate champions, are all helpful, but if we don’t quit pumping out pollution from our vehicles and buying our electricity from fossil fuel powered sources, there will not be enough rapid change to save us.
Bottom line: All of us must act now, must change our ways. We’ve done it during the pandemic and we can do it for a livable climate.