It is very easy to do little in the climate emergency because it is a long-term problem, and many of us will be gone by 2050 when Shell Oil and our government promise Net Zero emissions. Possibly the first thing you should do is find out what “net zero” really means. “Net zero emissions” refers to achieving an overall balance between greenhouse gas emissions produced by us and greenhouse gas emissions taken out of the atmosphere. So clearly it does not mean zero emissions so pollution will still be with us, and all it promises is equality between what goes in and what comes out. If you believe that net-zero will happen, you are living in la-la land, but consider it a scientific hypothesis and if you are young and live to 2050, check the numbers. It means that all the greenhouse gases that are here today will remain and all the problems on our doorstep today will continue – floods, fires, drought, sea level rise, agricultural changes, temperature increases – and if you think none of this will bother you, you can probably buy an inexpensive house in New Mexico and avoid shopping for groceries.
But do not throw your hands up since there are many small things all of us can do to minimize these problems. Here is a partial list:
- Drive less, fly less, walk more, get an electric car if you can. Try a bicycle.
- Avoid coal, gasoline, and natural gas implements. Sit in the sun, not under a propane heater on the deck.
- Put solar panels on your roof if you can. In addition to your windmill generating power.
- Put your retirement funds into renewable energy funds, not into oil companies.
- Educate yourself and ignore all the dangerous nonsense about climate change that is provided in advertisements, radio, TV, and social media.
- Protest against climate nonsense by writing letters, using social media, phoning the stations that allow nonsense to be perpetrated. Your one letter may have minimal effect, but if a million people do the same, someone might listen.
- Demand that politicians actually answer questions about climate change action plans. And as they say in Chicago, vote early and vote often.
- Nominate Greta Thunberg again for the Nobel Prize. If she does not receive it, request that the Nobel Committee be disbanded and replaced by young people.
- Relax and enjoy your life while keeping a lid on your carbon budget.
The climate emergency is not difficult to comprehend. Help the world survive it for your grandchildren.