It’s time for hope. And to build hope the ecological crises need urgent, meaningful responses from all of us. This is only possibly if we are clear about the most impactful points on intervention. In 2020 “every little” is no longer enough for the dramatic fall in greenhouse gas emissions required to stabilise climate – hence every big helps:
1. Switching to a plant-based vegan diet – see my food talk here“Diet change isn’t just the single biggest way to reduce your greenhouse gas emissions, land-use, your impact on biodiversity, the nitrogen phosphorus pollution caused by your food, the acid rain, the water use, but probably the pesticide & anti-biotic use that is being caused by the food system” (Dr Poore, University of Oxford, 2018);
2. No flying … like most of the world’s population. Whilst aviation accounts for just 2.5% of global emissions it is much higher than this in the UK (5x global average), and for regular flyers or longer distance flyers may be 50-200x the global average;
3. Rethinking transport – Reducing the dependence on cars, esp. fossil fuel powered. There are 1.3 billion cars on the road. This would be 4 billion on the road if everyone was like the UK. We must reclaim towns centres for walking, cycling and electrify transport. We also must say no to SUVs – which have have bigger resource impacts. The industry is pushing hard towards 50% SUVs. See my talk here about climate and cars;
4. Planning fewer children – this was the largest saving of all according to research by Seth Wynes and Kim Nicholas;
5. Talking about climate change whilst walking the walk! Many great resources to help talk about climate (including Climate Outreach). Contact your local politicians (UK link), councils, businesses, employers and ask how they plan to achieve zero emissions. And by walking the walk, never under-estimate the impact on others of your decision to stop flying, transitioning to a healthy and very low carbon plant-based diet… and explaining why. Actions speak louder words.