“The basic matter is not one of economics. It is a matter of morality — a matter of intergenerational justice. The blame, if we fail to stand up and demand a change of course, will fall on us, the current generation of adults. Our parents honestly did not know that their actions could harm future generations. We, the current generation, can only pretend that we did not know.”
~Dr. James Hansen
Early and provident fear is the mother of safety.
~ Edmund Burke (1727 – 1779)
Here are some tangible things you can do to help stop the global climate destabilization that we are heading toward if humans continue to pollute the atmosphere by burning fossil fuels indiscriminately.
- SPEAK UP. Write, email and/or phone your elected leaders and let them know that you are concerned about climate change. In Canada, you can contact your local member of your provincial legislature as well as your Member of Parliament. Remember, these people work for you as a voter! Join Citizens Climate Lobby to work with other people who are building the political will for a sustainable climate.
- GET INVOLVED. Join local action groups, and get connected to other people in your local community that are concerned about this issue. Citizens Climate Lobby is an excellent, grassroots organization working to create the political will for a sustainable climate, as well as to empower individuals to have breakthroughs in exercising their personal and political power. The Transition Network is another grassroots movement that supports “community-led responses to climate change and shrinking supplies of cheap energy, building resilience and happiness”- go to their website to find a Transition group in your region, or to find out about how to start one.
- GET EDUCATED. Learn about this issue – and be very careful about the credentials and funding of the websites and people you are listening to. Climate scientists around the world have been working on and studying this issue for years, and they are not multi-millionaires. Exxon Mobile, on the other hand, is the biggest and richest corporation in the world, and makes money off of our addiction to fossil fuels. Who would you believe?
- GO MEATLESS. Start decreasing your intake of meat by observing “meatless Mondays”. If you are already a vegetarian, congratulate yourself! Livestock produce more greenhouse gases than all the world’s transport combined, with beef production singled out by a recent UN report as a particular enemy at the gate. Changing what we put on our forks and spoons can be a powerful tool to fight global warming.
- EAT LOCAL.Our food system is highly dependant on the burning of fossil fuels. Fruits and vegetables from China and New Zealand (for example) have a huge carbon footprint compared to those grown closer to home. Click here for more information.
No Impact Man.com, Colin Beavan’s website based on his experience of living a no-impact lifestyle for a year, has a list of “Top Ten Eco-Lifestyle Changes”. They include giving up bottled water, observing an eco-sabbath (a regular time each week where you don’t use up any of the planet’s resources), dedicating a day’s worth of TV watching (~4 1/2 hours for the average North American) to eco-service each week, and believing with all your heart that how you live your life makes a difference to all of us. Click here to go Beavan’s website.
For more action ideas, go to these excellent websites: