Happy New Year!
We are alive in a pivotal decade in human history so I’m thinking ahead to 2030 – by which time greenhouse gas emissions need to have been halved to keep our planet habitable. We don’t and can’t know whether that will have happened though we can decide what part we will have played.
When I think of my loved ones in 2030 I know how I want their lives and future to be looking. It won’t be the same as now. It could be looking immeasurably better for them if we have achieved the 50% cut or, frankly, terrifying if we haven’t. We are truly in a race against time.
It’s good to imagine how green and bright our lives could be by 2030. Here’s one picture. We are well on the way to a cleaner, safer, greener and fairer world, powered by renewable energy provided freely by nature, maybe from within our own community. Our village is less noisy, smelly and polluted, and we all have more access to natural green areas where everyone can relax and connect with nature. There are more trees growing along our streets to mop up any pollution, soften the storms and capture carbon. The sky is bluer, there’re more birds and bees and butterflies, and the air is filled with birdsong and the humming of bees in the spring. We are healthier because we’re walking and biking around more, making use of accessible active transport routes and enjoying the clean air because a brilliant, fast and cheap public transport network has taken loads of vehicles off the road.
We are suffering less from air pollution not only when we’re out and about but also in our own homes (with heat pumps and induction hobs). We are enjoying taking greater care of our possessions, being able to get them repaired and making sure they were necessary and made to last when we bought them. It is a more delicious world with more varied foods too as we eat more plant-based foods, knowing they are not only healthier for us and the planet but leave much more space for nature. We are glad to live in a fairer world. We have slowed down and spend more time with friends and family and less time rushing around; and find we are less stressed and more contented as a result.
I’m aware that being in the richer half of this country’s population, I am among the wealthiest 10% of the global population and co-responsible for half of all global emissions. I therefore feel my responsibility to act and use any influence I have positively. Our household supports organisations lobbying for change; regularly writes to our MP and PM; makes sure our money is not doing harm, and has already halved our greenhouse gas emissions which are now below the UK average. Whatever state the world is in by 2030, we will feel glad to be playing our part.
Doing something helps reduce anxiety, and everyone’s voice and decisions are important in advocating for change wherever we live, work, study, shop, bank, save, invest and more. It feels better to be part of the change we wish to see! And it’s reassuring to recall how quickly change happens – it’s usually slow at first. Think of where we were with the internet in 2000. Businesses and entire industries have made many significant transitions in less than 10 years.
Our responsibility now is to ensure that future generations will look back and be proud of the actions we take.
Will you be making any resolutions? Please look for links and more information on Facebook, and let’s share ideas.
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PS Dubious about climate change? Read the verifiable, fact-based science below to bust the myths and misconceptions! It’s not a matter of opinion. Sadly. Yes, the earth has had these concentrations of greenhouse gases before (but not during human history) and virtually the whole suite of life on earth then, because it had slowly evolved to be adapted to the accompanying climate, was different. Most species cannot evolve to adapt at the current rate of change – over decades. Unfortunately, anyone who says differently is not a climate scientist, is misinformed or believes they have a vested interest in continuing business as usual. (Not an option that will last).