A new report by the Breakthrough National Centre for Climate Restoration says that;
"On our current trajectory...“planetary and human systems [are] reaching a ‘point of no return’ by mid-century, in which the prospect of a largely uninhabitable Earth leads to the breakdown of nations and the international order.”
(There is an inspirational story coming, stick with me)
"The only way to avoid the risks of this scenario is what the report describes as “akin in scale to the World War II emergency mobilization”—but this time focused on rapidly building out a zero-emissions industrial system to set in train the restoration of a safe climate."
So I'll just let you sit with that for a minute.....
Scary right? I read this when it first came out, and I think I've only just stopped grieving/raging/crying. Mostly for the potential suffering of my kids.
When we engage with these apocalyptic predictions, if we can get past the fight or flight response and actually think about it, the next natural response is 'what can I do?' How do we stop this? Perhaps we can't. Perhaps things are too far gone.
Let's go with the theory that we can do something. Because otherwise we live without hope.
So what is the process? Where do we focus our energies?
Do we rely on governments to legislate for better climate policies? I think they've proven themselves to be not taking this seriously at all. By the time they realise they're in a sinking ship, it'll be on the sea floor.
Do we count on large organisations to clean up their act and stop their polluting and resource plundering? This could work, but only when they see that there is financial incentive to it. They are profit-generating entities after all
Local councils? Maybe, if enough pressure is applied by constituents.
I'm convinced that the only way we can really change anything is by looking to ourselves. We cannot control anything outside of our own skin (even that is questionable). The only decisions I can make are those for myself and my household. I can decide where my biodegradable waste goes, where my money goes (and therefore what businesses I support), compost making, car usage, reducing plastic use etc
This is where the real power lies. When individuals take responsibility for their impact, the change ripples out. You become an example and an educator. As the saying goes "It doesn't take a few doing it perfectly, it takes many doing it imperfectly'
In doubt about an individual's impact? Check out this story. One man replanted a rainforest, simply by starting planting trees in his backyard.
I heard on ABC a story of a particular rainforest in Queensland had been cleared 99% due to cattle farming (I wish I could find the link!). One man started planting natives in his backyard because he missed the forest of his childhood. It grew into a community initiative and now the forest is thriving and countless native species have been brought back from the brink.
We are powerful. Maybe we're on a sinking ship, but personally I'm going to keep bailing out the water until the end. Join me?