climate science

Opinion: Eight reasons why you should join a climate event this weekend

Photo credit: CraneStation via Flickr.

By Anders Lorenzen

Whether you’re in New York, Berlin, London, New Delhi or Lagos or many other places across the globe you can join what organisers are saying will be the biggest events ever pulled together to encourage world leaders to take action on climate change. Over 2,700 events have been planned in 150 countries.

But why should you join, why should you care about climate change and what can you do to take action?

  1. Message to world leaders: First and foremost world leaders can argue that climate change is not on the top of the priority list as not enough people are concerned about it. In the past climate marches have been too small to convince world leaders that it’s an issue the majority of the population is concerned about. A strong showing this weekend would leave no doubt about the severity of the issue.

  1. The Science: The reality of climate change is becoming clearer and clearer. The science speaks for itself. In the latest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report the vast amount of scientists that worked on it declared with certainty that man made climate change was happening. But a small number of people and groups are making a lot of noise distorting the science of climate change with misinformation that is not backed by science. We need to silence them, and the best way you can do this is with a strong showing this weekend.

  1. Food: We increasingly live and depend on a global food system. Extreme weather events which are on the rise due to climate change, are likely to impact what you eat on a day to day basis. Both drought and floods will impact yields of agriculture in a negative way and when that happens the money you pay for food will go up which adds to higher living costs.

  1. Conflicts: You may have been worried about what, in the news, could look like a rise in terrorism. Conflicts and security issues are at the heart of climate change. Many regions of the world are affected by conflict issues. The New York Times columnist Thomas L. Friedman has talked about how the Syria conflict happened due to an eight year long drought. When people are denied access to water sources you see a whole new war unfolding. The key to a peaceful world and easing conflicts is to help those countries adapt to climate change and prevent runaway climate change by reducing carbon emissions.

  1. Divest from fossil fuels: We live in a world and an economy that relies on fossil fuels and it affects our everyday lives. We will not vein ourselves off fossil fuels tomorrow, but the transition must start now and you can be part of that transition. One of the most simple things you can do is lobby your bank not to invest in fossil fuels,invest in ethical energy sources and encourage your employer friends and families to do the same.

  1. Renewables are rising: Renewable energy has gone from being an idea proposed by socialists to now be a credible energy source with greater and greater world energy share. More and more countries add more and more renewable energy which means more fossil fuels can be avoided, but there is still a long way to go. Therefore share the positive stories of renewables and join the growing group of people who invest in renewables. If you for some reason can’t install solar panels where you live, you can invest in the growing rate of community energy projects and buy shares in renewable energy.

  1. Extreme weather: Do you remember the days when hearing about droughts, floods and other extreme weather events was once in a full moon? Now we can’t hardly turn on the news without hearing about some kind of extreme weather around the globe. While we can’t attribute one particular extreme weather event to climate change, we can attribute an increase in extreme weather to climate change. We need more people to understand the implications of not dealing with climate change and the future financial costs not only we will pay but also our children and grandchildren.
  1. The benefits: Dealing with climate change also comes with added benefits.The air we breathe would become cleaner with less dirty energy which will reduce illnesses from cancer, to heart diseases and asthma attacks. Pollution will decrease which will could help with depression and make us happier, it will protect biodiversity and the benefits are endless. Furthermore putting investments in renewable energy rather than in fossil fuels will also make your investments not only more ethical but safer too.

Sub edited by Charlotte Paton

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