Talk about Climate Solutions (and make changes yourself)

The biggest problem with the youth climate movement right now is that there’s not enough talk about the actual solutions which we can implement in our own lives as well as from a political and business standpoint. The science is clear. And we have to unite behind it. But people don’t know what that means, and this is still the biggest stumbling block. I want to focus on individual action and list all the things I’ve done so far. Or at least everything I can remember. Individual action is incredibly important, and I’ve realised how much recently. Just going out on the streets to protest is effective, but without voting with our wallets and our behaviours, it’s probably not going to cause significant change in the short term. Politicians aren’t yet worried about kids who aren’t old enough to vote, and businesses are unlikely to change unless they see strong trends away from their current products or services. Or because they’re being forced by regulation, which is obviously less likely due to the previous problem I just mentioned.

Here’s everything I’ve done so far:

  • Decided not to have kids (obviously we need people in the future, just less than now. And I don’t want to put any kids I could have through our likely disastrous future)
  • Cut out red meat entirely and cut back on chicken and fish
  • Insulated home
  • Switched to green energy supplier
  • Bought an EV (smaller / more efficient the better)
  • Cycle (buy a nice bike or e-bike. You’ll thank yourself for it)
  • Bought a reusable water bottle (and don’t buy a bunch of them, just one or two)
  • Use reusable coffee cup or flask and ask Starbucks or Costa to fill them up
  • Avoid as much single use plastic as possible.
  • Switched to LED lightbulbs (Philips Hue)
  • Don’t buy stuff I don’t need
  • Limit new technology purchases where I can. I still have my iPhone 6 (2014) and iPad Air (2013), original Apple Watch (2015). Need to replace them all soonish though. But 5 years is a good lifespan for tech. Don’t buy a new one every year or two.
  • Buy only digital games and other media.

If many more of us did these and other things, it would be impossible for governments to ignore the calls for massively increased climate action.


What Happens Now After The IPCC Report?

There’s going to be more news coverage on climate. There will be far less tolerance of denialism and more pressure on governments to act. But will anything change quickly? Probably not.

I think governments like ours in the U.K. will maybe do something positive. Some small gesture to shut us environmentalists up, or attempt to. But they will not change tack and immediately shut down coal plants, stop pushing fracking, scrap nuclear power station plans and start building onshore wind and battery storage.

They won’t acknowledge the climate crisis as a crisis and act accordingly. The only way that could happen would be if everyone gets together to put them under pressure. But that hasn’t been the case so far and there aren’t many signs of that changing quickly enough to make a big enough impact.

I talk to quite a few people at work about climate, and Brexit, and US politics etc. They’re all left leaning people around my age or less. And only one of them voted in the EU referendum or prior general elections. They complain about how Brexit will likely screw everything up, make things more expensive, damage our environment even more, and have no real positive impact at all. But they didn’t make their opinion count at the polling station.

It’s incredibly frustrating to know how different the result could have been. I don’t believe for a second that there are any leave voters that didn’t vote. But remain voters on the other hand. We are talking about a huge number that didn’t turn up for Britain.

When right wingers talk about the will of the people, they don’t mention this. They don’t mention the fact that the electorate is not a static thing. The people who will vote in a second referendum are not the same as the people who voted in 2016.

But going back to climate change. I think that the net is closing in on the deniers. The corrupt governments of the world cannot continue to run amok in the way they have done. Every year, every month, every day even, the world is going more progressive. And their days in power are numbered. It might not seem like it with the Kavanaugh travesty, the horrific front runner in Brazil’s election etc. But we are getting there.

Now that we have a very clear idea of what the state of play is, and what needs to be done, thanks to the IPCC report. It makes it much easier to hold governments to account. So every year, we’ll know exactly what has been done and who’s failing to address the crisis. The scientists can single out bad governments.

The issue is that we’re extremely short on time. By the time the next one of these reports comes out, what will it say? Get off your fucking asses and do something right now? That seems honestly not too far from reality. Such is the madness of the plight we’re in. You see these reports, and you get energised. You go outside and see everyone just driving around in their big SUVs, and you’re perplexed. Have these people seen the same report as me?

We just have to be patient, and wait for the next, even more dire warning. Because people truly do not get it. STILL. THEY DO NOT COMPREHEND THIS CRISIS.


Does Trump Matter?

At first, I was so angry every time he undid a climate or energy regulation. But as time has gone on, it’s become clear to me that it really doesn’t matter what he and his cabinet of fools does. Not to mention, it’s practically a never-ending process which is still relentlessly continuing until every law is repealed. This week’s energy week (aka fossil fuel week) is a prime example.

Coal is on the way out, gas and oil are soon to follow, with renewable energy in the ascendancy. He can only slow down the transitional process, but really, when the rest of the world are so united, and he is showing himself more and more to be living in the past, he will just look increasingly delusional, even to the people who voted for him.

A huge number of cities in the US and around the world have pledged to stick to the terms of the Paris Agreement, and even step up efforts further. That is great news of course. But even beyond this, there has to be a point in the near future where the rest of the country say enough is enough and force the hand of Trump to do what’s right and keep the US competitive economically. Tesla will of course help to keep them competitive in the green economy regardless. But whether or not they can do it by themselves really depends on how quickly they can scale up both their car and solar / storage businesses.

At this point, it seems inevitable that we’re on the cusp of a huge swing towards the left in politics in major economies around the world. I could be wrong, but the tide definitely seems to finally be turning away from the right and far right. People are seeing what Trump and Brexit meant, and they fought back. They pushed back in France, The Netherlands and the UK in the general election where Theresa May didn’t lose and lost big at the same time.

Don’t get too angry about Trump like I and many others have been. Still bring attention to his moronic, trolling policies, but don’t get too stressed about it. Focus on the positives and do what you personally can to make an impact. All he can do is slow things down, and to be honest, the way things are going, I don’t think he can even do that very successfully. I take everything personally as an insult to me. But if I just remember that it’s not my fault and Trump and his team of idiots are the ones who are going to be a laughing stock in years to come (not that they aren’t already, but you know what I mean), it makes me feel a lot better.


Every Month is a Temperature Record

After the astonishing graph we saw regarding February’s hottest ever month, and the subsequent record breaking March, I thought this run of records surely must end in April, but that hasn’t been the case.

Will this turn into a global panic situation in the next few months? Or will things just continue as they are even with routine record setting? Unfortunately, I know where my money would be going if I were a betting man.

People keep talking about immediate action, but what does immediate action actually mean? Not many people outside of climate activists seem to be open to the idea that immediately means today.

So many of us have the power to make real change in our own lives, and collectively we can force action. Not by parading onto coal mines and blocking large machines. That’s not going to get anything done except piss people off. People who are being inconvenienced are less likely to be sympathetic to the cause.

What does actually create change is for everyone to show an interest. Talk about it with people: your family, your friends, your colleagues. Many of them may not have even considered climate change before. They may realise they have an opinion on the issue that they never thought about before.

Talking is good, as long as you’re not excessively preaching to people who don’t want to be preached to. But actions are better. If everyone worldwide who could afford to get solar panels on their home did so, I can only imagine that it would be an astronomical leap forward in total renewable energy capacity, and it would help to bring down the cost of solar at the same time.

If you can afford solar, or even if you can afford a green energy plan with a company like Ecotricity for example, then you can make a difference right now, today.