Don't despair, agitate - 4 steps to mitigate climate collapse
Our thoughts on the latest Intergovernmental panel on climate change: IPCC’s 6th assessment report. The latest intergovernmental panel on climate change has sounded the alarm on how urgently world leaders must address the climate crisis. The report saw contributions from independent scientists from 66 countries, with 900 contributing authors and 46,000 scientific bodies.
The bottom line is that Carbon Dioxide levels are at their highest point in 2 million years, with temperatures at their highest point in 125,000 years. The rate of sea level rises has trebled since the 1970s. These sweeping trends manifest in the unequivocal shifts to our weather patterns, with more frequent and severe compound events of natural disasters ranging from wildfires to flooding.
If climate change continues along its current trajectory, the climate extremes we are currently experiencing will nearly quadruple in frequency in the near future. Human society is simply not built to deal with variables like these, and the consequences of unhindered climate change are diabolical.
What can be done? The essential target is to reach and maintain zero emissions. In pursuit of this, the International Energy Agency has advised against any new investment in fossil fuels going forward. The good news is that public concern and awareness is at an all time high: on an individual level we can channel our anxiety into a sense of community and solidarity in our common struggle for climate solutions.
Upcoming events that champion the cause of a brighter climate future include the Great Big Green Week and Climate Fringe Week from the 18th-26th of September, the Global Day of Action on the 6th of November, and the People’s Summit for Climate Justice from the 7th-10th of November. By signalling a public hunger for action, we can encourage government ministers to take action.
It is up to the electorate to set the tone. Rebecca Newson, Head of Politics at GreenPeace UK, embodied this sentiment as she argued ‘we need to make nuisances of ourselves’ in order to make politicians meet demands about climate change.
195 governments recognised the report’s conclusions, and even governments frequently ambivalent or hostile in their stance towards climate matters agreed with it’s statistics. As we approach the UN Climate Summit in November, there is still time for UK politicians to become a powerful force in rallying G20 leaders to follow a climate solutions agenda.
Greater government engagement would benefit the economy, too, since the report indicated that a government could create £1.8 billion jobs by investing £100 billion in green transport and renewable energy. We know the science and the solutions, it is just a case of walking the walk and committing to a future with zero emissions and slowing global warming.
Take some great steps towards climate action with us.
1. Divest. Take your money out of banks and pension schemes that fund fossil fuels.
Birdsong have switched to bank with Monzo, and have our pension provider in a green scheme with Nest.
You can use these two simple tools to divest your company and personal funds here, and don’t forget to tell your bank why you’re switching on twitter with #StopFundingClimateBreakdown
2. Put pressure on the government - email them to tell them you won't be voting for your local MP unless they put real action in to decarbonise the economy.
Find your local MP, check their voting record on climate change and get their email address here: https://www.theyworkforyou.com/
3. Switch to green energy providers.
Many green providers are just as affordable as fossil fuels, and it’s never been as easy to switch, again using
4. Interrogate your favourite companies on what they're doing to prioritise degrowth.
Whether that's in their Twitter mentions, DMs, or over email, put the spotlight on the companies you support to do better.
In the end it will boil down to degrowth or death. We need to be prioritising a different system that champions values over volume. The time has come to stop producing clothes and goods in their billions, and focus on quality and livelihoods instead.