November 1, 2022
As explained by a fellow human on Earth.
Q: Ugh, more climate content? Why should I bother, when I’m not the one responsible for the mess the planet is in right now?
A: Hey, hold that thought! While it’s true that 71% of greenhouse gas emissions are produced by just 100 corporate giants, a big part of the climate solution still lies in our ordinary civilian hands – from activating widescale environmental consciousness to personal lifestyle changes. Our individual actions actually have an impact if everyone’s doing it.
Q: So…. You’re saying that I have to get other people around me to stop eating beef, and cut down on their fossil fuel usage? There’s no way that’s possible when I can barely get out of bed each day.
A: Oi, don’t say that. You wouldn’t know if you don’t try. Every small action of ours makes a difference (read: because we eat anything and throw everything so any change is a good change). Take burgers, for example. Cows burp out greenhouse gases that contribute to 14.5% of global emissions. Whether that number changes is literally up to the choices of people like you and me. You might not believe it, but changing your personal consumption habits logically leads to saving Earth.
Q: But what about those 100 companies? It’s not fair. They’re getting off scot-free and no one’s holding them accountable.
A: You could! You have the power to push for divestment from fossil fuels — a drug so addictive that people have resorted to throwing soup to pressurise governments and corporations to start taking action. It sounds very idealistic, but only people can hold people in power accountable. The zeitgeist shifts with people, and governments will be incentivised to ramp up their green efforts, and begin implementing carbon taxes on top of developing sustainable solutions across different sectors. That’s one of our most viable options now, no matter how uninspiring or loathsome it might seem.
Q: Okay… Let’s say what you say is all valid, then why hasn’t climate action happened yet?
A: And let’s say the Earth is round. We have all (tried to) take climate action, but most of us fall through with our green efforts in the long term — think back to the metal straw phase we got over and the zero-waste habits we never kept up with. So, why haven’t we bothered to do enough? Well, we could blame it on the high costs of eco-friendly products, the inconvenience of sorting out our recycling, along with the governments and corporations who can’t seem to uphold climate justice… Yes, institutional structures can wear us down, encourage and enable certain behaviours over others all in the name of making profit. We don’t seem to have real choice. But blame — no matter how righteous — will not restore the glacial caps. If no one else is moving, then maybe we have to. Maybe if we all begin feeling for Mother Earth now, we would bother to keep trying in spite of everything against us.
Q: Gosh, that is a lot to take in. What if I… want to start doing something now?
A: Heavy topic, eh? It’s all going to be a bit of a slow burn but you can start with keeping up with groups fighting for climate justice – like SG Climate Rally if you’re in Singapore — and see how you can help. Just gaining an interest and getting to the root of broken systems will go a long way. Journey of a thousand miles begins with a single scroll, or something, y’know?