A few days ago the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released a report that exploded in the news. You can find the special report here, but to summarize we are on our way to making the Earth 1.5 degrees Celsius warmer which will have irrevocable damage on the Earth if we do not take drastic changes starting today. These changes are not fixed by simply stopping your plastic straw usage. We all must call on governments and major corporations to create policy change. I scrolled through my feed that day seeing people really upset by the report. Maybe you were even one of them. If so, great! I applaud you reading the report, or a summary of it and educating yourself.
But what are you doing with that knowledge today?
In CNN’s report, it stated that we must take drastic changes to how we live in tandem with drastic policy reform so that we don’t reach this 1.5 marker. That is why the Paris Climate Accord is so important because it holds countries accountable to make a change. But due to the fact that not all countries are part of it (*cough, cough* America), it certainly is not enough.
In these past days after you have read the article- what have you done? Have you made a promise to yourself and the Earth? If not, you should consider doing so.
The reality is, I know so many people care a lot about what’s going on in the environment and are concerned and scared with what is happening. And I am too. But reading reports like this and taking screenshots of them to add to your story or uploading ascetically pleases pics on Instagram for #EarthDay won’t change a damn thing.
Too many people don’t care enough because they are not ready to make sacrifices that change the comfort they find in their consumer lives. I acknowledge the fact that I’m not a perfect conscious consumer. If I “need” coffee I will grab a cup on the go that is in a plastic or styrofoam. I know I’m not knocking on people’s door or calling enough politicians asking for policy reform. But I am on a path towards getting there and determined to do so even if it makes me uncomfortable.
We need to make changes in how we live our lives. You might consider it a sacrifice, or inconvenience but if we don’t start doing things we don’t feel like doing, this Earth will be unrecognizable from today in a few short years.
We all need to wake up and do better. Our actions have consequences. They affect this earth and impact innocent people in developing countries that can’t afford to be affected by our mistakes.
If you think that you buying to-go foods wrapped in plastic every day doesn’t matter, or that your vote doesn’t matter- enough. We all need to stop having this mentality, myself included. If you were upset or concerned by this report, now is the time to do something about it. They are giving us 12 years to radically change the way we live our lives. It will be different, but change isn’t always a bad thing. Do something now before it’s too late.
Not sure where to start?
I wrote a blog post about learning how to educate yourself on issues here
I also wrote about how to make a difference through policy reform in some easy steps here