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The world is burning: Don’t give up!


News of climate change is inescapable today, and rightly so. The world’s scientists have issued their latest assessment of the state of our planet, and it makes devastating reading. In the words of António Guterres, the UN secretary general, “[This report] is a code red for humanity.”

If there was ever any doubt that every single person on this planet will be affected by climate change, it is gone. The devastation we have seen just in the last month in Germany, Greece, Turkey, the United States and elsewhere has laid the truth bare, even before the scientists confirmed it: our climate is hurtling out of control.

Even here in one of the world’s richest nations, the consequences will be catastrophic. Aside from the inability of our own infrastructure to cope with monsoon-like rain storms and baking droughts, our food system is dependent upon the rest of the world; our energy reliant on imports; our borders dependent on safety and security elsewhere.

Don’t give up!

Against this backdrop, it would be too easy to give up, or to look to others – governments, businesses, other countries – to take the lead. But the truth is, we must all do more, faster. Yes, of course, switch your energy to a green tariff. But there is so much more we can do to play our part – and to put pressure on businesses and governments to move faster.

You can make a start by understanding your own impact better. Use WWF’s carbon footprint calculator to see which parts of your life have the biggest climate impact, and then do what you can to change them.

Then, make change happen. Remember, doing something is always better than doing nothing, and when millions of us change small things, it makes big things happen – companies sit up and take notice. Governments change laws. Other people change their habits. If you’re looking for inspiration, Jen Gale at Sustainable(ish) is a good place to start. In her words:

I got fed up with the narrative that we can  can only make a difference if we live off grid in a yurt and learn to knit our own yoghurt. We all have a huge potential to create positive change, imperfectly. Our choices and our voices are more powerful than we know.

In many ways, the science has made this wonderfully simple for us.

We must all do all we can. We have no other choice.