Climate action steps
Opinion by Dr Laura Fogg-Rogers, WEG Chair
Climate change has felt very close this year. We have seen disaster movie images from across Europe and the rest of the world – but this is not fantasy, it’s an urgent reality.
Freak flooding, raging wildfires, and deathly droughts – these are all happening with more frequency at 1.1C of global heating. So the new IPCC report confirming human-induced climate change makes me feel sick. Currently we are on course for much higher global temperature rises, beyond 1.5C. Can you imagine the disaster movie scenarios we will live through? What about our children?
As a scientist and educator at UWE Bristol, I am working hard to communicate these issues with schools, communities, and politicians. We need local and national government support to enable our communities to stop burning fossil fuels.
But we are part of this system and there are steps we can take too. So what can you do?
Raise your voice. Write to your MP or Councillors. Ask what action they are really taking on the Climate Emergency. Join a local Climate Action Group like WEG to make changes locally. Support local protestors. Vote for Climate Action.
Use your spending. Switch to renewable energy providers. Switch your bank. Make fossil fuels unprofitable and uninsurable.
Get active. Slow your life down so you can walk or cycle where you need to go. You will get fitter (I have!). You will be mentally healthier and kids will function better in school. Children do not need daily extra-curricular activities that you drive to. They need a liveable planet.
Drive fossil fuels off the road. Take public transport when you can. Or switch to smaller electric cars (so much cleaner and smoother!). Petrol and diesel are dinosaur cars (literally).
Move to a plant-based diet. Reduce your meat intake. Vegan may be best for the planet but it's not for everyone. So vegetarian or reduced meat helps too.
Buy less. Save and cherish what you have. There is no 'out' when we throw things away. Refuse single use plastic (made from fossil fuels). Reduce what you consume. Repair what you have. And recycle as a last resort.
Buy local. Eat local food in season. Support local businesses - we will need thriving local communities to get through what is to come.
Make space for wildlife. We are living through the sixth mass extinction. Never use pesticides. Leave areas of your garden wilder. Help local groups to conserve nature in public parks and spaces.
Reduce or stop flying. There are so many awesome places accessible by train and car in the UK and Europe. The journey is part of the holiday. What will a memory be worth when your holiday resort has burnt down due to climate change?
Switch your heating and cooking. If you're renovating, opt for a heat pump and electric devices.
Be the change. Push for these steps in your organisation. Badger our Government. Tell your friends. Social tipping points need to outpace climate tipping points.
Is there something that would help you to live a more climate-friendly lifestyle in the Frome Valley? If so, share your ideas with WEG at our transition event on Winterbourne Medieval Barn’s Orchard Harvest Day on 10th October.
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