After endless global protests on Climate Change, finally America steps up.
Thanks to President Joe Biden and his progressive administration, the USA has rejoined the Paris Climate Accord, halted the Keystone XL pipeline and vowed “the most aggressive” carbon cut the U.S. can make.
That came just before Biden signed a climate-related executive order suspending new oil and gas leases on public lands, directing federal agencies to purchase electric cars by the thousands and seeking to end fossil-fuel subsidies.
Biden wants to eliminate net greenhouse gas emissions from power plants by 2035, a timetable some utility executives consider too difficult and expensive to meet. Climate activists are now waging a ” war on gas,” fighting pipelines and pushing cities to ban the fuel’s use in new buildings — and Biden’s early moves align with these goals.
A Sustainable Trend is Emerging – Clean Energy Growth is Inevitable
General Motors said it was setting a goal to sell all its new cars, SUVS and light pickup trucks with zero tailpipe emissions by 2035, a dramatic shift by the largest U.S. automaker away from gasoline and diesel engines and aggressively push to embrace electric vehicles.
GM also plans to become carbon neutral by 2040, pledging to tackle greenhouse gas emissions, dramatically boost sales of electric vehicles.
Committing To Clean Energy Will Not Be Easy…
Committing to Clean Energy will not be easy. It means most businesses will need to make changes in the way they create products and deliver their services. And most importantly it means Oil and Gas companies will need to pivot to a new model of energy that will create long-term sustainability in both job creation and Climate Change.
Our Blue Planet is involved in one such of these new models of energy by using sustainable biomass based solutions to replace fossil fuels in material and energy applications . NanoTerraTech is creating “Biomass to Graphene to Energy”… read more…
Is individual action pointless in the face of climate change? Let’s not beat around the bush: the simple answer has to be “yes”.
Think about it: what difference does one person forgoing a lamb chop for a lentil bake, deciding to catch the bus rather than take their car, or deciding not to jet off for that autumn getaway in the Balearics make if the other 7,699,999,999 of us humans here on Earth don’t do anything?
It is a dispiriting conclusion and begs an obvious question, and one that I am sure has already occurred to you: why bother?
That’s exactly what I asked the 16-year-old climate activist Greta Thunberg when I met her last month. Rather than fly to her climate change meetings in New York, Greta had opted to be whisked across the Atlantic on a racing yacht.
You remember the boat, the one with the bright blue plastic poo bucket?
“The point”, she told me as we bobbed in Plymouth Sound, “is to create an opinion. By stopping flying, you don’t only reduce your own carbon footprint but also that sends a signal to other people around you that the climate crisis is a real thing and that helps push a political movement.”
It’s a good answer, and, helps explain why this Swedish teenager with pigtails has captured the world’s attention.
My riposte was maybe a little rude: “So you’re trying to make the rest of us feel guilty?”
“No”, she replied calmly, and explained she doesn’t think it is her job to tell other people how to live their lives. Rather, her convictions must guide her own behaviour.
“I don’t fly because of the enormous climate impact of aviation per person.”
She acknowledges that she is a special case. “Many people listen to what I have to say and I appear a lot in media so therefore I influence a lot of people and therefore I have a bigger responsibility because I have a bigger platform.”
Previously, she’s tried attending conferences by video link but it just doesn’t make as much of an impression. “I think it will have a bigger impact if I and many other young people are actually there”.
And judging by the publicity she’s getting, she is right.
But let’s be honest, you’re no Greta Thunberg. Even if your choices do ripple out into the world and affect a few other people, your decision to eat a little less meat and turn down the thermostat a notch isn’t the clarion call that is about to rally the world to the carbon cutting cause, is it?
So, why should individuals take action?
That is a question for a philosopher. It’s their job to wrestle with debates about what principles should guide our behaviour. And I’ve got just the man. Prof Peter Singer of Princeton University in the US has been described as “the world’s most influential living philosopher” by New Yorker magazine.
For more on the UK’s efforts to tackle CO2 emissions, download the BBC Briefing on energy. Part of a mini-series of downloadable guides to the big issues in the news, it has input from academics, researchers and journalists and is the BBC’s response to demands for better explanation of the facts behind the headlines.
Prof Singer describes himself as an expert in practical ethics and he is very clear on this question. He doesn’t just think we should all take action but argues there is a very strong moral obligation why we must do so.
“I think this is one of the great moral challenges of the 21st Century, perhaps the greatest moral challenge”, he says. “If we are not acting, we are endangering everyone who is alive now and also future generations.”
He compares you failing to cut your emissions with you taking a bulldozer and razing the crops of a subsistence farmer in Africa. If you did that, everyone would agree it was wrong, but the greenhouse gases you are responsible for have the same result, he argues.
The fact that the cause is invisible gases, and that the effect may be felt in the distant future, doesn’t allow each and every one of us to escape the moral obligation to act, Prof Singer insists.
The reason is that our right to freedom of action doesn’t extend to harming others.
Here’s another metaphor. Imagine there’s a speed limit on a busy shopping street and someone says, “I’m going to drive down there with my pedal to the metal, but don’t worry, there’s a good chance I won’t kill anyone.”
You wouldn’t say that’s fine, maintains Prof Singer. “You’d say no, you don’t have any freedom or right to put other people in grave danger of being injured or killed. And that is exactly what we are doing by going ahead with the levels of greenhouse gas emissions we are emitting today.”
He says the fact that each of us only plays a minuscule part in the process doesn’t make a jot of difference: the obligation on us all to act remains.
I bet most of us instinctively recognise that there is real force in these arguments. So, why aren’t all of us doing more to cut our emissions already?
Time for the insights of a behavioural psychologist. Step up Professor Kelly Fielding of the University of Queensland in Brisbane, Australia.
We are not the free-thinking independent spirits we imagine ourselves to be, says Prof Fielding.
“What we know as social psychologists is that people are very influenced by what others do, even though we don’t think we are”, she explains. “It’s a paradox. We think we make our own decisions, but the truth is we look to others for guidance about how we should behave.”
When it comes to climate change, the problem is that we just aren’t getting the cues we need from our friends and families or, for that matter, from government and business, she says.
Yet surveys show that people all over the world are increasingly worried about climate change.
What the respondents are saying is: “Yes, there’s a problem, but it’s not my job to sort it.”
But don’t despair, says Professor Fielding. The work of behavioural psychologists suggests It should be possible to flip these findings on their head.
If people need cues from others before they change their behaviour, then all we need to do is get some people to start taking action and others will follow, she argues.
Which brings us full circle; all the way back to Greta Thunberg and that super-fast carbon-fibre yacht.
As Greta says, our actions are important not because they have a material effect on climate change, but because of the message they send to others.
What you do influences your friends and family and will help create the political space for governments and businesses to take action. That, in turn, is likely to encourage other people and other countries to do more.
Yes, what I am suggesting is the possibility of a virtuous circle. And yes, this is an argument for us all to be a lot more optimistic about what can be achieved.
Because there’s another crucial point to remember. Climate change isn’t binary: it doesn’t just happen or not happen. The crucial question for us all is how much climate change the world will experience.
We’ve already seen a degree of warming. The UN has urged us to try to stay below 1.5 degrees.
So here’s the thing: the more action we all take, the less our climate will change and the more liveable the world will be for ourselves, our progeny and all the rest of the magnificent abundance that is life on earth.
Now come on, that’s worth making a few lifestyle changes for, isn’t it?
It is very fitting that on the fourth anniversary of co-cofounding Our Blue Planet it is also Climate Change week. Unless you’re living in a cave you will have seen the thousands and thousands of protesters and young people striking out of school and work to get the attention of our political decision makers.
Their message is clear:
COMMIT TO SUSTAINABLE CHANGE NOW!
“WE DO NOT HAVE A PLANET B”
We are being schooled by the children of the world. They know what needs to be done, NOW. They deserve to have the same luxuries of fresh air and water that we had the pleasure of enjoying growing up. If we do not commit to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals – 2030 Agenda, we will have nothing left to leave our children.
We are speaking to YOU: Governments, Companies (private, public, big or small), Organizations and Groups, Non Profits, Academia, Military and Families… every single person on the planet
This is not a problem “out there” that “someone else” will take care of. As a human being you have a responsibility to do the right things.
We implore you to start something today within your sphere of influence to make a sustainable change.
Create a “Sustainability Challenge” and invite your boss, peers, colleagues, neighbours, parents, siblings to participate…
DO SOMETHING TO COMMIT TO SUSTAINABLE CHANGE NOW!
If you don’t know where to start, please reach out to our experts and we will guide you. Press on the link below to be taken to the website: