If there’s one thing that should be keeping everybody up at night (apart from waiting for a text back) it’s climate change. And it turns out things are somehow even worse than we’d feared. The UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released a report this week that basically says if we don’t do everything in our power to keep temperature rises due to climate change under 1.5 degrees C or we’re all totally f*cked. Casual. If we fail to do this, the IPCC warns that there will be “rapid, far-reaching and unprecedented changes in all aspects of society.” And somehow I feel like these “changes” are less the “I got bangs!” kind and more the “my house just washed away because of rising sea levels!” kind.
So WTF Does This Report Say?
Basically this report says we need to get off our asses and address climate change ASAP or face the consequences. They estimated that we have 12 years – aka until 2030 – to get our carbon emissions under control. It’ll be expensive, but the window to do something is still open. According to this report, sweeping changes to literally every aspect of our energy systems, land management systems, and transportation are needed to limit warming to 1.5 degress. If we do this, we can hang (i.e. continue living on Earth). If we do not do this, we can no longer hang (i.e. we all die in a flood.) Cool cool cool cool cool…
So WTF Can We Do?
Soooo on an individual level, there actually are a few things you can do. According to this report, individuals who want to reduce warming levels can buy less meat, milk, cheese and butter and buy more locally sourced food. Basically, find your most annoying vegan friend and ask them their secret. You can also drive electric cars, or opt to walk or bike short distances (I mean, who doesn’t love hitting their 10k step mark?). Taking trains and buses instead of plans also helps, as well as using a washing line instead of tumble drying your clothes. Also take time to demand low carbon in every product that you buy.
That said, no individual person switching from whole milk to almond is going to make the difference. We need widespread change from the top down to stop this sh*t from happening. Unfortunately, there is one political party on the face of the planet that hasn’t gotten the memo re: climate change, and that’s the party that is currently in charge of all levels of government in the United States. Bummer.
Lucky for those of us who would prefer not to drown there is an election coming up on November 6th where you can make your voice heard on climate change by voting for candidates who support science, common sense, and not dying.
Click here to make sure you’re registered to vote and find the climate-friendly candidates you can support this November.
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