Climate change is fueling extremism, raising tempers along with temperatures, and fueling new outbreaks of the flu or Ebola. But how can we stop it?
The world is becoming more and more like the environment in which we live. Over the past few years, we’ve seen an increasing number of mass shootings, protests, and political upheavals at home or abroad. At a time when we are confronting the world’s largest, most complex, and most pressing crises, how are we to fight against these tendencies? Some have suggested that environmental change itself, as with climate change, is to blame; some have suggested that we make the world a more peaceful and prosperous place.
Some have suggested that we make the world a more peaceful and prosperous place.
Other, more optimistic, thinkers have suggested how we can mitigate climate change—and stop it in its tracks.
Environmental scientists (and others) have proposed the idea of limiting global population growth. If we want to avoid the worst effects of global warming, we could increase the number of children that we produce and put them through a good education. If we want to avoid the worst effects of climate change, we could invest in renewable energy. If we want to avoid the worst effects of climate change, we could increase our green spending and reduce our carbon footprint.
One problem with each of these suggestions is that they all depend on the government doing something, and the only thing the government does is try to control its citizens. But there are things that individuals can do.
The first and foremost is to reduce their carbon footprint. If I don’t drive a vehicle, I don’t contribute to global warming. If I stay away from meat and rely on plant protein sources for my meals and snacks, I don’t contribute to global warming. If I only walk and bike to and from my place of employment, I don’t contribute to global warming. I just simply reduce it. To further reduce that carbon footprint, I could buy products that are both sustainable and organic—or even biodegradable. If I buy less travel—and even if I don’t—I still help to reduce my carbon footprint. I may just have to look for a greener job, a job that doesn’t require commuting, and one that offers a flexible schedule or that gives me the time to pursue other interests.
There are countless other ways that