Posted on December 14, 2018
Climate change is worse than we thought. Here’s what you can do.
The recent report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) reaffirmed our worst fears: Climate change is progressing much faster than we all thought, and our planet is headed for catastrophe if governments and individuals don’t take drastic action now.
Without a major transformation of the global economy, the UN panel found that, as soon as 2040, the earth could experience devastating food shortages and famine, coral reef die-offs, more devastating wildfires, increased poverty and massive population migrations that could lead to armed conflict, with “no documented historic precedent.”
While scientists previously believed the worst impacts of climate change would come when the earth’s temperature rose 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit, the report found that a change in just 2.7 degrees Fahrenheit would trigger catastrophic disasters across the globe in just a little over 20 years time.
We’re already seeing the devastating effects of climate change now. Melting glaciers and polar ice. Sea level rise. Sinking land and eroding coasts. Ocean acidification. Rising global temperatures. More extreme wildfires and more intense hurricanes.
The IPCC believes stabilizing global temperatures will “require unprecedented efforts to cut fossil-fuel use in half in less than 15 years and eliminate their use almost entirely in 30 years,” which is made all the more difficult given the current anti-environment, pro-fossil fuel administration here in the United States, one of largest energy consumers and polluters in the world. Donald Trump packed his administration with climate deniers and fossil fuel executives, withdrew us from the Paris climate agreement and has begun dismantling the Clean Power Plan, so it appears unlikely the Trump administration will heed the warning, particularly when Trump himself has called climate change a “hoax.”
So in the face of such dire warnings, what can we do? In addition to a restructuring of the global economy and swift action by governments across the globe, we can do our part to pressure lawmakers, change our daily habits and help reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
First, we must keep up the pressure on the Trump administration and our elected officials to address the climate crisis immediately. That means rejoining the Paris agreement, reinstating the Clean Power Plan, stopping fossil fuel infrastructure projects, passing legislation to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, fighting for climate justice and tightening regulations on the fossil fuel industry. Right now, CREDO activists are taking action to stop coal exports at military bases, prevent Trump’s weakening of environmental regulations and preserving rules regarding methane emissions.
Second, we can do our part in our daily lives to reduce our impact. Even though many in our current government are putting their heads in the sand, we must take it upon ourselves to act until we elect new leaders who will. For example, we can reduce our waste, bike to work, eat less meat, plant trees and reduce our energy consumption.
Third, we must begin transitioning to clean, renewable sources of energy now. To keep our planet from hitting the catastrophic 2.7 degree threshold, the IPCC believes we must increase renewable energy production from sources like solar and wind, which accounts for roughly 20 percent of our current consumption, to as much as 67 percent.
Here at CREDO, we’re helping to make the transition to renewable energy a top priority and easy for consumers. With CREDO Energy, you can offset your home’s electricity usage with renewable energy credits to give you access to clean, sustainably produced electricity.
And with CREDO Energy, you will be powering progressive change, because we give to progressive causes fighting for the environment and climate justice, civil rights, women’s rights and more.