Here’s everything you need to know about climate change in one easy-to-digest package.
Important terms to get your head around
This page on the WWF website gives you a super handy overview of the key terms and issues facing our planet right now.
It’ll help you quickly understand:
- Climate change vs global warming
- Carbon – dioxide, emissions, footprints and cycles
- Greenhouse gases and methane gases
- Fossil fuels and renewable / clean energy
- Tipping points
Separating fact from fiction
The picture painted in the media isn’t always grounded in truth. It can be hard to distinguish opinion from fact, and reliable sources from their unreliable counterparts. Check out the below resources to help determine climate fact from climate fiction.
The IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) are the world’s leading authority on climate science. They’re highly regarded for applying a robust scientific assessment to research. They’ve been around since 1988 and work with hundreds of leading scientists drawing on thousands more scientists’ work. The Union of Concerned Scientists do a nice job of covering who they are and why they matter.
The IPCC report released in October 2018 is the critical one. It clearly outlines that we’re not on track to limit the temperature rise to 1.5 degrees, which makes it even more crucial that every one of us starts taking more action now.
“Falling short would lock in climate impacts so catastrophic our world would be unrecognizable.”WORLD RESOURCES INSTITUTE, 2018
Nasa has a dedicated science division. They have a fantastic climate change website, full of everything you would want to know. The visual format is engaging and easily digestible. There are interactive elements, resources for kids, and a great facts and FAQs section.
Address the skepticism head on with this great myth-busting site. Skeptical science tackles the most common ‘arguments’ against climate change, exploring the science to get to the truth. It’s more of an involved read, but there’s a great feature to select the level of information you want – either basic, intermediate or advanced.
But what can you do to make a difference?
Sometimes it feels like we’re facing an uphill battle, and our individual actions won’t make a difference. As hard as it is to believe, that isn’t true. Here are some things worth considering:
Send a message to companies and industries on what you are (and aren’t) willing to accept through your behaviour as a consumer. Whether it’s where you shop or what you buy, small changes can make a big statement. Consider changing your bank to one that doesn’t invest in fossil fuels. Look at changing your energy provider to one who uses 100% renewable energy. The more people who do it, the faster you’ll drive action. These companies and industries will have to adapt to your habits, preferences, and demands as a community of consumers.
Keep the conversation going
If people see others doing something, they’re more likely to follow suit. (Some of you may know it as social proofing, here’s a little example of social proofing in action.) So, be vocal about the changes you’re making, share them on social media, tell people about them, submit reviews for companies and products you think are doing a good job. You don’t need to shove it down people’s throats, but starting the conversation can make more of a difference than you think.
100 companies are responsible for 71 percent of CO2 emissions. This isn’t about pointing fingers, but it is reality, and while it may seem that it’s not really our problem to deal with, it’s no good sitting back and expecting others to clean up the mess. We all have to start encouraging these companies to change.
Independent news outlet, Grist, do a pretty decent job of explaining exactly what to do. It’s all about adjusting our own actions, that will eventually force companies to adjust theirs too. If they don’t have the consumer on side, they don’t have a business. From switching to a plant-based diet, to finding alternative modes of transport to a plane, making bigger, and granted less convenient changes, will in turn challenge the head honchos to sit up and listen. One step further involves attending protests or suing companies directly. The ultimate goal? A future where governments stop funding fossil fuel companies.
We need to broaden our definition of personal action beyond what we buy or use…Taking part in a climate strike or showing up to a rally is a personal action. Organizing neighbors to sue a power plant that’s poisoning the community is a personal action.Vox.com 2019
Before you go
Take that first step today. You might want to lobby people in power from the comfort of your own home. Or maybe you’re ready to get involved with people in your local area and join forces to stop fossil fuel development. No matter what the plan, here at Hatch we can help you find out how to achieve bigger change.