Climate change needs no introduction. At our current rate, global warming will become a more pressing issue. Information is power; therefore, as individuals, we should do our part and stay informed about climate change so we can take action.
Factors affecting climate change vary widely, but one of the biggest contributors to rising temperatures is greenhouse gases (GHG). GHG naturally occur; however, human activity has increased the number of GHG released into the atmosphere. The largest source of GHG come from burning fossil fuel for energy.
It is our responsibility to prevent global warming for the future of humanity. Individual action towards climate change should make the difference, right?. Here are 3 things you can do to prevent global warming.
Not a "you" problem
1. Place more responsibility on large corporations. There is certain ridiculousness to blaming and putting most of the responsibility for climate change on everyday individuals. 71% of all greenhouse gases are produced by the top 100 companies. It is simply impossible for individual actions to have any effect on global warming as long as those 100 companies are free to produce such a large amount of GHG.
Companies produce GHG in multiple ways. Firstly during the production of a product. Any product made on the planet requires raw materials and energy in order to be produced. Your phone required metals such as gold and aluminium that needed to be smelted down. The smelting process most likely used energy from fossil fuels.
Secondly, the use of the product. Smartphones may not directly produce greenhouses gases, but the waste they create does. This, of course, sounds like an issue created by individuals. However, fewer smartphones would end up in landfills if corporations didn't produce new models annually. A decrease in the number of phones released yearly would force people into keeping their phones for multiple years and thus produce less waste.
2. hold corporations accountable for their actions. Companies and organisations will rather have people believe that they are at fault in order to continue their business model as is. Essentially, profits are more important to organisations than the health and future of our planet.
Lobbying is when an individual or group attempts to persuade members of parliament (or government) for a particular policy. In this context, it'd be against clean energy policies. The big 4 energy companies: BP, Shell, ExxonMobil and Chevron, spend millions of dollars lobbying the American government in their favour.
Their infinitely deep pockets allow the big 4 energy to lobby against clean energy policies. In the US alone, they spend over $400 million in lobbying practices, and it's not exclusive to the US. They attempted to lobby the trade minister just before the COP26 conference in order to push a narrative that would allow them to keep producing natural gases under the idea that it is clean energy.
Natural gas is mostly made up of methane, a significantly worse substance than carbon dioxide. Despite the fact that methane dissipates out of the atmosphere after a dozen years (compared to the decades that CO2 takes) it is still a dangerous gas that prevents us from moving forward with any climate action. These 4 corporations are essentially willing to let the planet die in order to make more money for themselves.
Additionally, the big 4 energy companies lobby against renewable energy against your interest. Renewable energy sourcing is significantly cheaper than the cheapest coal plants, yet certain MP's are still against building more solar panels and wind turbines in their constituency.
Take a stand
3. Take action against the immoral actions of corporations. The most effective form of action is anything ranging from protest to boycotting these companies. We as a collective have become too complacent in our overconsumption of certain products. This is no fault of our own, there simply doesn't exist an alternative that isn't currently more expensive or hard to obtain.
The responsibility for immediate and effective climate actions remains on the shoulder of corporations because they make our alternatives for clean energy harder to obtain. We collectively share the responsibility to keep the Earth habitable for future generations. We, therefore, must take action now.
Profit is the only language corporations speak however government officials are representatives of the people, and if we want to change then that is where we should start. Elect officials that care about positive climate actions and will adhere to the Paris Climate Accords and aid in achieving the UN's Sustainability Development Goals.