With communities around the world experiencing extreme events (droughts, floods, fires, heat domes, etc.), it’s clear that the climate crisis already looms large. If we want to minimize both the rise in global temperature and the severity of its impact, we must step up our climate action now. While individual efforts (those we take in our own homes and daily lives) are necessary, they are nowhere near enough to make the changes needed in our societies. We need to take collective and systemic climate action.
So, what does this mean for us as individuals?
In the classic Wizard of Oz story, Dorothy, the Tin Man, and the Scarecrow overcome unseen threats by repeatedly naming their not-yet-visible nemeses as they make their way down the yellow brick road to the Emerald City. “Lions, and Tigers, and Bears, Oh My!” Later, when they meet the Cowardly Lion, they are well prepared for the threat.
Those of us walking the path to a green future, like my neighbor who asked me if home composting produces methane like landfills, can similarly get ready by naming the three greenhouse gases (GHG) that are not as much a part of…
Let’s face it. We need the earth more than it needs us. If the human species were to disappear suddenly, nature would carry on with its cycles and regenerate itself. However, we are here, and we’re disrupting and damaging the natural cycles and biodiversity of the planet, and setting up the conditions that could make the planet unlivable for us.
While the earth has been doing its best to absorb our impact, it’s being taxed by the unrelenting stress we as a species continue to unleash on it. To help ourselves, we need to support our planet in doing what…
In the last few weeks, I’ve felt inspired and hopeful about the growing momentum in global climate action. Even though I recently wrote about being daunted by the challenge before us, after attending many events leading up to and after Earth Week where experts and representatives from around the world spoke about the climate crisis, I am now back to being optimistic.
While there were too many events in the past few weeks for me to attend them all, I made it to a fair number of meetings, including the Climate and Energy Funders Group gathering, WRI’s Global Leadership Council…
After recently writing about the world’s climate targets and roadmaps to net zero by 2050, I felt overwhelmed by the uphill climb on climate before us. I mean, we have to change the way we do everything in society! — how we make and power things, get around, grow food, spend our money, live in our buildings, consume, work together, and relate to nature.
With the world’s countries coming together this fall at the UN Climate Summit (COP26) to revisit and amp up their commitments to solving the climate crisis, the question on my mind is “What’s it really going to take to get to net-zero before 2050?” (In a previous post, Making Sense of the World’s Climate Targets I discuss what net-zero means).
While no one knows for certain yet, one thing is for sure; we are in a race against time and need to ramp up our climate actions significantly if we are going to cut global GHG emissions in half by…
With the next UN Climate Summit coming up this year, you may hear more about climate targets and commitments and wonder what the many terms describing global climate targets mean. Net zero, carbon neutral, negative emissions, 350 parts per million, zero emissions, Paris agreement, 1.5% aligned, and climate neutral are a few of the terms being bandied about.
Are they different terms for the same thing? And what exactly are we aiming to achieve and by when?
Let me answer some of those questions.
The terms mentioned above are similar in that they set targets for the world to aim…
If you are like me, you want your climate action to make a difference. You want what you do to lead to positive and significant social change. After all, if we are going to turn the tide on climate before 2050, then we have to change almost every system that touches our daily lives.
Eager to take part, we try all kinds of actions, often never knowing if they will actually lead to the change we want and need. As individual everyday folks, we typically don’t know how to evaluate the effectiveness of our actions.
Don’t worry. You don’t need…
Have you ever been to the Bahamas and bathed in the amazing crystal turquoise waters there? Or seen videos or pictures of them, like the one above that I took when I last visited in January 2020?
Last year I received a note from a friend in South Africa in response to one of my articles. In it, he urged me to expand the scope of my writing; from being U.S. centric to having a more global perspective.