How to Help Prevent Climate Change

climate change

By Joel Pett, Lexington Herald Leader


Upwards of 4 million people, led by young people, filled the streets all over the world last week to protest a lack of action around climate change. Today, the UN Climate Summit begins in New York City to tackle this growing and deadly serious threat facing the planet. World leaders must take action, and not just talk endlessly about it.

Global leaders need to take action, but we want to help stop climate change, too. This is only a start, but I pulled together some solutions we can tackle.

The power of raising your voice

But before we look at some actions we can take, I want to take a moment to point out how important a single voice can be to raise awareness and build the public pressure needed to get leaders to act.

Here’s Greta Thunberg one year ago, when she started her climate change protest:

Greta 1

Here she is speaking at this year’s protest in New York City:

Greta 2

And here are some pictures of the climate change strikes around the world:

greta 3

One voice can spark action in others. Your voice has that power.

What can you do

Take this interactive quiz to learn what human activity we need to curb to start healing the planet. This quiz should win an award — I learned a lot, and walked away with ideas about what actions I should take.

2  We can take action ourselves by looking at changes we could make regarding how we use electricity, improving the energy efficiency of our homes, and what kind of transportation we use, among other things. Click the link to see how.

3  Reconsider what you eat. What we eat and how much food waste we create has a big impact on emissions which affect our planet. Click the link to learn more.

4  Calculate your carbon footprint. There are some very detailed footprint calculators out there, but this one from the UN is a bit more straightforward. Be prepared for a shock when you see what your emissions are especially compared to the world’s average.

5  Put pressure on the government. Not just at the federal level, but look at what your state and local governments could be doing to lower emissions. The best way to stay on top of what we can ask our government officials to do, is to be involved with an organization focused on climate change. Here’s a huge list of organizations, some national and some local, which you can peruse.

Don’t despair

Climate change is already here and it can be very stressful to look the issue in its eye. But, it is really important that the magnitude of the problem doesn’t make us turn away or want to hide in a cave. I recommend you read this LA Times opinion piece, How to live with the climate crisis without becoming a nihilist.

Thank you for taking action!

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