Eco anxiety and the fear of climate change is a growing phenomenon among Australians according to the Climate Council of Australia. The warming climate is no longer just a concern of the youth and school kids like Greta Thunberg, but an issue that Australians of different ages and backgrounds care about.
With the frequent natural disasters around the world and in our own backyard, changing climate is one of the most pressing issues currently facing us. Scientific prognosis of global warming confirms that we will hit dangerous temperatures in this decade. According to the latest IPCC report, our planet is rapidly moving towards 1.5C of warming and we are projected to hit it by 2030. This means loss of ecosystems as we know them, species and global biodiversity.
For those of us who take a holistic approach to healthy living, we know all things are connected. Just like plants, animals and micro-organisms are affected by the changes in the ecosystem, we are affected by those changes too.
There’re small, and simple, things we can do every day to help the situation (other than reducing consumption and waste):
1. Invest in green energy and divest from dirty fossil fuels
In order to limit the rise in global temperatures to 2C, two-thirds to four-fifths of fossil fuels must remain buried on the ground. By divesting from fossil fuels, fossil fuel companies may feel pressured to switch to the renewable energy. Start by checking out the list of more sustainable banks and super funds. Choose those that do not invest in fossil fuel industry and instead invest in green energy. Here are some great tools to check whether your bank or super have strong climate policies: Market Forces, Responsible Returns.
2. Drive less or give up driving all together
Did you know that transport emissions are the third largest contributor to global warming in Australia? Half of Australian car trips are shorter than 3 km. If only we could shift 10% of our car trips to public transport (or walking), we could reduce our greenhouse gas emissions by 4 million tons a year, which is the equivalent of planting 20 million trees. Try to walk, cycle or take public transport whenever possible. Not only will this help you feel healthier and stronger, but it will also result in cleaner air and reduce your personal carbon footprint.
3. Have a conversation
We are often bombarded by information from different sources. This information tends to sit at the back of our mind until we process it is through meaningful and deep conversations with people we trust and care about. Sharing your concerns and feelings with regards to climate change can have a therapeutic effect, as well as inspire others to take climate action. What can be better than connecting to like-minded people and taking action together?
Climate for Change is a volunteer led organisation that offers exactly that. It is dedicated to creating the social climate in Australia for the change required to tackle global warming. Sign up on their website to host a climate conversation with your family, friends or colleagues and they will assign an experienced conversation facilitator who can help your community make sense of such a complex subject as climate change.