6 tips for stopping climate change + saving the planet
With climate change and many other problems, it’s easy to feel strong emotions and point fingers. When it comes to climate change in particular, there are a lot of villains: Donald Trump and Boris Johnson might be in there. But we are also the villains. Anyone with their ears open knows about climate change and they do care, yet many of them do nothing.
It has been calculated that if we all lived like a Bangladeshi, we would need a planet the size of Asia. If we all lived like a Chinese person, we’d need a planet the size of Earth. If we all lived like an American – God forbid – we would need four Earths to satisfy our needs. In terms of the average global citizen, by the year 2030 we would need a second Earth to sustain our way of living
What we need to do to save the planet is not impossible. For example, we need to reduce carbon emissions by about 60 per cent within 10 years. However, people are constantly overestimating what we can achieve in one year and underestimating what we can achieve in a decade. Saving the planet requires serious individual, systemic and legislative change.
Marches raise awareness, but they aren’t pushing governments and corporations fast enough. There are things we can do in our own lives that aren’t radical but will make a big difference. For example, you don’t have to become a vegan, but if we all eat less meat we can have a real world impact and push governments and corporations to make better choices.
5.LIVE LIKE OUR GRANDPARENTS
We don’t need to invent a whole new food system; we just have to un-invent our current one. Live as we did before agriculture became industrialised. People who live in undernourished parts of the world can eat a little more meat, but in the US and UK we have to eat 90 per cent less meat and 60 per cent less dairy.
6.SHAKE THE HABIT
You eat a ham sandwich because you had one yesterday. Remove the things that you don’t really care about.
AND THE OUTCOME …
The question now is: how do we wake ourselves up to what we already know? This is a real problem that we all have, including me. Ultimately, it’s a question of balance. This quest to save the planet comes down to four things that matter more than everything else: fly less, drive less, eat less meat and have fewer children.
Best-known for Eating Animals and Everything Is Illuminated, Jonathan’s latest novel We Are The Weather: Saving The Planet Begins At Breakfast (Hamish Hamilton, £10) is out now.