Today is Blog Action Day. All around the world bloggers today will be writing on the topic of what we can do about global warming (or climate change).

The Car. If at all possible do everything you can to get rid of the car. If this is not possible (and the design or our suburbs makes it very difficult, especially for a couple with children) then minimise car use.
The more fun and enjoyable you can make it the more likely it will become part of your life. (This will depend on lots of different things – the climate where you live, whether you have young children, what kinds of lifestyle you lead and the kinds of recreation you enjoy, to name just a few).

Go shopping with friends and neighbours. Car-pool to get to work. If there is public transport where you live make it a day out instead of a quick visit. Walk or bike when you can. All these can have benefit our relationships and fitness.

It may help your motivation to add up how much your car costs you in a year – after buying a house they are easily the most expensive thing we buy. If there is a good taxi service where you live it may well be cheaper to pay for taxi’s (I’m not joking).

A vege patch. If you live in a house you can get fitter, get a healthier diet, reduce the amount of fossil fuel used to produce food, and break the stranglehold of multi-nationals over food production, by doing one thing: starting a vegetable garden.

Buying Local. The less petrol used to transport our food the better. There are now farmers’ markets in many places. These can have produce that is fresher and for the same price as the supermarkets. They will usually have organic produce available also – though it is usually more expensive.

In the Supermarket. There are now labelling schemes in different countries to let us know which products are produced more organically or in a way that has less environmental impact (such as the Rainforest Alliance and other schemes). These organisations often combine a concern for ecology with social justice, which is great.

Eat less meat. Our planet cannot support the amount of meat that people in Western societies eat. It may be that it is linked to health problems, and there is no evidence that eating less meat will harm your health (as long as you get enough protein and B12).

This doesn’t mean needing to eliminate meat and fish altogether (especially for women red meat can have important health benefits), but reducing it. Many traditional recipes are vegetarian or use meat sparingly – and they are delicious. Making grains, vegetables and fruit the main part of our diet can have health benefits, and buying less meat will probably help the budget.

There are ways of making the meat we do eat go further and be tastier too. A casserole that adds sweet vegetables like carrots and onions to the meat can taste better and make the meat go further.

Adding grains and increasing the vegetables portions can leave us feeling satisfied while reducing the amount of meat we eat. This can be as simple as having a pancake or two with breakfast, making some of the meat into a sandwich for lunch, adding an extra vegetable or grain for the evening meal.

Make the changes that you will enjoy and you will be surprised how much your tastes will change within a year.

Choose to buy power from green sources where this option is available.

Colin Beavan set out to see if he could live for a year in a way that had no ecological impact. He called himself, and authors a blog called, No Impact Man. The story of this experiment has now become a movie (released in the US) and you can join with thousands of others who are trying to live with no impact for a week. His conclusion at the end of the year was that it had benefitted his lifestyle hugely.

Bringing the kind of large scale change required to address climate change means working collaboratively with others. This is usually the biggest challenge. An excellent guide to this process is published by the Barefoot Collective – largely based in South Africa. It is an excellent guide to how to work together with other people and organisations to bring social change. It is detailed, practical and clearly written. If you want an effective organisation, or for your existing group to be more effective, this is a remarkably rich and useful resource. You can download it for free from the Barefoot Guide’s website.

All of these changes have the potential to make our lives more enjoyable and healthier as well as reducing our climate impact. We don’t have time to waste: it is time to live more ecologically and enjoyably – starting now!

Two Notes on the Cimate Change Sceptics and Science.

A Note to the Sceptics.
To those who don’t believe that Global Warming is caused by human activity: Firstly I must say that I disagree and that I think the evidence that it is is overwhelming. Secondly, whether it is or not, it is happening and the consequences are already looking catastrophic. Whatever the cause we need to respond to what is happening.

When rain starts falling in different places this has huge implications for food production and much else (access to clean drinking water, what industry can produce and so on).

The antics of the climate change deniers are detailed obsessively and exhaustively by Tim Lambert on his Deltoid blog. Subscribing to Tim’s blog is a great way to get informed about the state of the argument and keep up to date with it. I don’t think you will remain a sceptic for long after reading it.

A Note on the Nature of Science.
Despite the tone of absoluteness that some people speak with science usually deals in probabilities. We can’t know that any particular storm is due to the change in climate. What we can know is, given the rise in temperature, that more extreme weather events will occur.

This way of thinking can seem strange but we use it all the time in our normal lives. We don’t know for sure when we set off on our daily commute that we will make it to work (the car or bus could break down, there could be an accident that blocks the road, a meteor might land in front of our car or bus and make a hole in the road so large that we can’t get around it . . .), it is just very likely that we will. If we greet someone politely they will likely be polite in return. If we know what is involved in getting a job done and put in the time and effort it is likely we will get it done.

There are some things that are certain (or at least very close to it). The melting of glaciers and the Arctic and Antartic ice means there is more water in the oceans and that the sea level is rising because of this. [It’s time to think seriously before buying property on the coast at sea level.] This is being taken account of by the insurance companies (not exactly known for dewy-eyed idealism or acting without good evidence). What is uncertain is how this will affect ocean currents – and these have a big influence on agriculture and which areas of our planet are fertile.

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7 Comments to “Take Action on Climate Change”

  1. […] Here is the original:  Take Action on Climate Change […]

  2. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by janewheelock, Margie. Margie said: Take Action on Climate Change « […]

  3. Thanks for working in the climate change benefits of shifting towards a more plant-based diet. It’s nice to see the conversation shifting away from a all-or-vegan discussion and towards how we can all make an impact each time we eat a plant-based meal or use animal products as supporting ingredients rather than the base of a meal.

    Bernard Brown

  4. Chris R says:

    a great list of some interesting things we can do. Thank you for contributing to blog action day and for being part of the solution.

  5. Once the deep mystery of “climate change” has been solved
    And “What’s green and causes CC?” is no longer a popular riddle,
    The legacy of the era most likely will be:
    “Never in recorded history have so many made so much over so little”.
    (With apologies to the late, great Winston Churchill).

  6. Polprav says:

    Hello from Russia!
    Can I quote a post in your blog with the link to you?

  7. Evan says:

    Thanks to all those who commented on my Blog Action Day post. I have just rescued them from the spam folder – so I am giving them the benefit of the doubt. A couple I left in the spam folder, apologies if you are among them – if you want to comment again and let me know I’ll post it then.

    Edwin, I clearly disagree with you. I do wish you were right, but all the evidence I’m aware of says climate change is happening now and the consequences are awful now and may be frightful in the future. Thanks for taking the time to comment.

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