John Valentine
Climate Emergency 2019
1. First Edition9 May 2019
CategoriesBlog, Environment, Future

John Valentine is a writer of fiction and physical sciences.

Invest or Stop, 2019

How should we respond to a Climate Emergency?

John Valentine, 9 May 2019

Photo credit: ESA/NASA

Invest or Stop?

May 2019: Many countries and regions have declared a "climate emergency". What does this mean? What should this mean?

This is an experimental DRAFT article. Many changes are planned, bringing in more research, and improving the data presentation.

Contents

What is the Climate Emergency?

(draft, to be completed and re-presented)

- Human-caused emissions
  - Gases and pollutants insulate the Earth
    - Rising temperatures
      - Warmer waters
        - Disruption of ocean and air currents
          - Biome disruption
            - Extreme weather
            - Desertification
            - Displaces species, including humans
        - Wildlife cannot adapt
          - Ecological impact
            - We cannot feed ourselves
            - Increased competition and conflict
      - Melts polar ice and glaciers
        - Rising sea levels
          - Coastal displacement
        - Less reflection of solar energy
          - Increased temperature (feedback)

How leaders can react to a Climate Emergency

  1. Accept the science.
  2. Understand the situation.
  3. Accept that the situation is an emergency.
  4. Publicly declare an emergency.
  5. Generate the will to fix the emergency.
  6. Make well-researched and prioritised plans to fix the emergency.
  7. Start now.
  8. Communicate why difficult changes are necessary, and reassure that these changes are acceptable and possible.
  9. Develop alternative behaviours that help fix the emergency, and lead the way in demonstrating them.
  10. Empower everyone to do something, proportionate to the positive impact of those actions.
  11. Hold ourselves accountable, and hold others accountable: measure and discuss.
  12. Share information about successes and challenges, that might improve the progress of others.
  13. Don't allow monetary interests to compromise your environmental decisions. Money is responsible for overriding will, in many detrimental ways.
  14. Innovate, regulate, and don't stop!

How individuals can react to a Climate Emergency

  1. Talk about it, and create a social environment that makes it 'OK' to support the environment.
  2. Talk to politicians about the Climate Emergency, and vote for those who do the most to avert it.
  3. Learn what to buy. Don't accept corporate environmental messages at face value, and act on the environmental record of producers and retailers. If you can afford to pay more to buy the right products, then do.
  4. Consider reducing or eliminating meat and dairy in your diet, replacing them with alternative sources of protein, for example.
  5. Use sustainable energy suppliers.
  6. Use efficient standby or switch appliances off after use.
  7. Learn to consume less energy and consumable goods, and reduce food waste. Buy reduced-to-clear food, and support 'too good to go' schemes.
  8. Choose sustainable holidays. Aircraft and cruise ships are major polluters.
  9. If you have a choice, try to choose a place to live that is close to your work, or work close to where you live.
  10. If your job allows it, ask to work from home. Even one day per week adds up.
  11. Campaign for better public transport, and use it where you can as an alternative to solo car travel.
  12. Car share, and encourage car share schemes.
  13. Vote for regulation, where industry refuses to accept the Climate Emergency.
  14. Support genuine petitions that bring political attention to actionable aspects of the Climate Emergency.
  15. If you are in a position of authority, make it easy for others to make good choices.
  16. Share information about your successes and challenges, that might improve the progress of others.
  17. Read about what genuinely makes a difference for the Climate Emergency, and which issues are distractions.
  18. Keep working at it!

Behaviours: Invest or Stop...

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