Staying positive and hopeful during the climate crisis
Greener Kirkcaldy Trustee Pat Crosbie outlines some of the ways we can take positive action to tackle the climate emergency.
From school strikes to Extinction Rebellion direct climate action is regularly in the news. Whatever you think about them, these direct actions highlight that we need to act now to address the climate emergency.
However, climate action need not involve direct action. Climate action is any effort we can make to reduce greenhouse gases. As individuals, we can make simple changes that can benefit the planet. We can also encourage our friends, family and work colleagues to do the same so we can all work together towards our shared future. Everyone has an essential part to play in tackling the climate emergency.
Our actions can have influence:
- Be an activist: You can write, email or attend the local surgery of your MP, MSPs and local councillors, ask what they are doing to address the climate emergency and demand action. Let them know you will be considering their environmental policies (and record) when you vote. Lobby for changes in your workplace.
- Spread the word: Learn about climate change, start a conversation and explain to your friends and family why people are taking direct action. Greener Kirkcaldy runs regular training courses to help you learn how to talk about climate change.
- Consider your diet: Cutting back on meat and dairy is the one of the biggest things we can do to reduce our carbon footprint. There is increased interest in plant-based diets for health as well as environmental reasons. Why not start a discussion?
- Think local: Cut back on online shopping and shop locally. Buy locally grown and seasonal fruit and veg. Stay local and enjoy walks in your area, finding local footpaths can lead to some hidden gems. Reduce your car use for short journeys – walk or use public transport if possible. Active travel brings health benefits as well as being good for the planet. Think about taking holidays in the UK.
- Use energy wisely: Cosy Kingdom can offer free advice to help you do this.
- Climate Action Fife is encouraging people around Fife to take climate action. Find out how you can get involved.
Our actions can make a difference and there are a number of reasons to stay positive:
- There are rapid advances in technology and clean energy. Increasing demand will mean falling prices for clean energy. Large companies are investing in solar energy projects. Renewable energy is increasing, especially in Scotland. The use of electric vehicles is also increasing.
- Businesses are starting to understand the problem, and some are taking positive action.
- There are ongoing international climate agreements. The Paris Agreement was signed in 2015 and there is an ongoing global effort towards limiting global warming.
- More people are becoming concerned. Individuals are becoming more aware of, and more concerned about, the impacts of climate change and they are making changes to reduce their carbon footprint. There is increased understanding that environmental issues are public health issues, especially in developing countries.
Staying positive and hopeful is vital for combatting climate change. As Italian philosopher Antonio Gramsci said: “The optimism of the action is better than the pessimism of the thought.”
Pat Crosbie, Trustee, Greener Kirkcaldy
Find out how Greener Kirkcaldy is working to reduce emissions through our Climate Action Plan (PDF).
Featured images is © Kreg Steppe, used under Creative Commons.