How to care about climate change?

What would you say if I told you climate change is not a new thing? What if you hear over and over again that last year has been the hottest one recorded in history? Has there been a time where you noticed how a change in the climate is now affecting your day to day life?

Basically, climate change is this phenomenon all species on the planet are experiencing due to the changes in carbon dioxide concentration and greenhouse gases (GHGs) retained in the Earth’s atmosphere, which is making the globe become hotter and hotter each year. In other words, we are entering a new era called the Anthropocene (human induced climate change) where mainly the levels of growth that come from increasing production, trade and more humans consuming meat, encourages the burning of fossil fuels to support industries, cities, transportation and consumption, while eliminating the forests that absorb it. This causes an imbalance and disruption on Earth’s boundaries. Therefore, a domino effect that ends up causing droughts and floods, which are becoming the norm and are happening more frequently.

For more than four decades we have been hearing about climate change, global warming and the inevitable impact of weather patterns affecting people’s life? Surprisingly, these concepts are not new. What’s new is the amount of data and information about this matter out there in social media, news feeds and best sellers that it’s hard to digest or believe, unintentionally polluting our judgement and is causing analysis paralysis that makes us live in a constant state of uncertainty and lack of perception of the consequences.

The good news is that this increasing awareness of our footprint has created a global movement that inspires people, cities and countries to enter a new path for growth with a more sustainable approach towards a low carbon economy. This is exciting and to make a change on the usual approach to this global issue.

Back in 1993, a book came out called “The ecology of commerce” by the author Paul Hawken with the intent of drawing the first declaration of sustainability. In his book, Paul describes the relationship between ecology and business while he tries to imprint a sense of urgency for the reader to be part of a “restorative economy” and shift the way we consume and to emulate nature and the way natural systems are resourceful and efficient.

On the other hand, in 2014, a book came out called “This changes everything” by the author Naomi Klein where she exposes the fragile relationship between capitalism and climate and encourages us to have a reality check around what it needs to fight climate change.

Two approaches with more than 20 years apart, one directed more towards corporations as agents of change and the other at a citizen and political level to change our current system of action. Both have a clear but distinctive objective of bringing our current way of living into perspective and evaluate our views around capitalism and our planet. So why is it that decade after decade we hear different but similar approaches and yet the shift feels so slow? 

Well, modern activism has become not so much about going against the system but to work closely with the system to change from within. I think this is why it’s taking so long. Changes are gradual and people are finding their voice, politicians are learning to listen and the new generation of millennials have grown up with a more conscious way of looking at the world. 

 So, why should we care about it? Because we have a chance to join. Because we are finally witnessing the combination of various forces working together that are catalyzing change: globalization, technology, social media and the uprising of a new societal order based on citizens’ choices and lifestyles. There is now a sense of ownership and responsibility to make a difference in our neighborhood and engage with our community. There is a common understanding that what we do today at a human and ecological level is actually a global issue with big implications for all and that change can be a positive thing to be part of.

Ultimately, starting by learning what the root causes of an issue are, the better equipped we are at determining ways to tackle it and become the change within. To all of us who have the opportunity to be part of this fundamental shift, here are some interesting initiatives and resources for anybody who’s looking to join and finding inspiration:

For more information about the authors mentioned above follow them @NaomiAKlein & @PaulHawken or check their initiatives Project Drawdown & This changes everything 

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