The IPCC Climate Report is out, and it is a CODE RED for humanity. The message is clear, we have caused some major problems for life on our planet. The result is a rapidly warming world with frequent extreme weather disasters, rising sea levels and out of control wildfires. A code red alert means there is no more time to talk or ponder our actions. There can be no more empty promises and too far future goals from governments and industry. The crisis is at the door and now is the time for action.
Amidst the dire warning in this report, we still see seeds of hope. We are not quite out of options. The future is not written in stone, we still have a small window of opportunity to change things. Like the Lorax, at the end of the story handing over the last seeds of a Truffula tree in the hope for a better future. We need to listen to the warnings in this report, for we hold the seeds of hope.
“Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better, it’s not.”
(Dr Seuss, The Lorax)
We don’t need miracles, we need change on all levels. We need to be willing to make those changes, even the small ones. For it is the combined will of many that will convince governments and industry to finally make the changes they promised to begin years ago.
Our biggest threat is inaction. Now is not the time to be indifferent or passive. We face immense challenges. But if we sink into anxiety and overwhelm we will lose the will needed to make the changes we need to make. We cannot simply accept the declining state of our planet as the ‘new normal’, and then go about our day. We must realise that where there is a will there is a way. We need to be willing to change and this requires that we hold onto the seeds of hope. Without hope, we risk sitting on the sidelines in a dumb stupor of passivity. Shaking our heads and saying there is nothing we can do.
One of the messages from the IPCC report is that we can do better. We must hold onto that vision and move towards a way of living on our planet that is better than it presently is. Hope is daring to imagine a different way of life. We cannot lose hope, because we are the ones who make the future.
It is up to us all individually and collectively to take personal responsibility and reduce our footprint on this planet. Regardless if you think that climate change is a natural evolution or that it is the result of man, changing our ways will benefit all.
The path out of this crisis is not a mystery. We know the way. It simply requires our willingness to make the changes: cut our emissions, reduce our dependence on fossil fuels for transport, electricity and heating, switch to renewables, consume less (or better no) meat and dairy, plant more trees and stop burning the Amazon. And, we must actively support and encourage companies who are doing the same. Every little action we take is a step in the right direction. The big changes will come when we all move together in the same direction, expressing our choice with our wallets and votes. Then we can expect to finally see major policy changes from governments and genuine actions from private corporations and companies. That is when the seeds of hope will grow into real change for good.
Like the hands that held the last Truffula seed, we hold the seeds of hope. What will we do with them?
“You cannot get through a single day without having an impact on the world around you.
What you do makes a difference and you have to decide what kind of a difference you want to make.”