Greta Thunberg's four simple steps to combat climate change
TORONTO -- The kids are all right.
As Swedish teen climate activist Greta Thunberg takes her place among other young planet warriors like ‘Little Miss Flint’ Mari Copeny, Indigenous water activist Autumn Peltier and Indigenous Mexican activist Xiye Bastida, she has a message – “no one is too small to make a difference.”
Although Thunberg now spends the majority of her time addressing world’s leaders and thousands of people participating in mass climate strikes all over the world, within her powerful speeches are four simple steps that anyone and everyone can do to help save the planet.
Fly less or not at all
Thunberg stopped travelling by air due to the high levels of emissions and her family has followed suit. Air travel produces the most emissions, compared to other modes of transportation, and those high-altitude emissions have a more harmful climate impact because they trigger a series of chemical reactions that create a net warming effect, according to the David Suzuki Foundation.
Cut down on meat consumption or go vegan
The UN’s environmental body, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released a report that says if more of the global population shifted towards a plant-based diet and reduced their intake of red meat; it could significant assist in the fight against climate change. Another report in the British medical journal “The Lancet”, says that eating meat has “dire” consequences for the planet, and recommends a plant-based diet with small occasional allowances for meat, dairy and sugar.
The United States Environmental Protection Agency estimated that nine per cent of the total U.S. greenhouse gas emissions in 2017 stemmed from agriculture, with livestock methane production representing almost one third of emissions from the agricultural economic sector, and manure management accounting for about 14 per cent of the total greenhouse gas emissions from the United States agricultural sector. Thunberg and her entire family went vegan in order to cut down on their carbon footprint.
Join an activist movement
It may seem like an intangible step in the face of overwhelming scientific reports about the state of the planet, but joining a movement amplifies the collective voice of those demanding change. Thunberg inspired the “Fridays for Future” movement which encourages students to strike and miss school in order to demand that their concerns be heard – and it’s working. Global climate strikes have had hundreds of thousands in attendance and wall-to-wall media coverage. Thunberg and other young activists have brought climate change to the forefront of the news cycle, and have amped up the pressure on world leaders to do their part.
As Thunberg addresses the nation’s leaders, it’s important to remember who put them in charge in the first place. Thunberg urges everyone to use their right to vote and to pick a candidate that is going to put climate change front and centre in their platforms, and to continually press those in power to adapt their policies and adopt new legislature to save the planet.