Around the world, citizens–not scientists, politicians, or researchers–are beginning to take personal responsibility approach to making the environmental changes necessary to slowing down the progression of global climate change.
This is the crucial next step in making long-lasting changes. At least now the issue of climate change has been brought to the table and finally treated as a real problem; but discussion is just one part of taking action, and now we’ve entered the phase of executing those changes.
The World is Flat author and regular New York Times contributor, Thomas L. Friedman, recently recognized the “bottom up” direction of the changes being made in an Op-Ed piece. Entitled “The Aussie ‘Big Dry,’” Friedman discussed the climate crises that exist in Australia–everything from its six-year-long record drought to the country’s usual January brush fires starting as early as October–and how these have finally been brought to the political forefront of the upcoming elections -all by students and younger generations who are willing to make changes in their own personal lives. As Friedman states, it’s “the C.E.O.’s and politicians who are all playing catch-up.”
Across the globe in Beccles, located on the eastern coast of Great Britain, people are having an issue with too much water. Coastal erosion is a serious problem along this area of coastline, and its inhabitants, mostly farmers who use and rely on the land to sustain their way of life, are suffering. According to a recent article, a 6,000 acre estate used for farming and agriculture is losing chunks of land 30 feet wide along its two miles of coastline each year.
The fact is that governments must pick and choose their battles. Being at the whim of politicians and their agendas does nothing for global climate change in the here and now. The fact also is that policies take time, and in governmental terms, a lot of it.
Global warming, however, is not waiting. So communities have begun taking action themselves; Chew Magna and Ashton Hayes in Great Britain, Powerguda in Andhra Pradesh, and Ponferrada in Spain are just a few of the hundreds. Initiatives and policies from the local level are being enacted that will begin to alleviate climate change today. Going carbon neutral, using wind farms, and transforming their towns into zero-waste communities are amongst some of the projects. Cities all over the world are seeing what these towns have accomplished and taking note. If each city in the world could do this, think how little we would be relying on big business and big government. Waiting for politicians to “catch-up” will be disastrous as climate change continues progressing.
Posted by Kiki Namikas.
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