This is a pivotal moment when we can make a difference for our future. As global citizens we change our focus and act differently.
We live in exciting and scary times. It is impossible to avoid the fact that we have been on a path that is not sustainable. Ours is a high-pressure world where people are experiencing stress, anxiety, and health issues at growing rates. While daunting, this is a pivotal moment when we can make a difference for our future. We can see ourselves as global citizens, change our focus, and act differently. We know that it is worth it because this is a beautiful planet and life is precious.
Biodiversity is decreasing while the pollution of our air, land, and water continues.
Much has been written and reported on the harm we have already unleashed on the planet and our lives. Climate changes are impacting people around the world with fires, flooding, crop failures, dangerous air quality, and extreme heat. Coral reefs are dying at increasing speeds while plastic is piling up in our waterways. The stripping of trees continues to reduce our green canopy of the needed coverage to absorb CO2 and create oxygen. Food supplies are at risk and we have many wasteful processes while many do not have access to nourishing food and clean water.
To avoid the worst of climate change two dates are essential to keep in mind: 2030 and 2050. By 2050 we must have stopped emitting more greenhouse gases into the atmosphere than the planet can naturally absorb through ecosystems. To achieve this, we must reduce our footprint by 50% by 2030.
The time is now, this decade we need to make a difference for our future.
In the book, The Future We Choose: Surviving the Climate Crisis, Christiana Figueres and Tom Rivett-Carnac share that we must switch our focus. This is so simple but so powerful. In their words: “You can do it. You can switch your focus, and you will be stunned by the impact such a shift can create. You don’t need to have all the answers, and you certainly don’t need to hide from the truth, nor should you. When you are faced with hard realities, look at them with clarity, but also know that you are incredibly lucky to be alive at a time when you can make a transformative difference to the future of all life on earth.”#1 They have captured for me, both the scale of the situation and the fact that we can make a difference.
Tom Rivett-Carnac is the co-founder of Global Optimism, a group focused on social and environmental change to survive the climate crisis.
Tom Rivett-Carnac shares his personal views on how we can shift our mindset to fight climate change. Credit: npr.org.
It’s time to shift our focus to see ourselves as a global citizens – not as consumers.
We have been trained to see ourselves as consumers – purchasing, using, and throwing away. We know it traps us, but it is deep in us and hard to shake. Additionally, companies have gotten even better at targeting us with effective marketing that seems to know you. Companies have so much information about our buying patterns, locations, friends, and likes and dislikes that they grab our attention and secure our purchase.
“Every year more than $550 billion is spent on advertising in a world of consumption and fast consumerism. What is more, billions of products are intentionally designed to become obsolete, fueling more economic growth as we strive to replace them.
Single-use plastics are the epitome of that, but obsolescence – the process of becoming outdated and discarded is designed into almost all consumer goods.”#2
Instead of focusing on being a global citizen, it is easy to be distracted by the barrage of marketing and to fall into the cycle of buying and creating waste. This occurs even when it is not better for people or the planet. Waste creation in the United States is a big problem. While only 4% of the global population lives in the United States, they account for 12% of the waste. We can change the cycle of resource extraction, short-time use, and toss.
It is time to step back and reclaim your life.
To define what is a good life and a life well-lived.
We are not alone in this journey as more and more individuals, governments, and companies make positive changes. In this journey, One Planet Life is striving to be the trusted source, a quiet place (away from noisy commercialism) for you to learn about the environment and choose actions that are good for you and the planet. We will gain inspiration from around the world.
For example, Costa Rica uses 100% clean energy; the entire city of Seoul, Korea composts; B-corporations with positive environmental impact, companies moving to clean energy, and organizations that protect and regenerate nature. Over the months and years to come, we will build up the knowledge resources, insights, and apps for you to make decisions, take actions, and see the positive impact.
We are stubbornly optimistic that together we can make positive changes that are good for people and the talent. We believe that little changes add up over time, so it is okay to start small. We have a long way to go, but it is a journey well worth it. It is our future.
#1 page 41 of The Future We Choose by Christiana Figueres and Tom Rivett-Carnac
#2 page 110 of The Future We Choose by Christiana Figueres and Tom Rivett-Carnac