The decision for the US to exit the Paris agreement was one that many of us expected somewhat, but is still extremely disappointing. I know it’s frustrating, if you’re anything like me it makes you want to curl up in bed and stubbornly ignore the extreme foolishness. But if leaders won’t look out for us, it’s time to take matters into our own hands where we can. In the wake of one of the largest polluters in the world seemingly abdicating from any sense of responsibility, here’s some things you can do wherever you live. I’ve thrown these together fairly quickly in the wake of the news but I hope they help!
‘We’re going to the UN next week to deliver your messages of resolve — can you help us show world leaders that the climate movement will continue to stand up? Add your name to show your support for the Paris Agreement and climate action.
If you’re in the UK you can help by persuading your parliamentary candidates to cut ties with fossil fuels, or joining the Rolling Resistance against fracking in Lancashire this July. If you’re in France you can call on Emmanuel Macron to show climate leadership by freezing France’s fossil fuel developments. If you’re near any of the climate camps and actions happening across Europe this summer, you can be part of drawing red lines for the climate. Wherever you are in Europe, you can join or start a divestment campaign.’
The president seems determined to charge ahead with fossil fuel usage, which is both a environmentally and economically stupid decision. The world is shifting away from coal, and renewable energy is becoming cheaper by the day, let’s keep that momentum going. Divestment is incredibly important when it comes to fossil fuel usage, because taking money out of fossil fuels and redirecting it into clean energy works out better for the earth and the economy, and pushes fossil fuel companies around the world to shift into clean energy, whether they like it or not.
Support Local Environmental Efforts
The leader of America may not think climate change matters, but a lot of America’s governors do. As Gov. Jerry Brown states:
“Ironically, Trump, by his actions, is giving climate denial a very bad name, making it utterly implausible. And that is actually building the energy and strength of the contrary movement, which is climate activism and efforts by countries, states and provinces to do the right thing to get our economy aligned with a decarbonized future.”
While this can’t fix the problem it can at least lessen it, and if it can educate more people about the reality of climate change, maybe this can sway voters in the next election. Wherever you live in the world, contact your local representatives and ask what can and is being done in your area to tackle climate change, and ask them to make it a key priority.
And also let your local leaders know you’re doing so, it becomes much more easy for these things to become policy if people are already doing it voluntarily. Last year a carbon tax was widely rejected in Washington state, and I get it. No one wants to pay more taxes, no one wants to lose more of the money they earned. But if taxing carbon now protects the planet, it’s going to save a lot more money in the long run by preventing the collapse of businesses, food shortages and destruction of environment that causes people to flee their homes. The article linked above goes into more detail about why carbon tax works.
One of the big issues with carbon emissions is how it affects air quality, a problem which literally results in death. The article linked above gives you tips to deal with air pollution in your own life, while the campaign for healthy air shows you ways you can avoid contributing to the problem.
Buy Sustainable Fashion
Yes, the emissions caused by powering a country are huge and must be tackled, but the things that we consume are big players too, and this is often where we have the most power to change things. Ecocult recently published this brilliant article on the real numbers of fast fashion’s pollution trail and they are pretty huge. Buying sustainable doesn’t always mean buying expensive, but buying secondhand as much as possible and eco-friendly when it’s first hand really adds up. The more people do this, the more of a difference it will make.
Please, please, please vote. If you live in the UK, you know we have an election next week. PLEASE look at the candidates in your area and their track record when it comes to the environment (this website tells you your local MP’s voting history), and you can check out Progressive Alliance to figure out how to tactically vote for a progressive party in your area.
I hope some of this helps, and I hope we can still see positive change despite this terrible policy decision.