The most recent United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report, released on February 28, 2022, stated, "Human-induced climate change is causing dangerous and widespread disruption in nature and affecting the lives of billions of people around the world, despite efforts to reduce the risks. People and ecosystems least able to cope are being hardest hit." That's about as grim as it gets.
Arguably, Boomers were at least in part responsible for helping to create the climate crisis, so what can we do to help fight it? We can take a lesson from young people who are rising up around the world to become climate activists, for one thing. There are personal actions we can all take that can make a difference. If enough of us take even a few small actions, it all adds up. For example, Steve Vernon, writing for Forbes, has three good suggestions:
- "Eat less meat. The meat industry produces large quantities of greenhouse gases, consumes huge amounts of water, and releases many toxins into the environment. You don’t have to become vegetarian or vegan to help–just cut back on your meat consumption by serving smaller portions of meat and compensating with more vegetables and fruits."
- "Drive less, and walk, bike, or use public transportation more. Explore how you can go about your daily errands by walking, biking, or using public transportation."
- "Right-size and climatize your home. That three- and four- bedroom home in the suburbs with a lawn may have been a good place to raise your family or commute into the city from, but it might not be the best choice for your retirement lifestyle. Try looking for a smaller place that uses less energy, is easier to maintain, offers lower property taxes and homeowner insurance rates, and enables you to walk or bike to most of your activities."
If you'd like to do more as part of a larger effort, consider the following initiatives:
- Join Elders Climate Action's "Local Action Teams" to get resources, networking opportunities and more on a local level.
- Join the nonpartisan Citizens Climate Lobby to advocate for positive climate work by lobbying the government.
- Join Third Act's "Bug the Banks" movement to tell banks to stop funding fossil fuel companies.
These are just a few examples. An internet search will reveal plenty more. You may remember the bumper sticker that was popular during our youth, "Think Global, Act Local." There is no better time to take that to heart. Consider the health of the entire planet, and act locally in your own neighborhood, town, county and state to take action for positive change. Mother Earth will thank you for it -- and it just might make her a better place to live for our grandchildren.