Climate change is a serious topic and according to the experts, we’re running out of time to do something about it. But as we discussed last week in “#1 Way to be Healthy Now,” focusing on doom and gloom gets us painfully nowhere. So for Blog Action Day 2009, this post considers the silver lining of climate change.
First, let’s review a few definitions (from David Suzuki’s Climate Offset Guide):
Climate Change: A change of climate attributed directly or indirectly to human activity that alters the composition of the global atmosphere and which is in addition to natural climate variability observed over comparable time periods. See also global warming.
Global Warming: The gradual increase, observed or projected, in global surface temperature as one of the consequences of an accumulation of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. See also climate change.
The bad news: by making life easier and more convenient for some of us, the human species (unknowingly) has used it’s ingenuity to slowly destroy the planet and its inhabitants. Check out this eye-opener by the Center for American Progress, “The Top 100 Effects of Global Warming“.
The good news: the human species also has the ability to…
- Forgive ourselves and our society for our mistakes, ignorance and failure to act before now.
- Create inventive ways and means to heal the world.
- Band together as an entire species to alter our current course!
The Bright Side of Climate Change
We got into this pickle in the first place by opting for unsustainable practices and methods for living without regards for the consequences to ourselves, others or the earth. Now that we know our western lifestyles have negatively affected our health and the health of the planet, we can take responsibility for our actions.
Once we do, it will mean:
- Healthier, beautiful and more enjoyable environments
- Strong, healthy bodies and minds
- Healthier souls through selfless living
- More social ties (which again, makes us healthier!) through community-oriented living
Hmmm… do you see a pattern here? But in order to experience the bright side of climate change, this means: change! I know, some people reading this cringed here but, hell, change is happening with or without our consent so we can either resist it or consciously choose to embrace it.
When we educate ourselves about sustainable, healthy living and do what we can to reduce climate change, then we are actually helping ourselves to become healthier and more conscious individuals who are contributing to the health and well-being of the entire world!
My guess is that when we finally take this responsibility seriously, we’ll finally feel fulfilled and stop wanting for more stuff to make us happy.
Here are a few sources and ideas to get you started on a more healthier, conscious lifestyle and help slow down climate change:
- Calculate your carbon footprint to see where you’re at now. Then use the information to see what else you can do to reduce the carbon footprint of your household.
- Educate yourself on how food choices affect climate change. Here’s a great post by the organizers of Blog Action Day featuring 2 enlightening videos.
- Be aware that there are dozens of ways to do your part. Here are 10 Solutions for Climate Change published by Scientific American.
- Choose companies who purchase carbon offsets. The Suzuki Foundation has published a document explaining carbon offsets and lists several compliant vendors in several countries.
- Find out how urban sprawl affects climate change. Here’s another document from the Suzuki Foundation explaining urban sprawl and how you can halt it by taking the Driven to Action challenge.
- Start small. Change doesn’t happen over night. Here are some of Dr. Suzuki’s suggestions in what we can do to make a difference.
- Brainstorm other simple lifestyle changes. Some examples include: using rags rather than paper towel; buy second-hand; recycle; compost; walk and bike more; go smoke-free; buy environmentally-friendly and recycled products; reduce your intake of meat; shop locally; and grow your own veggies and herbs.
Can you identify benefits to climate change? Please share them with us!