When you look into what the future holds if we don’t successfully curb the climate crisis in the next decade is bleak. I see news that just sends me spiralling, and it’s hard to find hope with such a momentous task at hand. I feel angry sometimes, I’m in my early 20’s and just finished my time in the education system, this should be the most exciting time of my life, and I should be looking forward to a future, I feel was robbed from me because of climate change.
However, when you dig a little deeper, there is hope. Here’s some positive climate crisis stories to help lift our spirits, and remind of us what we’re fighting for.
The Earth is greener than it was 20 years ago
According to NASA, the earth is greener now than the previous two decades. India and China showed the most growth in forestation, with this growth being due to people planting more trees. The more we allow nature to thrive again, the less CO2 in the atmosphere, and the more nature thrives, as seen when a Brazilian couple replanted a forest, and found that native wildlife returned. As wonderful as planting more trees is, we still need to protect the existing ones as they absorb the most CO2. Trees are one our best defences against climate change. Moss and bamboo absorb lots of CO2 as well, so we should take advantage of them too.
The Ozone Layer is healing
The hole in the Ozone Layer was caused by aerosol chemicals, which thankfully have been banned since the late 80s, thinned out and broke the area above the Northern hemisphere of the Ozone Layer. Since banning these harmful chemicals, the ozone layer has been recovering. If the current trend continues, it could be healed as soon as 2030! Without a strong ozone layer, we’re more exposed to the sun’s radiation, so the growth is wonderful news.
However, this is also more of an incentive to get our CO2 emissions under control, as less CO2 will be able to escape our atmosphere once the Ozone layer is fully healed.
Some animals are bouncing back from the brink of extinction
When I was a kid we just associated extinction with the dodos, but now we’re losing so many species, and pushing others to the brink, that every few weeks we see an article about a new extinct animal people take no notice of. The name just a few of animals that went extinct in the wild; the beautiful blue Spix Macaw, and white rhinos. However, the Lesser Long Nosed Bat, the Louisiana Black Bear, and the Mexican Crocodile, have been on the brink of extinction and bounced back! In honour of the Lion King remake, Disney have pledged to launch a conservation campaign, #ProtectThePride, to help lion populations recover, given that they’ve halved since the 1994 release of the original!
Some companies are taking responsibility
The bulk of climate change is actually due to 100 companies, especially big oil companies who knew decades ago this would happen and continued with their unsustainable practices anyway, while hiding the evidence. Although we should all strive to live green lives and lower our carbon footprints, the Average Joe is not responsible for the climate crisis – capitalism is. Given the growing public concern, and people putting their money where their mouth it, companies like Google, Apple, Ikea, Facebook, and Coco-cola are all striving to run on 100% clean energy. These companies are so influential that this change will inspire others to follow suit.
The climate crisis is being taken seriously
With Ireland, and the UK both declaring climate emergencies, and the EU and Canada setting out to ban single use plastics (hopefully in a way that doesn’t deprive disabled people from the straws they actually need), things are looking up. Given how the Green Party did better in the EU, and local elections, than they usually do, the public is sending a clear message that this is a huge concern, and these promises show the environment is now on the political agenda. I’m still sceptical because we all know that targets set my governments do get missed, and politicians can be all talk and no action. Outside of politics, Sir David Attenborough and Greta Thunberg are the social leaders, with a whopping 88% of Blue Planet 2 viewers changing their lifestyle as a result, and Friday’s for Future growing from Greta sitting outside alone to a global movement.
If you’re feeling inspired and want to change your own lifestyle, or spark change in your local government and businesses, here’s how you can live more sustainable in 2019 and the top 10 zero-waste items to adopt into your lifestyle.