This morning, I attended one of the most informational and interesting sessions that I’ve been to so far. We’ve all heard a lot about how we need to change our lifestyle to maintain our goal of keeping the global temperature rise below 1.5ºC, but we rarely get a solid explanation on how to do this. This panel changed that by introducing tested techniques that have proven positive. One of the speakers had a three-step solution. We must understand where we are, visualize where we need to be, and finally take leadership to put the goals into action.
To understand where we are right now, we must acknowledge our flaws. In Britain for example, public transport has been significantly reduced since the 1960’s to encourage the use of automobiles. In 2017, houses are still being built without proper insulation. Another big issue is that too many people eat unhealthy food.
To overcome these issues, we must establish goals and tasks. For example, insulating houses properly could halve the energy needed to moderate the temperature. Or, if we eat less meat and reduce the need for grazing cattle, we will have more space for other technologies like wind turbines.
None of theses tasks can be completed without the help of good leadership. To achieve good leadership we must be able to reach across all sectors. Several of the panelists seemed to have this figured out. Two women were from an organization that is determined to build eco-neighborhoods; over 10,000 have already been set up and the goal is to reconnect children of these neighborhoods with nature by educating them outdoors and teaching them how to farm sustainably. The students are also taught how to build houses so that these neighborhoods can continue to grow. The neighborhoods work toward cleaner water as well as improved gender equality. On top of that, most of these communities bring down their carbon footprint by 70 percent. Another panelist was part of an organization that helped to make a Danish town of about 2,000 people much more sustainable. It was a very industrious town, but this organization hired over 200 local people to build a wind farm to bring more renewable energy to their town.
In another presentation that I went to, I learned more and more about how necessary it is that we phase out coal. Unfortunately, there are thousands of coal companies and plans to keep expanding the industry. In countries like Pakistan for example, they have plans to increase the coal industry by over eight thousand percent.