With the news about the United States pulling out of the Paris Climate Accord, people are up in arms about what we’re going to do about saving our planet. The truth is, we each have it within ourselves to make a difference. Don’t get me wrong, I would’ve felt it best if we stayed involved, but our ‘president’ made his bed and now he has to lie in it.
But it doesn’t mean we have to.
There is so much that each individual, each small business, each corporation can do to roll back the destruction when it comes to global warming. We’re already seeing city and state governments do their part, despite the current administration’s agenda. In truth, many city and state governments re-pledged their dedication to the Paris Accord at their own level, ignoring the president’s ignorant choice.
Let’s be clear about one thing regarding the Paris Accord; it was not a new law we had to follow, nor was it a set of stringent regulations the world was putting on us. The truth is, the Accord outlined a series of VOLUNTARY goals the majority of the planet set in an effort to reduce emissions, and control the rising average temperature of the planet due to fossil fuel burning. “Each country came to Paris with a voluntary pledge to reduce emissions,” NPR’s Christopher Joyce says. “The agreement now codifies that and sets a framework for those reductions to begin in 2020.”
Two things are important to understand: 1) the goals are voluntary, and 2) the ENTIRE WORLD, except Syria and Nicaragua, initially signed the Accord. The former is a country in ruins, and was in no shape to become part of an accord when their country had been pushed to the brink of the dark ages due to war. Nicaragua boycotted the meetings because they felt they didn’t go far enough! So now, add the United States to the list. And why? Because our ‘president’ doesn’t believe in a climate crisis, and feels the only way to “Make America Great Again” is to force us back to our own dark ages by supporting coal and oil production, rather than looking to the future with clean energy solutions.
A lot of these blog posts I’m writing about are, and will be, about what we can do to help mother nature get back on track; using energy efficient appliances, using public transportation, eating less red meat (which in turn lessens the demand for cattle, thus lessening the methane gases released into the atmosphere…), etc. etc…. you get the point. So please don’t think I’m always going to preach. I simply want to provide you the tools you need to make a change, or at the very least, provide you food for thought. We are all so busy with our every day lives, we often get bogged down with the burden of it all. But I guarantee, the suggestions I’m making are as easy as can be, you just have to take the first step.
The bottom line is, we need to think outside the box. We don’t need authorization to do what we can to help the planet. We just need to start doing it. Living in NYC, we don’t have a car. So our means of transportation is subway, or rarely an Uber or taxi, and almost always walking. The city is so compact that its quite easy to get around by using the public transportation. I can’t say NYC is the greenest city in the country. Every day, I still see tons of garbage put out on the sidewalks for pick up, and theres still a lot of traffic jams, so obviously a lot of people are still learning how to recycle and folks are still driving cars, but I suppose the concept of climate change hasn’t quite hit those people yet.
Realizing that I can’t change everybody’s mind about global warming, its important to realize that I need to start small. If I start doing what I can, then share my experiences and successes with my friends and family, then maybe they will want to adopt one or two of the practices that can lead to their own positive impact on the planet. I am hopeful that this blog will inspire others to do the right thing.
Water and air, the two essential fluids on which all life depends, have become global garbage cans.
Jacques Yves Cousteau
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