The need to reduce climate change is often debated in the news by many, including scientists, politicians and various action groups.
It is not easy to understand the science behind the possible threat of climate change. It is caused by an increase in global warming, with some evidence that the warming is due to human action, although this is disputed by some.
However, without understanding the science, it is possible for ordinary citizens to make a difference by taking small steps themselves. Last year, the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released a report with five suggestions for consumers to help tackle the problem.
Use public transport or car pooling to reduce the amount of traffic on the roads. In Australia, cars produce 18% of our greenhouse gas emissions, ranking us as the 9th highest transport polluter in the world.
The IPCC report suggests we reduce our consumption of animal products, including dairy foods, by 30%. That is the average amount of household food waste each year. Researchers claim this can have a bigger effect on lowering greenhouse gas emissions than reducing flights or buying an electric car.
Lower your energy use by shifting to household goods such as smart thermostats and air conditioners. Be rational and economical about your power use, such as leaving equipment on standby, or leaving lights on in empty rooms.
Take part in activities such as the World Wildlife Fund’s annual “Earth Hour”. One in four Australians participate in this. Earth Hour this year will be from 8.30 pm to 9.30 pm Saturday 30 March. At the local level, most councils now carry out recycling and other practices, which you can find on their websites.
Get to know your preferred candidate’s policy on energy, renewables, and associated matters. Remember that, as a voter, you can write to your local member any time to express your feelings about matters which concern you. Politicians do pay attention, because they rely on voter support.