B1 Intermediate US 274 Folder Collection
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How can ordinary people contribute
to overcoming climate change effectively?
In your daily life there's kind of the obvious things
like flipping off the light switch.
Take public transport.
Avoid plastic bags at the supermarket.
Eat less meat.
Use LED lighting in your home.
Eat no meat if you're feeling really virtuous.
Actually, it's not quite that simple.
Basically, if you decide to go on a plant-based diet
for a year, you can save about 0.8 of a tonne of CO2.
If you decide to avoid a transatlantic flight,
you're still around 2 tonnes.
The big, big difference that you can make,
avoiding 58 tonnes of CO2, is a decision
not to have another child.
And that's quite a frightening concept.
But I think our personal carbon footprints
aren't the whole picture.
Actually, the really big emitters of emissions right now
are big industries like the energy sector,
like the industrial sector, like shipping, transport, aviation,
all of those sectors that frankly an individual cannot
make much impact on just by small, individual,
personal moves.
The fact is that last year the world emitted
about 38bn tonnes of CO2, mostly from burning
fossil fuels for energy.
So, although individual action is important, it has an effect,
it's never going to be able to achieve enough on its own,
unless governments step in.
There's the Green New Deal in the US,
and there's also a Green New Deal being discussed in Europe.
It's kind of harking back to this wartime economy, all hands
on deck, big investments are needed type of framework
for decarbonising the economy.
In the US, the Green New Deal has
been a big talking point for all of the Democratic presidential
So if climate change is an issue that you care about,
getting engaged in the policy discussion
is also part of the answer.
You can also, as an individual, use your voice in elections.
You can vote for candidates that actually
support some kind of measures to combat climate change.
But above all else, you can start
trying to take account of what's actually happening.
You can try and do an audit.
People are increasingly thinking about the money
and how they invest it, and trying
to avoid things like the subprime mortgage crisis.
Thinking about what's happening in our climate, if you like,
is just part of being a responsible citizen,
and it's becoming more important every day.
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Climate change explained: what can ordinary people do? FT

274 Folder Collection
洪子雯 published on December 9, 2019    Julie Tu translated    Evangeline reviewed
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