After another storm and another climate-related death in the UK, the public is calling for action to end these abrupt changes in temperature and the environment’s unusual behaviour. Along with the profound lecturer strikes, Queen Mary University became burdened by the awful wintery weather lasting into mid-spring. London’s transportation system ground to a halt and I, in particular, wasn’t very pleased! Understandably, climate change is not a localised problem — it requires all the world’s actors to play a significant role. But there is hope, not for the reversal of climate change but a more sustainable future.
Take companies, for example, known for being notoriously ‘out for profit’ and not socially responsible; but now every large organisation has a corporate social responsibility or sustainability department. The creation of these jobs is good for two reasons. The first concerns listening to public opinion, for all the years where civil society appeared voiceless and unanswered — companies now listen and listen carefully; the fear of degrading press haunts any communications team. The second is that millennials, those most concerned with the ethical and sustainable lifestyle, have jobs to enter into after they graduate from university. Ethical business, sustainability, procurement (sourcing of goods and services), legal compliance and human rights — all of these are areas of concern due to legislation and civil society action.
The climate change rhetoric continues to persist, for example: ‘we must reduce our carbon emissions’, ‘we must recycle’ and ‘don’t drive your car if you can walk or take the bus’. I for one, have tried to think about these momentarily but haven’t taken serious action to ensure my everyday life is equipped to be sustainable. This may be the same for others. The advice is out there, but my motivation to find it and to be a contributor to end climate change doesn’t exist. However, this is me as an individual, of course I do want to be a helping hand to conclude suffering in developing countries where we see the greatest impacts, yet I feel this must be a collective effort.
The answer could lie in climate change-related events, museum exhibitions or through social media influencers. For example, if I saw Casey Neistat actively promoting the use of sustainable packaging over usual plastics, I would be more inclined to pay the extra money to be ethical and planet-friendly. Museum exhibitions such as Tate Modern’s take on the environment or live street art displays, could all also ignite the spark. The numbers for climate change don’t lean in the human race’s favour, and I believe that if every human, including myself, took action — there could be significant progress made in a short period of time.
This won’t be the last article on climate change. This isn’t the first, and I think that’s part of the problem. People are now so consumed by their daily lives which are ever-changing in their own right — there is little room to manoeuvre. The issue may not be the media, but the lack of exposure to influencers. The climate change conversation remains an integral part of our daily discourse, but for how long before the world makes decisions to save its resting ground is anybody’s guess.