The discussion about climate change has been a long and tedious one. Over the years, even though more people are recognizing its impact on the planet, there is still a large chunk of the global population that refuses to acknowledge its urgency.
Carbon footprint reduction is an ideal worldwide goal, however, it’s a concept that’s still too far from our grasp. These emission-reduction targets present significant challenges not only to experts but to the human race as a whole.
Here we highlight some major influencers on climate who work across multiple industries; people who are willing to step up to drive a change.
Director of Research Centre for Theoretical Cosmology, University of Cambridge (USA)
“I don’t think we will last another 1000 years without escaping beyond our fragile planet.”
Internationally renowned professor Stephen Hawking has claimed that the human race will go extinct in the next 1000 years, partially because of our neglect of the environment. He even went as far as saying that humans need to start looking for another planet for the species to survive. This poses a big problem for all of humanity: where do we go when the Earth becomes uninhabitable? Are we expected to leave an find a new planet with pristine resources?
But more importantly…
Technology Entrepreneur, Investor, and Engineer (USA)
“We are running the most dangerous experimenting history right now, which is to see how much carbon dioxide the atmosphere can handle before there is an environmental catastrophe.”
Elon Musk is known for paving the way for sustainability through his innovations at Tesla. He believes that vehicles that don’t use petrol should be marketed as great environmental solutions. He dreams of a world where vehicles are powered by renewable energy, greatly reducing the amount of our carbon footprint.
Leonardo Simon Coveney
Minister at the Department of Housing, Planning, Community and Local Government (Ireland)
“It is time to bin climate change denial.”
An increase in the housing outputs over the coming years has placed our planet into a more compromised position. And while domestic building regulations are robust, the commercial standards are due an upgrade. Coveney is known for supporting councils that choose to make difficult, ambitious, but crucial decisions.
Actor, Film Producer, and Environmentalist (USA)
“This is not a partisan debate; it’s a human one. Clean air and water and a livable climate are inalienable human rights. And solving this crisis is not a question of politics. It is our moral obligation.”
The Hollywood superstar has been vocal about the need to push for sustainable means in our efforts to save the environment. In his 2016 Oscar win acceptance speech, he voiced his concerns about climate change and encouraged all the people to take part in the collective task of saving the planet.
“The violence that exists in the human heart, wounded by sin, is also manifest in the symptoms of illness that we see in the Earth, the water, the air and in living things.”
Pope Francis’ environmental advocacy stem from the Catholic teaching on care for creation. Our planet is a gift that should be valued and protected over our personal agendas. A life that causes no harm is a life that is worth living and sharing.
Diplomat, Executive Secretary of the UNFCCC in 2010 (Coasta Rica)
“Climate change increasingly poses one of the biggest long-term threats to investments.”
Christiana Figueres stresses the urgency to work together in battling climate change. She believes that it carries public health implications way beyond national borders, which should make it a crucial case that requires a coordinated international response.
The fight against climate change requires a collective effort. No single individual nor agency can make the difference that's best for the planet. In our own little ways, we can minimize our carbon footprint by choosing to do sustainable practices in our daily lives.
For instance, we can lessen the use of fossil fuels by installing artificial grass instead of natural lawn. Natural lawn requires the monthly use of lawn mowers (sometimes even weekly) for maintenance. Most of these lawn mowers are petrol guzzlers that contribute substantially to the greenhouse effect.
Another way to lessen your carbon footprint is to repurpose what you already have; or refuse what you don’t really need. This works especially for single-use products and those that are seasonal or only for very short periods.
Awareness is a vital part of this environmental movement. The more we educate, the more people will join in on this revolution. All it takes is one small step to make a difference. It might not seem much, but it counts.