Climate change: what is the real challenge?

 We have recently launched a Call for book or chapter proposals in Climate Change Communication. What is the real challenge behind climate change and what is the role of communication?

 

On April 22nd, over 130 countries will sign the Paris Climate Change AgreementAlthough an agreement is a good sign, we need more than that. This video by Vox nicely explains what is at stake.

 

Some do not even believe climate change is happening. However, proofs are right out there and they are overwhelming.

Climate change effects are being felt in every corner of the planet and the consequences are imminent for life in lands and oceans. Temperature is increasing, that is a fact. You may have even seen almond trees blooming this winter … which is not normal. Something is happening. Ice is melting, coral reefs are dying, sea levels are increasing… In a nutshell, ecosystems are being harmed. And guess what? We are but part of the ecosystem.

Climate change can be seen as a message from the planet to us. “You, humans, are stepping over limits, you are taking too much without thinking of the implications, on the rest of the species, on the natural cycles.”

The good news? It is in our hands to act. 

 

 

When it comes to climate change these days, everyone talks about sustainability.

 

What is sustainability? Well, sustainability is not about becoming “green” or “ecological” and "saving the whales", as some people may think, but about becoming “conscious” about our everyday decisions.

 

A sustainable way of living involves using things or resources in such a way they can last or continue for a long time. For instance, using renewable energy, converting and recycling. We can use the energy we need and there will always be energy available for next generations. For example, solar energy. Living in a sustainable way is a personal choice. We can cycle, walk, exercise ourselves all the while reducing CO2 emissions. We can always think twice. Do I really need to take a plane? Could I take a train instead? It is thinking about the implications of the products and food we buy. Local food is always a better option than processed products. It does not need hours of transportation (i.e. CO2 emission) and is usually fresher, healthier and tastes better. We could even think about growing some of our food ourselves...

 

Taking better decisions is not a list of things that we can do, it is rather a way of thinking that one can develop. Understanding climate change is about thinking how our society needs to change, and acting towards that direction.

Page last updated on April 18th 2016. All information correct at the time, but subject to change.

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