The 24 Reasons To Choose HOPE guide (from the Climate Reality Project) forms the backdrop for and is the primary resource for this article.The news about climate change is often quite grim but underneath this cloud of uncertainty and unease we have many reasons to choose climate hope. The following consists mostly of excerpts from the guide displayed under four main headings.
Reasons To Choose Climate Hope
If you need some climate hope and if you’re fighting for a sustainable future, then you owe it to yourself to take five minutes to read this piece.
Change is happening. A better future is in our grasp. Help spread #ClimateHope.
1. Renewables are growing and getting cheaper
Due to declining costs and improvements in renewable technologies, solar and wind projects are being built in more places around the globe more cheaply than any time in history.
Some studies estimate that 100 percent of the world’s energy needs could be met with renewable sources by mid-century, as long as the right supportive public policies are put in place to help implement them.
Rooftop solar is becoming cost-competitive and poised to reach solar grid parity by 2020. We’re seeing incredible progress in energy storage as batteries get better and demand keeps growing.
Wind energy is now powering more and more of our energy needs. In the first six months of 2017, wind energy supplied 57 percent of Scotland’s total energy needs, and the nation opened the world’s first floating wind farm, expanding the possibility of installing turbines on stretches of ocean that were previously unavailable.
The electric vehicle (EV) market is booming. Global annual sales of EVs have grown tenfold in just five years. There are now more than 3 million EVs on the road today.
Transportation is more efficient and public transit is growing. Technical improvements for new vehicles could avoid about 1.4 gigatons of CO2 annually by 2030, several countries are implementing eco-driving programs, and emissions mandates on cars in the US and EU are saving drivers at the pump in a big way. Meanwhile, huge investments in public transportation in countries like India and Colombia are helping contribute to energy conservation, land preservation, reduced air pollution, and so much more.
2. People Are Standing Up
From major businesses and brands seeing the financial value of a clean energy economy to millions of people from all corners of the globe and all walks of life raising their voices in support of a sustainable future for the planet, there has never been more demand for action or more reasons to be hopeful.
Financial institutions are pulling away from dirty energy seeing that investment in fossil fuels is risky business. As renewable energy becomes more affordable and pressure builds for the world to reduce carbon emissions, it’s starting to look like the finance industry is wising up.
Large businesses and global brands are going green. Tech giants Google and Apple both recently announced they reached 100 percent renewable energy for their global operations.
Young people are getting involved and have become the most vocal group in the climate fight, perhaps because they have the most to lose. Student groups have led the charge for more solar-powered schools and divestment from fossil fuels. The drive we see from young people today to preserve our planet is reason enough to support leaders who can make a real change for their futures.
Faith communities are embracing renewables. In 2015, Pope Francis called for urgent dialogue on global environmental issues, including climate change. When it comes to action, religious groups are organizing people of faith by the thousands to support a sustainable future.
The tide is turning on public opinion. A 2017 Pew Research survey showed that an overwhelming majority of people worldwide believe the climate crisis is a major threat – with respondents in 13 countries, mostly in Latin America and Africa, identifying global climate change as the topmost threat to their nation.
3. The Benefits Are Clear
There’s another reason support for clean energy and other climate solutions is growing around the world: the benefits are there to see for anyone with eyes. From helping fight poverty to cleaning up the air we breathe, the real-world results of shifting to renewables are just too positive and powerful to ignore.
Clean energy is reducing global poverty and expanding energy access. Clean energy not only saves lives but also makes the world more secure. With a warming climate come the challenges of ensuring food and water security for millions, sometimes spurring human migrations and further destabilizing vulnerable countries. Off-grid solar in Africa is a potential market worth billions of dollars.
Clean energy improves public health. It’s simple: burning fossil fuels pollutes our air, water, and land, and exposure to this pollution can result in deadly illnesses.
Deforestation accounts for approximately 10-12 percent of global emissions – that’s about the same, if not slightly more, than transportation. When we protect forests, which store hundreds of billions of metric tons of carbon worldwide, we’re keeping that carbon where it belongs.
Climate-smart agriculture is growing. According to the IPCC, agriculture, forestry, and other land use accounts for roughly 24 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions, but the good news is this: we’re getting smarter about how we farm.
Clean energy is creating jobs. Last year, the renewable energy industry put 9.8 million people worldwide to work. And by 2030, if we double the share of renewable energy in the global energy mix, the sector could employ more than 24 million people. In the US alone, solar energy is the top employer in the US electric power sector, accounting for 43 percent of the total jobs in the field, and is creating jobs nine times faster than the rest of the US economy.
4. Local Action Is Taking Off
US mayors are stepping up. On June 1, 2017, 402 American mayors (representing some 68 million Americans) from towns and cities both big and small pledged to “adopt, honor, and uphold the commitments to the goals enshrined in the Paris Agreement” through the Climate Mayors effort.
In 2017 alone, nearly 3000 citizens became Climate Reality Leaders. The Climate Reality Leadership Corps takes great leaders and makes them exceptional, providing training in climate science, communications, and organizing in order to better tell the story of climate change and inspire their communities to take action.
All around the world, momentum for clean energy is growing rapidly at state, local, and regional levels. In Canada, provincial governments are implementing effective carbon taxes. States in India are vying with each other to develop the most solar power. Nineteen countries in Africa have joined forces to fuel sustainable growth and energy security. US states like California and New York are pressing forward with aggressive climate action plans.
Major cities are stepping up and leading the fight on climate solutions. Where to begin? Copenhagen: aims to be carbon neutral by 2025. San Francisco: plans to achieve 100 percent renewable energy supply by 2020. Barcelona: requires 60 percent of hot water to be generated with solar energy. Los Angeles: plans to become coal-free by 2025. Paris is promoting bike and car sharing services. In Taiyuan (China), only EV taxi fleets are allowed and many US cities also have their own drive-clean programs such as hybrid police cruisers.
There are more ways than ever to make a big difference. Around the world, community solar – where a community comes together to purchase or develop a solar farm whose electricity is then shared – is taking off, and at the same time the price of personal rooftop solar continues to drop.
It’s Within Our Grasp
Solving the climate crisis is within our grasp, but we need people like you to be the voice of reality. Because our planet is in danger. Our future is at stake. And we will have a voice.
Use yours to write a letter to the editor, or simply share your concerns about the climate crisis widely with your social networks.
When you talk, your friends and family listen. Discussing the reality of the climate crisis is your chance to change minds and ensure the people you care about know what is happening to the planet – and what they can do about it.
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