We live in a ever changing, fast paced world. Almost ever since I was a small boy there has been talk of a climate change and that we have to change the way we life in order to fight it. I remember the feeling of dread because even at that time it was mentioned that the polar caps would melt (within a 100 years) and sea levels would rise and so forth. But back then, as it is now, governments don’t seem to take it seriously.
And we, children of the 1970’s didn’t know how.
Now, several decades later some are saying that it is not a climate change anymore, but an actual climate crisis that we are facing. One of these people is a Twitter acquaintance of mine, a brilliant, young person, who has been sacrificing his time to be on the steps of the Finnish Parliament every Friday, reminding us all that we need to do something.
And I dread to admit – the younger generation is correct! What we are seeing now, with weather forecasts telling that here in Finland, the heat wave most likely continues until September, and that we are currently facing tropical nights when temperatures stay above 20⁰C for the night… These are not normal, people.
We have a home in Andalucía, Spain as well and for the past few years we have seen the effect of heat waves first hand. This year, our apartment was threatened by a forest fire that crept over a mountain in a matter of two hours. And the fire took 5 days (or was it 6?) to put down. Temperatures are at the moment around 30⁰C for the foreseeable future and there is no rain in sight.
As much as I like warmth and dislike darkness, snow, and cold, I still would like to keep the polar caps, and “normal” climate.
Why are you telling us this?
As mentioned before, I know this young climate activist, who has been quite vocal about the climate emergency. But he sees it now, just like my generation were the first to hear about it in the 1980’s. What he doesn’t have, and I do, is the memory of things how this situation has crept worse and worse by our inaction and non-caring attitude.
We can still continue to live our lives and close one eye on the climate, but when it starts to affect us in ways that we have seen lately, then it might already be too late to turn?
Did you know that the rainwater in the whole world is no longer safe to drink? And did you know that the start of the river Thames is now dried up for 1 km? Po River in Italy dried out almost completely, and the water level on the Elbe in the Czechia is at its lowest since the 19th century. It was just mentioned that so-called “hunger stones” became visible from the river with a text “if you see this text, weep”.
These are not isolated incidents, but reality that we have to have the courage to face.
What Can I Do?
Swap your air conditioner to a floor fan. If you need air conditioner, make sure you keep the temperature at at least 23⁰C in the summer. If you live in a wintery country, keep the winter temperature at 18⁰ or 19⁰C inside the house. Wear woolly socks instead of blasting the heating all the time.
Cut down meat from your diet. Have vegetarian and vegan days. Well prepared veg food taste pretty damn good – I recommend Indian or Malaysian take on it. Their spices are pure ❤️.
Recycle! Upcycle! These are very, very important things. Here in Finland it is easy to recycle, and some of the electricity companies are actually using even the bio waste to create electricity. If possible, start to compost, and plant your own kitchen garden.
Upcycling is also a fantastic way to cut down the amount of new products. Especially clothing industry uses a lot of new resources in a year, and a clever way to cut down on this is to return old rags into the clothing stores, like H&M, or donate them to a charity stores, where you can also shop for vintage rarities!
I love travelling, and I don’t even want to cut it out from my life. BUT be conscious about it. Recently during our trip to Italy, we travelled from Naples to Rome with a train, and also to Pompei. True, we still flew from Helsinki to Naples and back, but tried to choose a company with the most modern aircrafts. And, truth to be told, I would have loved to go by train all the way, but modern life sets certain limitations with time. Sadly.
If you live in a detached house, consider solar panels. In many places you can feed the excess energy to the electric companies who will pay you a small fee for doing that. Not only are you on your way to be more self-sufficient, but you are giving back to the community as well.
And This Will Save The World?
If one person does this – nothing will change. But when enough of us start living more consciously, we can and will make a difference. And with our example, the politicians will follow.
Because they want votes and to stay in power. And if in elections they can garner more votes from people with green values, they have to act on it on governmental level as well. Why do you think gay marriages are more widely accepted now? Because there are enough of the people rooting for it. Same will happen with climate emergency.
Norway is one of the biggest oil producing countries, and yet their government is pushing for electric car loading station infrastructure and offering lucrative incentives for people to upgrade their cars to electric. They do this even if it means less tax money from fossil fuels.
I have no children, and most likely will never have but it still doesn’t mean I could be recless and uncaring. There are enough people with children, and I want to make my part to give them a world where it is still good to be outside and play.