Climate change has been all over the news this summer. There’s been extreme weather at home and worse in other parts of the world. In a novel effort to raise concerns, Greta Thunberg sailed to New York for a UN climate summit. Fires raged in the Amazon. And – some positive news that got a bit lost in the Brexit chaos last week – a bold commitment from the Scottish Government to end Scotland’s contribution to climate change by 2045.
It is clear that climate change is an emergency. Most people now accept the need for action. But it can also feel a bit overwhelming and it can be hard to know where to start.
Fife Communities Climate Action Network is a network of community organisations in Fife all of which are taking action on Climate Change. Our members are charities and volunteer groups who do amazing work in their communities. There are community fridges tackling food waste, an advice service helping people cut their energy use, projects encouraging people to grow their own food, and much more. If you are not already involved with one of these organisations, please join or support your nearest one.
We can also do a lot as individuals. We can make changes to our lifestyle and shopping choices, and we can lobby our governments to take action at a national and international level.
Here are some of our ideas
Are you worried about deforestation and the fires burning in the Amazon? We all should be – the Amazon is a huge global sink of carbon dioxide as well as being home to many peoples and truly amazing biodiversity. Most of the fires are manmade, deliberately started, driven by expanding agriculture; namely cattle-grazing and crops like soy that are grown to feed livestock.
There are two key things we can all do about this.
The first is political – you can join, or donate to, a party or a campaigning organisation that makes climate change a priority. Groups like Friends of the Earth, WWF and others urge governments to take action.
Second, think twice before buying beef. Avoid any beef from Brazil, as a start – but it is more complicated than that. UK pigs and dairy cows are often fed with imported soy, and meat/dairy production is also responsible for high levels of direct greenhouse gas emissions. The sustainability of food is complicated. As ethical consumers we try to support local producers, avoid plastic packaging and reduce food waste, all the while trying to keep our families healthy and happy. The evidence is clear though – if we want to help tackle climate change, one of the most effective actions we can take is to reduce meat and dairy.
Now tell us your ideas
What do you think people should do about climate change? We would love to hear what you think. Please leave comments on our social media pages or email us with your ideas.