What can you do about climate change? Part 1
Part one of our ‘what can you do about climate change’ series, taken from our digital marketing book ‘Shoot the HiPPO: How to be a killer digital marketing manager‘. Written by Marketa Benisek.
“The greatest threat to our planet is the belief that someone else will save it.”
We choose to go to the Moon. Achieving the impossible.
‘We choose to go to the Moon in this decade, not because that will be easy, but because it will be hard – because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one which we intend to win.’ president John f. Kennedy, September 1962
Kennedy’s mission of putting a man on the Moon by the end of the decade is similar to the one we are now facing with climate change.
His speech inspired people to make the impossible possible. It also led to a space mission that has contributed to a complete change of people’s perception of and relationship with the planet Earth.
On Christmas Eve in 1968, astronauts Frank Borman, Jim Lovell and Bill Anders were orbiting the Moon on Apollo 8, a mission to find the best spot for a future landing.
They were equipped with high resolution cameras to capture images of the Moon’s surface.
At one point, Bill Anders saw the Earth ‘rising’ from behind the lunar horizon and took a photo. Little did he know that this photo named ‘Earthrise’ would become “the most influential environmental photograph ever taken”, as declared by nature photographer Galen Rowell in Life’s “100 Photographs That Changed The World”.
The power of the ‘Earthrise’ photo was in its depiction of the beauty of our planet from a perspective previously unseen by all but a few astronauts. As Anders noted, “people realised that we lived on this fragile planet and that we needed to take care of it.”
It also inspired the poet Archibald MacLeish who wrote, “to see the Earth as it truly is, small and blue and beautiful in that eternal silence where it floats, is to see ourselves as riders on the Earth together, brothers on that bright loveliness in the eternal cold.” Earthrise inspired many environmental movements and helped us realise that Earth is the only home we have.
Ignoring the warnings
Our climate has been warming since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution, around 1850, when we started burning fossil fuels to create energy for manufacturing, heating, and transport.
As far back as 1965, a report prepared by America’s Presidential Science Advisory Committee made politicians directly aware of the devastating impact that burning fossil fuels has on the planet.
For decades, we’ve been ignoring these warnings and focusing on economic growth and high living standards. However, since the start of the century we have been witnessing the impact of our actions through extreme weather events including intense rainstorms, heat waves, powerful hurricanes, severe droughts, bushfires, and melting glaciers.
All of these events are causing the sea level to rise and coastal areas to flood, destroying homes and disrupting vital ecosystems on our planet.
Together we can make a difference
The man-made climate crisis is no longer something we can ignore.
It is too late to deny scientific facts. Every small step towards a sustainable future can make a big difference on a global scale.
People all over the world have been waking up, using their voices and making better choices to secure a better future on this planet. We must all contribute to protecting our environment. We can still change things and avoid even more devastating consequences of climate change.
But to do that, we must work together.
In part two we will provide some examples of things we can all do (online and offline) to ease climate change…