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Reasons to be a climate optimist

Clouds Clearing
CC Image courtesy of U.S Geological Survey.

For everyone who thirsts for hope in the climate debate: It’s not too late.

With the Arctic ice melting faster than expected and marine creatures suffering a plastic death, it’s hard to find tendencies of which can provide us hope in reversing this development in time. But trust me, they’re there.

One good reason to remain optimistic rests on the awakening of political actions.

The Paris-agreement entered into force this weekend, ratified by countries from across the continents. It’s a small step, but it’s a historical one.

Secondly, the amount of renewable energy being produced is higher than ever, providing an estimated 19.2% of global energy consumption last year. Consequently, the global CO2 emissions from energy production have remained somewhat stable over the recent years.

Perhaps most importantly, big corporations are steering towards a greener economy.

Not because of idealism in all likelihood, but because of the realisation that it is unsustainable to base the world economy on oil and coal in the future.

The public support of the green restructuring feeds also the hope for sustainable change.

The public cries for change to preserve the planet for our descendants have influenced the decision-makers. Environmental policies are now increasingly shaping the political debates.

Additionally, individuals take matters into their own hands. In Sweden, for example, one in ten have adopted a meatless diet, an increase of 4% since 2009.

Less meat means less land for animal feed production, and thus less deforestation, which again equals a better CO2 balance.

But is this enough? We don’t know how this is going to end, and there are no guarantees.

In his new documentary Before the Flood, Leonardo DiCaprio concludes: “What we can do is control what we do next, how we live our lives.”

And this is the consolation for everyone in search for hope: It’s not too late to act. Buy, behave and vote greener.





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