Sometimes, climate change can seem like an unwinnable fight. The problem is global, and that requires global coordination and global solutions. The wheels of international politics move slowly, but more and more countries are getting on board, and more will continue to join in. You may be wondering what exactly needs to be done, and you may be expecting a highly technical answer, but the basics are actually pretty straightforward.
We must invest in renewable energy project development. This is like applying a bandage to an injury; it won’t heal the injury, but it will stop the bleeding. Switching from fossil fuels to renewables can be done with existing technologies, all that needs to happen is to construct the infrastructure. It’s a huge investment, but it’s also a huge opportunity. It’s not the only thing that needs to be done, though.
It’s unlikely that fossil fuels will vanish overnight, so it’s equally important to increase the efficiency of everything from household appliances to factory farms. On a micro-scale, it’s like changing to energy-efficient lightbulbs. You think it isn’t making a difference until you look at your electrical bill and realize how much you’re saving.
However, the carbon we already put in the atmosphere won’t go anywhere by itself. There is a race to figure out effective carbon capture, but there is a much older way. For millennia, plants of all sizes have been sucking carbon out of the air and turning it into leaves, stalks, roots, and trunks. Replanting forests and re-thinking feedlots and farming can go a long way towards reducing this legacy burden of carbon.
Climate change is the greatest challenge for this generation. Luckily, we already have all the tools we need to solve it. It won’t happen overnight, but it can happen, and indeed, it must.