Climate Change: Can One Person Really Make a Difference?

“Be the change you wish to see in the world.”

Mahatma Gandhi

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A question that has cropped up in everyone’s minds at some point in time but we must not forget that we are more powerful than what we think. The 2°C temperature increase threshold that has been set as the point at which climate change is considered disastrous for humanity will likely be exceeded. In order to avoid this temperature increase, we must quickly step up our efforts to change into a sustainable civilization in order to minimise suffering and promote human wellbeing.

Although you’re just one person, the size of your carbon footprint (the amount of greenhouse gas emissions attributable to you) may surprise you. Nearly everyone produces several tonnes of greenhouse gases, or GHGs, each year (1 tonne = 2,204 pounds or 1,000 kg). The US is among the worst offenders. Each person emits 19 tonnes of greenhouse gases per year on average. High-income countries tend to have bigger carbon footprints as you can see in the chart alongside.

What people believe will ultimately become our self-fulfilling prophecy. If enough people believe we’re powerful and take action to beat climate change, we will. If enough people think we’re powerless and can’t stop it, we won’t. We’ll continue on our path of relative inaction and be at the mercy of a runaway climate. Right now, too many people think we’re powerless. We can change that.

– Henry Ford

You can choose to be a part of the solution or do nothing and be a part of the problem. Unfortunately, those are the only two options. You have to pick one or the other because doing nothing is a decision in itself.

Your actions do matter.

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