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  • Writer's pictureThe Climate Coach

Our lives won't be worse, they'll just be different

One of the big barriers to taking action on climate change is that it is often associated with having to make "sacrifices" and therefore life being worse than it would be if we took no action. Here's another perspective...

Let's be honest for a moment, taking no climate action at all whilst in the possession of the knowledge and facts about climate change is arguably short sighted and selfish. Even more so in "high income" countries who have historically created the majority of global emissions. It's hard to find evidence that supports us not taking action...

To add to the overwhelming evidence, in many areas now there are even credible alternatives to the high emission norms - often at no additional cost and requiring no "sacrifice". In fact, as we've discussed in some of our previous posts many of the things that reduce your climate impact actually save you money too (e.g. changing what you eat or reducing your energy consumption).

Ok - so what's your perspective then?

It's a more positive one summed up by the title of this post. Some things will need to change and so they will of course be different - and that may feel difficult for some, as change often does but at the same time the majority of things will get significantly better. In the UK and Europe, we desperately need to lead the way and show how it can be done - and quickly!

Why do we need to lead the way ?

Put simply because we generate the most emissions now - and have done historically thus we have the biggest opportunity to reduce them and show what can be done. The charts below from Our World in Data help illustrate why - with high and upper-middle income people from the USA and Europe having the highest per person per year emissions.

Give me some examples

1) Food

It will be a big change to transition to a more plant based diet. But plant based food can and should taste just as good, if not better than animal based foods. Some of this - we probably won't even notice where animal ingredients which make very little difference to the taste of a product are just removed/replaced by plant based alternatives. Many plant based products already taste almost identical to the product they are aiming to replace. The secondary benefits will be primarily improved health (both physical and mental), but also less waste and lower food costs.

2) Energy.

Reducing energy consumption is a no brainer where it's easily possible. Energy is expensive so regardless of climate - it really pays to reduce our usage. There is no sacrifice in the majority of this as a huge amount can be done without causing an inconvenience to our lives or having to make major changes to how we do things. Even where it does cause an inconvenience, the secondary benefits are substantial in terms of cost (including making energy cheaper for all by supporting the transition to cheaper renewables) but also creating cleaner air for everyone.

3) Transport.

People are already lamenting the loss of the "feeling" or "sound" of driving a petrol engined car - but this is just a change from something we've gotten used to. Our kids won't have these same feelings. Electric cars will soon become cheaper to buy, run and maintain than internal combustion engine cars (we're actually almost at this tipping point already at time of writing) - and ultimately become the norm. The secondary benefits primarily focus on cost here but with the obvious massive improvements to air quality and noise pollution.

So in summary...

For the most part, taking climate action just makes sense. Sure, we'll miss some things we currently enjoy (just like the generations before us miss things from the past now) but ultimately the benefits of the change for outweigh doing nothing.

Our lives won't be worse, they'll just be different.

If you have any thoughts, feedback or ideas you wish to contribute on this or any other topic covered by The Climate Coach - please get in touch, we'd love to hear from you.

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