Most adults are in denial about climate change. They feel guilty that they may be part of the problem, so either pretend it is not a problem or argue they are too busy or powerless to deal with it. Either way they are not thinking about solutions and continuing as usual. This is where you can make a huge difference.
Parents love their children and want them to have a great life. That is why they push us at school, want us to eat healthily and try to make us happy. If you are worried about climate change, talk to them about it: explain the problem and ask them to make specific changes that will help. They will want to grant you your wishes, you just need to guide them one step at a time as to what to do. If anyone can persuade your parents to do anything, it is you.
You probably know that CO2 causes global warming and what that means for the planet, but how much CO2 is released by industry, transport etc? What changes would have the greatest impact? What is stopping those changes? What is your carbon footprint and where does it come from? Food, heating, holidays, clothes? What can you do to reduce it? Search for facts, dig deeper than sound bites. Knowledge is power, work on it. Then you can determine what to focus on first.
We all live on the same planet. Every person in every country needs to understand and work on this. Not just China, India and USA, but everybody, everywhere. This feels very daunting, but there are 1.9bn young people around the world. Together you represent 1/4 of the world’s population. You each just need to influence 3 adults to get everybody on board. Join Greta Thurnberg’s global youth movement to stay in touch and add your voice. Think about who you can influence? Maybe your dad or mum works in the cement or steel industry? Changing processes in these two industries alone could reduce carbon emissions by up to 15% globally.
Start at Home. How can you reduce your families’ carbon footprint by 10% a year? Can you switch to LED lighting, add insulation? Switch to renewable energy to light and heat your home? Cycle to work? Change your diet?
Then see what you can do locally, as you can’t get to zero unless everything you use is also at zero. Including your school. Start or join a local climate club and see how you can help your school get to zero carbon footprint. It will not be easy to get to zero, but the sooner we start the more time we have to tackle the last pieces. Solar is the easiest first step, it’s not enough on its own, but it buys time and starts the journey to zero carbon. See how much carbon dioxide emissions your school could save by going solar at:
You can then design various systems to see what makes sense for your school and see if you can persuade your school to go solar as a student led project. We are here to help you along the way!