What Steps Can We Take To Reduce Climate Change?


What are the steps can we take to reduce climate change? How feasible are they? originally appeared on Quora: the place to gain and share knowledge, empowering people to learn from others and better understand the world.

Answer by Karen Piper, Author of A Girl’s Guide to Missiles, on Quora:

There is something called the C02 cycle that dictates this for us. No matter what we do, things will get worse for around 100 years. The big question is: how much worse? We have the power to make it catastrophically (die-in-twenty-years) worse or only slightly and slowly worse.

There is no “things will be better” anymore. For my generation, which was taught that there would always be “progress,” this is a hard concept to grasp. Today, the real question is who or what will survive. Today, we have to start thinking about stages of regress.

That said, within this context, I absolutely believe that it is feasible to reduce the impact of climate change. There is only one way to do it: Get off gas and oil. Period. We need to switch to wind, solar, wave, and whatever other sources of energy we can find. Small scale sources. Everywhere.

Unfortunately, the opposite is occurring.

Right now, you have Russia, the Middle East, and the US fighting over who gets to be dominant in pumping and selling oil and gas. Russia is an oil economy that only maintains power by pumping oil and is looking aggressively towards moving into the Arctic for that reason. Other countries like Venezuela and Saudi Arabia are also oil economies. The US and Canada switched to fracking and tar sands extraction once oil reserves began to be depleted.

Greed will get the best of too many bad actors if we let it, but I believe that climate change can be slowed down, and eventually ended, through legislation. The U.S. needs to get back into the UN Paris Agreement and also work towards making it enforceable. I tell students worried about climate change to vote for whomever promises to stop it. I don’t care if it’s a Democrat or Republican. Climate change is not a partisan issue. Even the U.S. Navy and Pentagon have warned that climate change is our biggest national security threat!

I personally think we have a lot of power if we say, “ENOUGH.” Together.

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