“No matter the outcome of the international climate negotiations, it is clear that now more than ever before, we need the ideas and contributions of as many people as possible to address climate change,” –– Thomas Malone, MIT Climate CoLab
However, this climate agreement is a step forward for humanity. As a species collectively, we have never done something like this big before. Leaders agreed that we made a huge mistake and have to fix it as soon as possible. Their pact sends a signal to banks and investors that the world is serious about climate change. The agreement makes it clear that our money will be better spent on putting more renewable energy online. After years fighting (and I don’t use this word lightly) for more sustainable design that would decrease carbon emissions here at Re-nourish, I can tell you, despite its pitfalls (like a disregard for human rights), this agreement gives me some hope. It won’t, most likely, prevent oceans from rising or other gloomy predictions by scientists, from coming true, but it’s passing officially ends the fossil fuel era and shows an agreed upon path forward. Clean energy entrepreneur Assad Razzouk hopefully predicts “(m)ore money will be lost in fossil fuel stocks and bonds; more investors will divest; and more oil and gas exploration projects will be abandoned, forever.” This switch in investing is what the world needs to do to reach the $16.5 trillion needed in new renewables to mitigate most catastrophic possibilities from climate change. This will be a systems change.
- Place a greater emphasis on empathy in our work. Understanding who we are designing with/for will create more durable and relevant work, while helping ourselves understand each other better. Unity is key for collective action.
- Always choose vendors that use renewable energy
- If designing for print, choose post-consumer waste or agri-fiber papers. (And don’t forget the vegetable-based inks)
- Employ the mantra that “less is more”
As a global citizen and in your personal work (outside of biking and becoming a vegetarian) we should:
- Spend more time in nature. Learn more about its value.
- Create awareness campaigns to help:
- inform about and eliminate the subsidies for fossil fuel industries. (This will also help lower your taxes.)
- promote those same subsidies be invested in renewable energy companies ASAP
- stop the planned new 2,440 coal plants globally
- Demand a global carbon price.. oil and coal must pay for their impacts on environment!
- Take part in collective design action in places like Climate CoLab
- Tithe your time or money to non-profit groups (like 350.org) that need help preventing this climate change catastrophe
What the future definitively holds for all of us is uncertain, but we should all know that change is coming!