According to Inhabitat, while there is a scientific unity that global warming is true and that it is caused by human activity, whether or not climate change can be slowed down or possibly reversed is fiercely debated in the scientific community. Some of the climate experts like Guy McPherson stated that near-term human extinction is imminent while other climate change scientist like Micheal Mann believe that it’s not too late to save human civilization from a climate catastrophe. Thus, many are asking what actions should be taken in order to restore a safe and stable climate. Below are 6 steps to take to help in slowing down climate change.
1. Restore the Ecosystems
As stated by the Biodiversity for a Livable Climate, the focus on reducing fossil fuel emissions is one of the primary solutions in reversing climate change is a misguided solution and futile. The organisation argues that atmospheric CO2 concentrations that have gone over 400 parts per million in Antarctica for the first time in 4 million years will not go down without any significant rise in the carbon sequestration mechanisms of the biosphere. By restoring grasslands, soils, wetlands, forests, green and coastal ecosystems can cut of gigatons of atmospheric carbon and cool the biosphere.
2. Encourage Regenerative Agriculture
According to Dr. Ratan Lal, soil scientist at Ohio State University. A 2% rise in carbon content of the Earth’s soil could offset 100% of greenhouse gas emissions going into the atmosphere. Factory farming and industrial agriculture are the major contributors to global warming. It emitted 6 billion tons of greenhouse gasses last 2011 or about 13% of the total global emission. Shifting for factory farming to carbon farming can play an important part in reversing global warming. Any organically managed soils can remove carbon from the atmosphere safely store carbon in soil organic matter.
3. Attain Net Zero Greenhouse Gas Emissions
Many countries and organisations worldwide have committed to carbon neutrality. The Vatican City has already achieved net zero greenhouse gas emissions because they have installed solar panels, plus they are the smallest state in the world thus making it easier for them to reach the goal. Bhutan also had impressively has gone beyond carbon neutral to become carbon negative. Countries pledging carbon neutrality include Iceland, Costa Rica, Maldives, Norway, New Zealand, Sweden, Tuvalu and British Columbia. Many transportation sectors are moving toward zero emissions technology. The age of hybrid and electric cars is now here with the Toyota Prius, Chevy Bolt and Tesla Model 3. Solar Impulse 2’s around the world flight powered only by solar and electric shows that zero emissions in aviation is possible in the future.
4. Make the Switch to 100% Renewable Energy Sources
Many countries around the world are working non-stop on scaling up on renewable energy sources like solar energy, hydropower, wind power, geothermal, wave power, tidal power and biogas to replace fossil fuels. Germany, the United Kingdom, United States and Australia are notable for promoting, producing and using renewable energy sources.
5. Enhance Energy Efficiency
Energy efficiency investments have huge potential in reducing greenhouse gas emissions. According to the International Energy Agency’s report, energy efficiency improvements since 1990 have blocked more than 870 million tons of carbon emissions in 2014 and 10 billion tonnes over the last 25 years. The agency stated that energy efficiency is the most powerful and effective tool in reducing energy sector carbon emissions.
6. Switching to a Plant-based Diet
A new study by Oxford University researchers published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences finds that switching to a vegetarian diet can cut food-related greenhouse gas emissions by 63% by 2050 and that switching to a vegan diet can reduce carbon emissions by 70%. This can be hard for meat eaters around the world. At present, the modern food system is responsible for more than ¼ of all greenhouse gases and that eating less meat and switching to a plant-based diet is essential in meeting the climate targets that was set in the Paris agreement.
So, less steak and sausages for now.