To find out how many emissions you need to ‘buy’ back, you can use its handy carbon footprint calculator. A 2015 study by the Institute of Transportation Studies at UC Davis found that a dramatic global increase in bicycling could reduce urban transportation emissions up to 10 percent by 2050. One way to potentially slow the effects of climate change is by implementing a … The cost of utility-scale solar panels has fallen 73% since 2010, for example, making solar energy the cheapest source of electricity for many households in Latin America, Asia and Africa. Here’s your handy guide to the most effective strategies. People who want to learn about and take action on the world’s biggest challenges. Read about our approach to external linking. We’re already seeing the effects of human-caused climate change — but nature can help. UC Davis professor Eric Post and colleagues note tips for how to do that in a 2017 BioScience study. We’re already seeing the effects of climate change, but thankfully, the planet is equipped with a powerful tool for stabilizing the climate: … Climate Science “Smart” power strips can shut off phantom power to electronics when they’re not in use. 10. Curiosity Virtual meetings, holidaying in local destinations or using trains instead of planes all are ways to cut down. In … It’s a teensy thing, but bringing your own reusable cup or coffee mug is easy and feels good. By reducing your consumption of animal protein by half, you can cut your diet's carbon footprint by more than 40%. This is important because we need “unprecedented changes in all aspects of society to deal with climate change, says the IPCC report. Kat Kerlin is an environmental science writer and media relations specialist at UC Davis. If you liked this story, sign up for the weekly bbc.com features newsletter, called “If You Only Read 6 Things This Week”. Here’s our guide. Those are hard, philosophical questions – and we’re not going to try to answer them here. Here’s how you can actually help stop climate change. It increases the likelihood of flooding in Miami and elsewhere, threatens the millions of people living along the Brahmaputra River in north-eastern India and disrupts the sex life of plants and animals. One is whether you are responsible for children’s climate emissions, and the other is where are these babies born. The clothing sector makes up about 3% of the world’s CO2 emissions (Credit: Getty). Eat leftovers, embrace “ugly” or imperfect produce, and learn other ways to reduce food waste. An advocacy group of researchers, business-people and NGOs called Drawdown found that getting rid of HFCs (chemicals used in fridges and air conditioning)  was the number-one most effective policy to reduce emissions. Even parking your car and riding a bike the rest of the way to your destination can save fossil fuel emissions and introduce some exercise to your day. 2. Research led by NOAA and including UC Davis scientists found that the volatile chemical products in things like shampoo, cleaning products and paint contribute as much to urban air pollution as tailpipe emissions from cars. In the UK, onshore wind and solar are competitive with gas and by 2025 will be the cheapest source of electricity generation. Unplug your computer, toaster, and other appliances when not using them to avoid sucking up needless energy. Other than that, what’s the best daily action I can take? An M.I.T. And if you are not, how should we consider the fact that more people will likely have more carbon emissions? Other changes are needed that can only be made on a bigger, system-wide basis – like revamping our subsidy system for the energy and food industries, which continue to reward fossil fuels, or setting new rules and incentives for sectors like farming, deforestation and waste management. A normal transatlantic round-trip flight can release around 1.6 tonnes of CO2, according to Nicholas’s study – almost as much as the average yearly emissions of one person in India. Here’s my mug: Inspired by research conducted by the California Lighting Technology Center at UC Davis, the University of California’s Million LED Challenge enables UC students, staff and faculty to order high-quality LED bulbs at reduced cost. Some are already more cost-effective. Planes run on fossil fuels, and we haven’t figured out a scaleable alternative. 18 Simple Things You Can Do About Climate Change, UC Davis Center for Water and Energy Efficiency found, As Sea Ice Disappears, A Greener and Browner Arctic Emerges. Find alternatives to plastic whenever possible, and properly dispose of the plastic you do use to keep it out of our oceans and other waterways. But isn’t renewable energy extremely expensive? Should I think about how many children I have (or don’t have)? Fact 5. Although the average human releases around 5 tonnes of CO2 per year, each country has very different circumstances: developed nations like the US and South Korea have higher national averages (16.5 tonnes and 11.5 tonnes per person, respectively) than developing countries like Pakistan and Philippines (around 1 tonne each). Wondering how much your travel contributes to climate change? If you simply can’t make every change that’s needed, consider offsetting your emissions with a trusted green project – not a ‘get out of jail free card’, but another resource in your toolbox to compensate that unavoidable flight or car trip. There are groups of scientists and members of the public who have decided to give up flying or who fly less. What if I just can’t avoid that flight, or cut down on driving? But the opposite is also true: your actions will influence the planet for the coming decades – for better or for worse. If cattle were their own nation, they would be the world’s third largest emitter of greenhouse gases, after China and the US. Exploring ideas and feelings about the changing world through song, visual arts, writing and more can be a powerful way to share your unique perspective and help people understand climate change through a different lens. Children lead to more CO2 emissions – but they may also be future environmentally-minded problem-solvers (Credit: Getty). Here are some tips that you can use in any classroom. Actually, renewables like wind and solar are becoming increasingly cheap across the world (although final costs are subject to local circumstances). The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change was formed in 1988 to collect and assess evidence on climate change. If you’re a UC Davis student, staff or faculty member, calculate your computer’s plug load using a tool developed by the UC Davis Energy Conservation Office. The road towards that transition includes daily decisions within your reach – like driving and flying less, switching to a ‘green’ energy provider and changing what you eat and buy. The meat industry contributes to global warming in three major ways. climatologist and a conservative, Emanuel sounds the alarm in a measured and scientifically sound way, making clear … Diego Arguedas Ortiz is a science and climate change reporter for BBC Future. Could I make a difference by changing my diet? This means voting for legislation and politicians that aid against the … 1. Health. Consider them “re-solutions:”. Scientists have many ways to track climate over time, all of which make it clear that today's climate change is linked to the emission of greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide and methane. If cattle were their own nation, they’d be the world’s third largest emitter of greenhouse gases (Credit: Getty). Patrons at a US cafe who were told that 30% of Americans had started eating less meat. That’s because everything we buy has a carbon footprint, either in the way it is produced or in how it is transported. Save energy by washing your clothes in cool water. Join 900,000+ Future fans by liking us on Facebook, or follow us on Twitter or Instagram. In industrialised countries such as European nations, getting rid of your car can reduce 2.5 tonnes of CO2 – about one-fourth of the average yearly emissions (9.2 tonnes) contributed by each person in developed countries of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). He is @arguedasortiz on Twitter. When people see their neighbours taking environmental action, like conserving energy, they infer that people like them also value sustainability and feel more compelled to act. One way to dramatically curtail transportation fuel ... they may also be humanity's best short-term hope for limiting climate change. What is the single most important thing humanity has to do in the coming years – and what does that mean for me? Firstly, cows’ burping from processing food releases lots of methane, a greenhouse gas. A Cool Place: Projections are that by the mid 21st century, roughly 30 years from now, summer temperatures will be 6 degrees hotter in the middle of North America, from Tennessee to Nevada and … Source: BBC News. For everyone else, there are several options on the market. exercise their rights both as citizens and as consumers, ranked 148 individual actions on climate change, the average yearly emissions (9.2 tonnes) contributed by each person in developed countries, mitigation chapter in the IPCC’s latest report, becoming increasingly cheap across the world, will be on par with or cheaper than fossil fuels by 2020, the cheapest source of electricity for many households in Latin America, Asia and Africa, by 2025 will be the cheapest source of electricity generation, recent evidence suggests these costs are ‘modest’, the world’s third largest emitter of greenhouse gases, cut down gradually and become a ‘flexitarian’, cut your diet's carbon footprint by more than 40%, office-sharing company WeWork did in 2018, This explainer of sustainable diets by the World Resources Institute, commercial flights running on solar energy, the average yearly emissions of one person in India, decided to give up flying or who fly less, this calculator by researchers at the University of California, Berkeley, clothing sector represents around 3% of the world’s global production emissions of CO2, eat food that is both locally grown and seasonal, is the best way to reduce your contribution to climate change, we will need more problem-solvers in future generations, average human releases around 5 tonnes of CO2, were twice as likely to order a meatless lunch, portfolio of dozens of projects around the world. The way … 8. So if you choose to take this question into account, you have to remember that it’s not just about how many children you have – it’s where (and who) you are. “Everyone is going to have to be involved," says Debra Robert, co-chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the group tasked with the report. The power of collective action can be a force to behold. Wear your support for science-informed climate action. It takes more than turning off the lights, but it’s all doable. Going car-free was the number-one most effective action an individual could take (except not having kids – but more on that on that later). If we want to protect our planet from dangerous and unprecedented change, first we must understand the science behind climate change. So we don’t need to ask whether climate change is happening – or whether humans are causing it. Another way, increasingly undertaken by universities, faith groups and recently even at a countrywide level, is to ‘divest’ funds out of polluting activities – such as avoiding stocks in fossil fuels, or banks that invest in high-emission industries. You don’t have to go vegetarian or vegan to make a difference: cut down gradually and become a ‘flexitarian’. Turn off lights in empty rooms (of course) but also ask yourself, “Do I really even need this light on?” I recently had a meeting in a climate science professor’s office that was only lit by daylighting from the window and it was, well, enlightening. That’s a big one, too. That’s because they are up to 9,000 more warming for the atmosphere than CO2. Measure your carbon emissions in this calculator by researchers at the University of California, Berkeley. And we could ask if having children is necessarily a bad thing for solving climate change: our challenges may mean we will need more problem-solvers in future generations, not fewer. | Privacy & Accessibility | Principles of Community | University of California | SitemapCopyright © The Regents of the University of California, Davis campus. If you are responsible for your kids’ emissions, are your parents responsible for yours? And finally, they also require lots of water, fertilisers that can release greenhouse gases, and plenty of land – some of which come from cleared forests, another source of carbon emissions. Individuals need to exercise their rights both as citizens and as consumers, Robert and other experts say, putting pressure on their governments and on companies to make the system-wide changes that are needed. Food Learn about the impact and consequences of climate change and global warming for the environment and our lives. Limiting the use of fossil fuels such as oil, carbon and natural gas and replacing them with renewable and cleaner sources of energy, all while increasing energy efficiency. Delivery trucks have to make more trips when consumers select expedited shipping, explained Miguel Jaller, an assistant professor in the Institute of Transportation Studies at UC Davis, in the New York Times. This will help you ensure that your understanding of climate change and other hot-button scientific issues is grounded in peer-reviewed science. Secondly, we feed them with other potential sources of food, like maize and soy, which makes for a very inefficient process. But this result has been contentious – and it leads to other questions. What We Know About Climate Change by Kerry Emanuel nonfiction. Climate is an ideal interdisciplinary theme for lifelong learning about the scientific process and the ways in which humans affect and are affected by the Earth’s systems. It has caused much damage to people and the environment, by temperatures rising and natural disasters. An online survey showed that of the respondents who know someone who had given up flying because of climate change, In California, households were more likely to install solar panels, Community organisers trying to get people to install solar panels. The greenhouse effect refers to the way the Earth’s atmosphere traps and absorbs solar energy. In an NPR/Ipsos poll, 65% of teachers said they don't talk about climate change because it's not related to the subjects they teach. Their results were covered in the LA Times. Cars are more polluting compared to other means of transportation like walking, biking or using public transport. You can. Better Educate Yourself on Climate Change With These 5 Books FIVE BOOKS These 5 books on climate change and the state of the environment and world are must-reads, especially now. It’s not only nice, it also helps build community resilience. But if I eat less meat or take fewer flights, that’s just me – how much of a difference can that really make? 9. 4. For each degree raised, you can save 3-5 percent on air conditioning costs, for example, according to the American Council for an Energy-Efficiency Economy. She’s the editor of the Science & Climate website and its “What Can I Do About Climate Change?” blog. International transport, including maritime and air shipping, also has an impact. Whether you are a coffee farmer in Colombia or a homeowner in California, climate change will have an impact on your life. This is super simple and super important. But this is not always the case, as some countries grow out-of-season crops in energy-intensive greenhouses – so the best approach is to eat food that is both locally grown and seasonal. Changing how industries are run or subsidised doesn’t sound like anything I can influence... can I? 3. In fact, after fossil fuels, the food industry – and in particular the meat and dairy sector – is one of the most important contributors to climate change. Support climate legislation by doing one or more of these things: Send a letter to party leaders and candidates telling them your vote depends on their stance on global warming Volunteer for a candidate that supports efforts to stop global warming Talk to friends and family about the importance of voting for climate … Climate action isn’t just about energy efficiency and carbon sequestration. All rights reserved. “We should choose more efficient vehicles and, whenever possible, switch directly to electric vehicles,” says Maria Virginia Vilarino, co-author of the mitigation chapter in the IPCC’s latest report. We also could ask whether having offspring is a human right beyond questioning. There are plenty of other ways to tackle climate change: Buy and grow local food, use renewable energy and energy-efficient appliances, insulate your home, nurture soils and grasslands, run for office, explore high- and low-tech ways to capture greenhouse gases, support research and organizations that can mobilize more people and resources to find solutions … But that’s enough for starters. It’s settled science that climate change is real, and we’re starting to see some of the ways that it affects us. The views and opinions expressed on “What Can I Do About Climate Change?” blog posts are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the views of the University of California, Davis. You’re part of the solution. The 10 Best Ways to Combat Climate Change, According to Experts The solutions are in reach. We're also concerned about the impacts and, at the same time, hopeful about what can … Get Active and Vote One of the best ways to improve climate change to is to help those who will fight against it get into office. Of course, it’s true that climate change won’t be solved by your buying or driving habits alone – although many experts agree these are important, and can influence others to make changes too (more on that later). Nicholas’s study concluded that having fewer children is the best way to reduce your contribution to climate change, with almost 60 tonnes of CO2 avoided per year. The planet's average surface temperature has risen about 2.05 degrees Fahrenheit (1.14 degrees Celsius) since the late 19th century, a change driven largely by increased carbon dioxide and other human … Physically connecting with the literal earth and caring for what’s grown helps you understand and appreciate it. Groceries shipped from Chile and Australia to Europe, or the other way around, have more ‘food miles’ and usually a higher footprint than local produce. Even so, eating vegetarian still beats only purchasing local. Learn from CliMate, a fun and interactive chatbot that teaches you how to have conversations about climate change that decrease divisiveness and help cultivate empathy and find common ground. All the better if what you plant is native and attracts pollinators like bees, butterflies and hummingbirds. Social scientists have found that when one person makes a sustainability-oriented decision, other people do too. One ranking found that going car-free is the most effective action one person can take (Credit: Getty). Edx offers both individual courses and advanced programs designed to help you learn about climate change in an engaging and effective online learning environment complete with video tutorials, quizzes … Solar energy is now the cheapest source of electricity for many households in Latin America, Asia and Africa (Credit: Getty). Sign up for our monthly newsletter highlighting our latest climate change research stories, blog posts, and features. Strategies to mitigate climate change often center on clean technologies, such as electric vehicles and solar panels, while the mitigation potential of a quality educational experience is rarely discussed. the number-one most effective policy to reduce emissions. By getting rid of financial instruments related to the fossil fuel industry, organisations can both take climate action and reap economic benefits. Planet for the environment, by temperatures rising and natural disasters isn ’ t sound like anything I influence... 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