Climate Change

In 2019 more than 11,000 Scientists Officially Declared a Global Climate Emergency. In 2019 Time Magazine named Greta Thunberg Person of the Year. We can all make a difference but we have to act now.

Climate change and your business:

How can you help? What should you change? How can you benefit your environment, staff and business?

Transportation

When ever possible, catch public transport. Even better still: walk or ride on the many public bike trails available in Australia – it is so much healthier than sitting in a car and much less stifling than getting on a peak hour train. Sometimes this wont be an option, but often we do have a choice. Get up 15 minutes earlier so you can ride your bike to work. Do this twice a day instead of sitting in traffic. If you were to drive in a small petrol car from Ringwood to the city for work, you would emit approximately 4.6 kg of CO2 emissions. If you were to catch public transport from Ringwood to the city for work, you would emit approximately 2.3 kg of CO2 emissions. If you were to ride you would have to be very fit but this would be 0kg in emissions! See for yourself on the “map My Emissions” website.

Choose who you support

Consumers are now choosing who to buy from and who to support. Do suppliers care about how they adversely impact the environment? Are their sources environmentally sustainable? Are they striving to reduce their footprint? It’s essential that your business supports policies and politicians that actively care about climate change and are working to reduce emissions on a structured and technogically sound manner. Transition policies are being put in place by big business as we write, and countries are sourcing and encouraging new technology to reverse our carbon emissions.

Energy use

Be conscious about any fossil powered energy use.. Reduce or replace wherever possible. Don’t use a heater, put on a jumper. Don’t use air conditioners or evaporative coolers, use a fan.. Don’t leave all the computers and lights on in the office if only one room is in use. Switch to companies that use renewable energy systems. Renewable energy systems include wind power, biomass, photovoltaics, hydropower, solar thermal, thermal ponds, and biogas.

Waste not want not

Start simply. Stop handing out bottles of water or plastic cups for ‘fountain’ water. Ask staff to bring a ‘keep’ water bottle and refill it. If possible stop supporting bottled water companies as they are the ones drying up the environment, encouraging fires. Encourage staff to bring keep cups so as not to add throwaway coffee cups to the billions already encircling the globe. Re-use printout stuff ups – make scrap / note books out of them for non-ipad-using employees at meetings. Maybe your business has a specific type of waste product – how can you turn this into profit instead of landfill/turtle terror? Think RZA and his vegan plastic bag jackets sourced from ocean plastic which highlights a massive current global environmental problem.

Be aware

Make sure to educate employees on the impacts they make on the environment. There are many easy steps the office team can take to reduce ecological footprints and make sustainability part of the culture.

World Economic Forum:

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The World Economic Forum is an invaluable source of material for your business. There is a healthy archive of climate change posts, the Global Risks Report 2020, and the very useful Unlocking Technology for Global Goals. Encourage your team to pick out relevant content and meet to discuss how it can be applied in bettering / re-modelling  your business in so doing protecting our futures and best interests.

Global Risks Report 2020

“For the first time in the survey’s 10-year outlook, the top five global risks in terms of likelihood are all environmental.” “…unless stakeholders adapt to “today’s epochal power-shift” and geopolitical turbulence – while still preparing for the future – time will run out to address some of the most pressing economic, environmental and technological challenges. This signals where action by business and policy-makers is most needed.”

Climate Initiatives

The Forum’s Climate Initiatives are focused on three key areas of work to mitigate and adapt to climate change:
  1. Raising political ambition for key governments and business to have plans in place to reduce emissions and build climate resilience in alignment with scientific recommendations by COP26 in 2020.
  2. Accelerating transformational change across key value chains to ensure businesses play their role in tackling climate change.
  3. Creating effective governance and market mechanisms that incentivize investments to build a low carbon economy.
Global action on climate change must be taken to deliver enhanced national action plans and concrete solutions to reduce emissions and build resilience.

Books to read:

Mary Robinson

CLIMATE JUSTICE Hope, resilience and the fight for a sustainable future

In Climate Justice, Robinson showcases how individuals, groups and small nations can lead the way with their endeavours – something she has experience of in her former presidential role. In July, she helped launch Ireland’s bid for a temporary seat on the UN Security Council in 2022. It is her belief that small countries can have a disproportionate, positive effect on the world stage. She points to nations like the Marshall Islands (population 50,000) that are under serious threat of submersion if rising temperatures lead to rising sea levels. – independant.co.uk

Paul Hawken

Drawdown The most comprehensive plan ever proposed to reverse global warming

“The book I keep going back to—literally, I keep it on my bedside table—is called ‘Drawdown: The Most Comprehensive Plan Ever Proposed to Reverse Global Warming.’ It is a heavily science-based book, which recognizes that in order to keep within the Paris guidelines, we need to not just reduce emissions but also draw down carbon out of the atmosphere. Plus, it examines the 100 best techniques to do that. Not only does the book describe each solution, their potential costs, and how they would work, it also details the carbon impact each provides. Intrepid’s new initiative to draw carbon out of the atmosphere, which is a permaculture project based in Tasmania, was actually a result of this analysis.” —Darrell Wade, Cofounder and Chair of Intrepid Travel

Elizabeth Rush

RISING Dispatches from the New American Shore

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In “Rising,” Elizabeth Rush takes readers to the physical and cultural edges of the country, from the marginalized and forgotten citizens of places like Isle de Jean Charles, Louisiana, to the glass castles of Facebook and Google in Silicon Valley. As high tide and massive storms become the new normal, those at the coasts, especially those with lower incomes, will be most at risk of flooding and all that comes with it. At stake are not just coastlines; entire communities stand to lose their homes and lifestyles to climate change, becoming the first of many climate refugees. The question is not a matter of if but when we lose these lands, and Rush explores how we cope with this knowledge. — Brandon Pytel, Communications Manager/Writer

Peter Brannen

THE ENDS OF THE WORLD Volcanic Apocalypses, Lethal Oceans, and Our Quest to Understand Earth’s Past Mass Extinctions

As we stare down the barrel of our own (man-made) catastrophe, science journalist Pete Brannen takes us on a walk down memory lane over millions of years to examine the planet’s five mass extinctions. With paleontologists as our protagonists, “The Ends of the World” uses fossil records across the globe to autopsy our five mass extinctions and portend our future. While the topic might sound as dry as a fossilized trilobite, Brannen’s wit may leave you chuckling aloud, from Ordovician to Cretaceous — call it rock and droll. — Justine Sullivan, Director, Communications and Digital Media

Anton Ghosh

THE GREAT DERANGEMENT Climate Changes and the Unthnkable

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“If I had to suggest to anyone a single book about climate change, it would be The Great Derangement. I have never read someone so succinctly, eloquently, and urgently explain the roots — capitalism and imperialism — of the climate crisis, and how those roots grow up into the forest of our culture/popular imagination. […] Ghosh confirms my worst fears — i.e. that the politics of the spectacle have no power to end the systems that perpetuate climate crisis — with a clear, moral force. Then, once I was enwrapped in his brilliant and devastating blanket of prose, Ghosh also managed to insert a tiny, tiny bit of hope.”

—Easton Smith

Naomi Klein

THIS CHANGES EVERYTHING Capitalism versus the Climate

Naomi Klein’s provocative book unveils the myths surrounding the climate change debate and explores how the “free market” is holding us back from important changes.

“Naomi Klein’s This Changes Everything is absolutely essential for understanding, confronting, and meeting the challenges of the 21st century. […] I am very inspired by this book and I cannot wait for others to read it and react to it.”

—Chris

Naomi Oreskes & Erik M. Conway

MERCHANTS OF DOUBT How a Handful of Scientists Obscured the Truth on Issues from Tobacco Smoke to Global Warming

Merchants of Doubt follows a group of high-level scientists and advisers who have purposefully misled the public, denying evidence of climate change in an effort to placate corporate and political interests. “Exceptional. Put this book at the very top of your reading list. The authors provide a clear, stunning, and engaging history of how a handful of scientists were able to keep doubt alive during every occasion in which scientific evidence threatened to cut into a corporation’s profit or a politician’s proposed policy.” —Charlene

Climate activists:

Greta Thunberg

Greta Thunberg is a Swedish environmental activist on climate change whose campaigning has gained international recognition. Thunberg is known for her straightforward speaking manner, both in public and to political leaders and assemblies, in which she urges immediate action to address the climate crisis. Thunberg’s activism started after convincing her parents to adopt several lifestyle choices to reduce their own carbon footprint. In August 2018, at age 15, she started spending her school days outside the Swedish parliament to call for stronger action on climate change by holding up a sign reading Skolstrejk för klimatet (School strike for the climate). Soon, other students engaged in similar protests in their own communities. Together, they organised a school climate strike movement under the name Fridays for Future. After Thunberg addressed the 2018 United Nations Climate Change Conference, student strikes took place every week somewhere in the world. In 2019, there were multiple coordinated multi-city protests involving over a million students each. “You are never too small to make a difference”

Mary Robinson

Mary Robinson was Ireland’s 7th president from 1990-1997 was the first woman to ever hold this position.

Mary is a published author of the must read Climate Justice where she elucidates her belief that small countries can have a disproportionate, positive effect on the world stage.

The Mary Robinson Foundation Climate Justice is a centre for thought leadership, education and advocacy on the struggle to secure global justice for those people vulnerable to the impacts of climate change who are usually forgotten – the poor, the disempowered and the marginalised across the world.

It is a platform for solidarity, partnership and shared engagement for all who care about global justice, whether as individuals and communities suffering injustice or as advocates for fairness in resource-rich societies.

Jean Hinchliffe

Jean Hinchliffe is a 15-year-old school student and climate activist. As a lead organiser within School Strike 4 Climate, she campaigns for legislative action against the sourcing and usage of fossil fuels, along with pushing for Australia to become fully carbon neutral. When she isn’t trying to save the world, Jean works as a professional actress and has recently wrapped her first television show!

Artists against Climate Change:

In the summer of 2019 / 2020 Australia saw devastating bush-fires burn over 46 million acres of forest, kill over a billion animals, destroy thousands of buildings, and kill over 30 human lives. Warnings as far back as the 80s had been ignored, obfuscated, belittled and bettered by made up science. 

Bushfire Brandalism

Towards the end of January 2020, artists around Australia donated their art in poster form to be placed in prime public locations around the country “We are making these issues visible in our public spaces and in our media; areas monopolised by entities maintaining conservative climate denial agendas.”

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"Blinky Bill and the Climate Crisis" photo courtesy allThoseShapes.com
Bushfire Brandalism was born to raise awareness of the terrible trouble the planet is in, especially Australia and do something about it, immediately. 41 artists contributed with each poster containing a QR code pathway to one of 30 charities aiding in the crisis directly.
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say no to coal // we need a better government bushfire brandalism posters - photo courtesy allThoseShapes.com
Scottie Marsh’s contribution to #bushfireBrandalism was actually based on a mural painted in Chippendale, buffed by council 3 days later. He made tshirts, prints and stickers of the mural and sold them making over $100,000 in about a week with 100% in $3000 amounts going direct to 32 different rural fire brigades across NSW VIC and QLD. Australia’s prime minister had gone on holiday in Hawaii while the country burned “Merry Crisis”!
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Scottie Marsh "Merry Crisis" photo courtesy allThoseShapes.com

Amanda Newman

Amanda Newman is an artist recently moved to Australia from America focusing on strong/courageous women especially those standing up for the planet. Recently she donated over 80 hours to bring awareness to the crisis our Australian wildlife is facing in wake of the bushfires, with a wall in Richmond “Our Future is in Your Hands.”

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all those shapes photo of Amanda Newman's Greta Thunberg "You are never too small to make a difference"

John Lawry

John Lawry is a fine artist, illustrator and street artist from rural Victoria in Melbourne recently he painted his ‘Shine of the Moon’ stories and many murals supporting Extinction Rebellion, Aus Rebellion and climate action.

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"dont just sit back as the planet burns - act now" John Lawry - photo courtesy allThoseShapes

Calm

Calm is a street artist from Melbourne specialising in stencil art supporting causes, speaking out against wrong-doers, and crying out for the planet. He has created many iconic pieces like the “Great Barrier Wreath” and regularly paints his TwoCans characters into new adventures.
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"The Great Barrier Wreath" by CALM (Sorry to see you go) - photo courtesy allThoseShapes

Cel Out

Cel Out is a stencil /paste up artist from Melbourne with a love of 80s and 90s icons regularly commenting on contemporary world events especially politics, the environment and climate change. “coal will get you too”, thoughts and prayers, and “carbon diem” are some of his recent genius.
Cel Out "Carbon Diem" (sieze the coal) - photo courtesy allThoseShapes

Worthy websites to check:

What are your thoughts?

For example, what has your business implemented towards lowering carbon emissions or reducing waste and recycling or extracting further commercial use of the waste?

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