By saying climate awareness, we do not mean to imply that we want our climate to become sentient. No, that burden befalls on us to understand, develop, and act on maintaining a few regulations that can contribute to climate betterment, which ultimately decides the future of human kind. Till now, we are used to making daily decisions based on a few variables such as- comfort, timing, functionality, etc. However, while in-sync with our sophisticated lifestyles, we forget to factor in one of the most important variables that can affect lives, individuals and en masse.
One can easily think that such a decision should be levied upon the Government and other authority figures. However, in the matter of survival of your species, or let us say that of the planet itself, your vote does count. And so does your action! May be it is hard to comprehend how your everyday actions can change the environment for good, but it most certainly does. And all you need to make positive contributions for environment betterment is create awareness and start contributing in small steps.
As a consumer you have numerous options to reduce the rate of global warming-
Replacing your light bulbs with LED lights can be a great start for you. Selecting LED lights is the best choice economically as well, as it consumes less power than the conventional bulbs.
Global daily CO2 emission levels were at 406.47 ppm (parts per million) till January 21st, 2017. Frankly, increasing global greenhouse gas emissions require a coordinated effort to see a change. Consumers can make significant contributions in reducing greenhouse gases by selecting green travel options. Air travel has highest emissions per person/km, and it has produced 781 million tonnes of CO2 in 2015. Comparatively, travelling by train is a less polluting option.
One must note that the world is aware of this issue and efforts are being made to switch to green energy for the same as well. The Solar Impulse 2, world’s first solar powered aeroplane, had successfully completed its first, round-the-world flight in July last year. And this success draws an optimistic picture of the future for the aviation industry to switch to green fuel.
The first two options can definitely help in reducing the rate of degradation of our environment. However, depending on only these two options can be compared to patching small holes on an enormous picture, that has faded. Meaning, we cannot place our faith on a depleting/fading energy source to build a future. It cannot be fixed or patched in anyway, it needs to be replaced.
So, besides selecting LED lights, and avoiding air travel, the best thing a consumer can do is to go for green energy. Although, there are multiple renewable energy options available for consumers, solar energy stands as the most feasible, easy to install, and low maintenance choice. Global installation of solar PV in 2016 has reached approximately 64.7 GW from 57.8 GW in 2015, and in 2017 the numbers are expected to reach 79 GW. Developing countries like- Africa, the Middle East, Latin America, South and Southeast Asia and others are making huge investments in Renewable energy (globally $286bn in 2016), far surpassing global investments in fossil fuel ($130bn globally).
In India investment is pouring in and new policies are being implemented in order to speed up the country’s energy transition. Grid connected green energy capacity in the country has crossed the 9 GW mark, while growth in rooftop has crossed the 1 GW milestone. Focusing on policies like net-metering, mandating solar installations in high rises, and subsidies on rooftop solar installation are promising energy stability through solar growth.
However, more climate awareness is needed to help common man/consumers make the decision that can create the climate for change and improve humanity’s chances at conscious evolution.