Effectively communicating the climate crisis

Leann Dsouza

September 27, 2021

We have all seen devastating disasters take place in our lifetime broadcasted through media. In spite of being aware of the effects of climate change, very few of us have changed our lifestyles. We can argue that transforming one’s habits is very challenging. If our choices are not backed by convenience & low cost, making the change won’t come easily. Very few of us are ready to trod the tough path of sustainability.

However, as climate communicators, we need to convey that adopting a sustainable lifestyle is not an option for a few but the only way forward.

Which of us, while enjoying our favorite ice cream ordered online would be thinking that we are contributors to environmental degradation? For a simple scoop of ice cream there’s heavy cost borne on the planet which we take for granted. Let’s highlight some aspects that are a part of producing ice creams. While Cows give us milk to make the ice cream, they also produce methane gas which is 30 times more powerful than Carbon Dioxide as a green House Gas. Cows need larges plots of land for grazing, there is a large opportunity cost that has to be accounted as this land could be used for planting trees that absorb carbon dioxide. Ice cream is made in large mixers that run on electricity, then there’s plastic packaging which is non-biodegradable and the vehicles used for transportation release air pollutants such as carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides, particulate matter, volatile organic compounds and lastly the ice cream is stored in refrigerators which contain chemicals that emit greenhouse gases.

For an ice cream lover giving up ice cream would not be an option so can we have a production system with reduced carbon footprints? We can certainly accomplish it if we rethink and find greener ways of production.

The climate crisis requires collective action. The power to transform the world is within us. The pandemic has brought us an opportunity to restructure our world & has highlighted that we need to act as a global community to curtail the spread of this virus. If a single infected individual fails to act responsibly the virus can multiply and spread manifold. Pandemics also highlight that the vulnerable and lowest income groups are worst affected. Every individual has the power to mobilize change through the consumption choices they make & by investing in sustainable businesses. Another way to contribute to climate action is by voting for leaders that support research & policy towards green initiatives. Economic Development and care for the environment have to go hand in hand.

The Youth and children of our world have a major role to play. Our educational system needs change and the voices of the young need to reach our leaders. The Earth can heal itself only if we initiate this healing. As a global alliance let us be catalyst to this change by transforming families, education, occupations and every life on Earth. Let us make the planet a shared home for all living beings.