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The Green Revolution

By Jason Jarvis

January 20th 2021. Something astonishingly wonderful happened. 

The Earth united in a moment of peace, tranquillity and understanding as Amanda Gorman silenced the global population with a speech so powerful that it will be quoted 100 years from now.  

But something else happened on this momentous day. Something that will impact and shape our future for generations to come. Something that had me screaming “Yaaaas Joe Yaaaaas!”

Within a matter of hours of being inaugurated as the 46th President of the USA, one of Joe Biden’s first acts as President was to sign an executive agreement to re-join The Paris Climate agreement. 

The Paris Climate Agreement is an international treaty, signed by 190 countries in 2015. The aim of the treaty is to keep the increase in global temperature to less than 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels. 

The return of the USA to the agreement is a significant move as they are often seen as the global leaders in the industry. They set the standard and the rest of the world will follow.  

You may be thinking why is he talking about climate change, this topic is a bit left field for him?!  I promise you, I will revert back to tales of my fabulous LGBTQ+ life. But for now, the future of our planet is an issue. I believe we should all face this head-on. If there is no Earth there is no Madrid Pride, right? 

According to NASA, sea levels across the planet have risen by 8 inches over the last century.  The global temperature has risen by just over 1-degree Celsius over a similar timeframe. 

The two main culprits? Carbon Dioxide and our own human behaviours. 

The rise to fame of Greta Thunberg showed that the climate change conversation has, overall, resonated well with the global population. She has inspired others to demand action on the subject. Groups of protestors are rallying to demand our countries politicians take climate change seriously and implement structures to mitigate its impact.

The UK is one of the leaders in the green revolution. We have passed a law that we shall reach net-zero emissions as a nation by 2050. 

The climate change battle is more than just keeping the earth temperature at a sustainable level. It is about protecting the habitats and environments of the natural ecosystems on our beautiful planet. The over pollution of the seas and deforestation reduces the spaces for animals and plant species to flourish, increasing the risk of extinction. And to this, I say  “oh hell naaah!” 

What has been reassuring to see over the last few years, is how many private sector companies have been taking the climate change conversation at having it at the heart of their business strategies.

Sky’s Ocean Rescue campaign was brilliant at raising awareness on the systemic issue of plastic in our oceans and as a result, encouraging people to reduces their plastic usage.

Tesla has fast become one of the largest car brands in the world and has been at the forefront of driving electric car adoption across the planet. 

Many of the world’s biggest brands are finally looking inwards and having an honest open conversation about what they can do to reduce their own impact on the planet. 

Travel is an area of the climate change conversation that’s close to my heart. I love to travel, to see the world, and educate myself about different stories and cultures of our planet. There is no better feeling than waking up in a new country and deciding which hidden gem or tourist hotspot you’ll be visiting that day. However, our over-reliance on air and road travel is contributing significantly to the increased CO2 levels in the atmosphere.

Country governments and global businesses are implementing measures to mitigate this. For example, new aeroplane technology will allow more fuel-efficient technology helping flights become better for the environment. In Europe, countries are increasing the number of cities that are connected via high-speed rail allowing more people to do journeys by train, which would have previously been achieved via air travel. 

It may seem that my love of travel and love for the planet are two conflicting ideologies that do not complement each other, but I beg to differ. 

Our planet is beautiful – there are so many incredible places and cultures to enjoy and educate yourself about, and I am always looking for sustainable ways to travel. For instance, I visit Italy a few times a year to see family. Yes, I fly there, but a lot of airlines have flights that offset the carbon emissions. Once there I love to see as much of the country as I can and where possible I will always use train services to get around. I would highly recommend Rome to Milan by train – it’s incredible! 

There are ways you can make your travel more sustainable but I also believe saving the planet is about understanding and educating yourself on our spectacular planet.

The Eurostar service from London to Paris is a leading example of where a high-speed rail line has replaced air travel as the default service between two international cities. I do envisage a future where the Eurostar service will be expanded to include an increasing number of cities across the European continent. This will encourage further sustainable methods of travelling around the world. 

Does anyone fancy a last-minute trip to Barcelona? I’ll meet you at St Pancras Int. 

The Covid-19 pandemic has once again given legs to the conversation around our delicate relationship with our planet. Once we start to resume a version of normality, the actions we take as humans will help set the course for future generations. Stricter measures to help in the battle against climate change will aid the Earth’s temperature remaining at a stable level. This should then slow the melting of the arctic poles and rising sea levels, which in turn affect our weather patterns. 

Stopping the destruction of natural habitats such as forests and oceans will help the natural world thrive. Species of animals and plants will no longer be on the fast track to extinction. 

Imagine this: animals that we take for granted in today’s world will only be seen in museums 50 years from now unless we address this. We owe future generations better than that. 

I wanted to write about this subject because no matter how you identify this planet is our home. We all live here. We have to look after our home. 

Earth’s future affects us all.