Last week, thousands of students took to the streets to demand action on climate change. They were clear in their demands. They want meaningful action and they want it now. Given that this generation is the most energy intensive in history, we thought it only suitable that they would take the initiative and support action that directly involves them.
So, here at the Thought Hub, we have compiled a list of actions that the federal government can adopt to immediately satiate their demands for change.
Let’s face it. Each of the below are not essential. They are luxuries that people, particularly those protesting, enjoy. We are confident they will have no problem sacrificing these things for the good of the planet…
1. Limit air conditioning at schools.
There’s more than 9,000 schools in Australia. Climate control measures such as air conditioning are extremely energy intensive. Calculate this by 9,000 schools and that is a significant amount of power being consumed, much of it still from fossil fuels.
2. Ban phone imports from China
China is the biggest polluter in the world and it is also the largest manufacturer of phone hardware. China produced 1.9 billion mobile phones in 2017. It is one of its most important industries. By purchasing phones produced from China, individuals are inadvertently contributing to the pollution of the planet. Therefore, in order to address climate change, the government should ban phone imports from China.
3. Limit the amount of pets people can have
Domestic pets don’t produce anything. They only exist for our enjoyment and affection. Yet a range of studies have examined the carbon impact of pets. Some claim the impact of an average dog on the climate is equivalent to that of a car. In fact, a study by UCLA scientist Gregory Okin in 2017 found that the emissions from dogs and cats in the US sat at 64 million tonnes of CO2 equivalent methane and nitrous oxide. Therefore, people need to be prepared to give up their pets.
4. Limit households to one television and one computer device
Most homes are equipped with several televisions, iPads, iPhones, Playstation, Xbox, the list goes on. These devices running concurrently leave a significant digital footprint, putting pressure on the grid. Therefore, households should be limited to one television and digital device in order to help reduce emissions. These are, after all, luxuries that people can afford to cut back on. Why not return to reading books?
5. Limit access to air travel
By 2050, it is expected that global air travel could contribute to 22% of total carbon emissions. Aviation is essentially a fossil fuel industry, one which guzzles an eye-watering 5m barrels of oil every day. Travel should therefore be limited to those who really need it. People jet setting on Contiki Tours, Top Deck Tours or Schoolies can afford to make the necessary lifestyle change for the good of the planet.
We are confident that those protesting will support these proposals with the same zeal and passion they called for change last Friday. Because when it comes to climate action, it’s not as if people only call for others to change their behavior. Those who shout the loudest are always the first to step up to the plate and walk the walk to match their loud talk. Right?
We look forward to hearing their response.