The climate crisis is here, what can we actually do?

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A majority perspective

Look around you. We are not alone! A recent poll1 shows that 72% of adults in the U.S., believe global warming is happening and threatening life as we know it; 65% believe that we should do more to address global warming. Why isn’t more being done to address the climate crisis?

The politicians have done little or nothing

These so-called leaders talk about the problem or deny that it exists. For 27 years, longer than many of us have been conscious, they have met at the U.N. COP (Conference of Parties) and heard evidence presented by scientists and experts. And year after year the climate catastrophe has worsened with more greenhouse gas emissions.

The evidence in extreme weather events is clear – with record-setting heat, droughts, wildfires or desertification of parts of the world, and massive storms and flooding in others. Species extinction is occurring at such a rate that scientists agree that we are facing the sixth mass extinction head on.

The evidence is clear, we cannot depend on them!

Can our individual actions impact this?

Yes! But not by limiting our activities to recycling, not eating meat, using LED lights, or buying an electric car. Our goal is to not just have an impact. We must put an end to this system and the destruction of our planet.

To do this we need to understand the source of the problems we confront: an economy that has a singular goal – profit. Why else would billions and trillions of dollars be invested if it weren’t going to produce profit? That is capitalism. And that sole goal of profit ignores everything else – including the impact on the Earth’s ecosystems.

Globally, the top 20 companies are responsible for a third of all carbon emissions.2 The top 100 companies account for 71% of all carbon emissions.3

Humans run this system, and we can dismantle it and build a more livable system. That is our goal if we and life as we know it on this planet are to survive. This may seem like an impossible task. But we are the majority. We CAN stop this!

The facts are clear

We know we can’t rely on those who are in control of this system to stop the extraction and burning fossil fuels. They have trillions of dollars invested. And their profits are skyrocketing: a list of some of the second quarter profits for this year (in billions of $): Saudi Aramco, $48.4; Exxon, $17.9; Chevron, $11.6; Shell, $11.4; and BP, $9.3.

And emissions and the reliance on fossil fuels doesn’t just come from the energy sector! All aspects of our modern world have investments in fossil fuels from the fertilizer that grows our food to the soap we wash with to our medicine and much more.

There are alternatives to using petroleum. But there are no alternatives to life on this planet.

So, what do we do?

We cannot change this without changing the entire system. There are no other alternatives other than to rely on ourselves. Breaking the isolation and fear that people feel by coming together is already doing something. There are so many things we can do once we decide to and unleash our creativity and activation on many fronts. What we do today can impact the direction of the struggles ahead.