Going Green to Mitigate Climate Change

Going Green to Mitigate Climate Change Academic Writing

Going Green to Mitigate Climate Change

 “Virtually, all of our needs and desires we delegate to specialists of one kind or another…” (Polan 1). The issue of climate change is a complex one. Different authors have argued differently about the matter with some proposing individual effort to protect the earth (Pollan, 1), while others remaining skeptical about little things individuals can do to save the planet (Jensen and McMillan, 2). The controversy in the issue of climate change is whether the issue should be addressed through societal or individual initiatives. Societal responsibility involves government policy, while individual responsibility includes personal actions that individuals take to mitigate climate change. Rickard et al. established that individual responsibility was significantly associated with systematic information processing (39). As a result, individual responsibility would allow people to give the issue of climate change more attention and think deeper about the problem to identify individual actions that can be implemented to save the planet. The failure of government policies to effectively put measures that would mitigate climate change should be an eye-opener for individuals to change their focus and consider alternative choices in life (Polan, 1). People with divergent attitudes towards personal actions to mitigate climate change believe that an individuals’ actions such as using solar energy cannot affect climate change. They believe that the use of non-renewable energy by the individual cannot cause climate change without stating what causes climate change. Although the issue of climate change remains controversial, individuals can deal with the problem by using renewable energy such as solar power, recycling to reduce energy use and pollution, and the use of environmentally friendly hybrid cars.

In fact, after comparing the pros and cons of individual responsibility and the reliance on specialists to solve the climate crisis, I noticed that failure to taken action only worsens the situation. According to Hiller, people fail to account for the potential harms of their actions on the environment. It is difficult to quantify the impact of riding in a gas-guzzling car on climate change (350). Some individuals would argue that the effect on climate is too small to have any impact. However, the potential harms associated with such actions are indirect. Going Green to Mitigate Climate Change. This makes it difficult for individuals to develop a moral responsibility to handle the problem. If personal actions do not cause climate change, then what causes climate change? The fact that the harmful effects of individual activities on climate change are indirect prevents people from recognizing the devastating effects of individual activities such as gas-guzzling vehicles, which emit greenhouse gases, which are associated with the destruction of the ozone layer. Individuals need to recognize that human activities such as the burning of fossil fuels are some of the major contributors to climate change, through the production of greenhouse gases (Canadell para. 8). The author argues that the claim that individual actions are casually insignificant is false because it states that individual actions do not cause climate change, but does not state what causes it. Pollan argued that specialization to produce cheap energy has created climate change (1). People should take a personal initiative to change their behaviors and lifestyles, and adopt “greener” lifestyles such as the use of renewable energy, which would prevent the burning of fossil fuels. Fossil fuels release carbon dioxide into the atmosphere leading to ozone depletion. Renewable sources of energy such as solar and wind power are greener sources of energy, which positively impact climate and human health. These sources are inexhaustible and would reduce greenhouse emissions by preventing the burning of toxic fossil fuels. Going Green to Mitigate Climate Change.

Similarly, personal behavioral changes can be used to deepen, strengthen and expand the climate movement. Han and Barnett-Loro stated that a stronger climate movement requires the mobilization of individuals into action (55). The authors shared a different perspective on personal action, by portraying individual responsibility as a driver of political action. Political action has certainly been less successful when fighting the climate crisis due to the gap that exists between action and opinion.Going Green to Mitigate Climate Change.  People have great opinions about the mitigation strategies of climate change but the success of the initiatives has been hindered by the lack of personal action. Han and Barnett-Loro maintained that personal action can be translated into collective action to create political action (55). Climate change is a major social problem that cannot be solved by having resources such as money and activists. Climate change requires large-scale change that can be achieved by using individual action to create political power. So much attention has been given to collective action and fewer efforts have been directed towards political action, where people believe that government policies will mitigate the climate crisis. People need to realize that personal actions can be translated into collective power to transform and create the change needed. People should go beyond giving public opinion and instead focus on initiatives such as recycling, which can be used to reduce energy use and pollution to protect the environment. Such actions help an individual get a better understanding of the matter. Traditional public opinion, activism, messaging, and communication cannot work with the issue of climate change. Going Green to Mitigate Climate Change. Besides, Bouman et al. emphasized that biospheric values, which relate to the way individuals perceive a specific phenomenon based on the associated risks and benefits, determine the extent to which individuals employ climate mitigation behaviors (1). As a result, the outcomes of climate change are significant enough to motivate people into personal action.

Consequently, personal climate mitigation behaviors such as recycling, the use of hybrid cars, and using solar power should be motivated by individuals’ care for the environment and nature. The occurring anthropogenic climate change has made individual behavioral change despite the difficulty of communicating to the public the climate change mitigation actions (Rickard et al. 40). Climate change is one of the most worrying issues that humanity has faced and people have a reason to worry and take a personal responsibility to address the issue (Bouman et al. 1). Anyone who cares about the environment and nature would not sit down and watch as nature and the environment gets destroyed. The public should take individual responsibility and develop systematic processing of information about climate change rather than falling victim to ideological beliefs, which tend to create skepticism among members of various political groups. Canadell stated that the use of clean energy, increased energy efficiency, and decreased use of coal have stalled the ever-increasing emissions from fossil fuels between 2014 and 2016 (para. 4). Change of behavior is one of the initiatives needed to achieve zero carbon emissions. The decision to “go green” has already born some fruits as the decline in the consumption of coal and increased utilization of renewable energy sources such as solar and wind have resulted in an emerging trend towards reduction of carbon emissions (Canadell para. 8). Going green is, thereby, the basis for restoring nature, which can be achieved if every individual decides to become environmentally sensitive.

However, some people might disagree. Going Green to Mitigate Climate Change. They may believe that individual action is casually ineffective in dealing with the problem of climate change (Wolf and Moser 549). The reason why they may use to support their claim is that personal choices may not be enough to turn around the climate change crisis, without the money and laws (Jensen and McMillan 2). Wolf and Moser added that individuals lack the knowledge about their personal contribution to climate change and even if they knew, it would not motivate them to take personal mitigative responses to climate change (549). Nevertheless, what determines whether an individual would take a personal responsibility to mitigate climate change is their attitudes. The individuals that are concerned with the effects of climate change are more likely to take action than those that are skeptical. Some people believe that the government has the responsibility to solve the problem of climate change. They believe that the primary actors are engineers and researchers. But do you think the perceived primary actors will succeed if individuals continue to individually contribute to greenhouse gas emissions? Certainly, not. Some people feel that they need political support to take personal actions (Wolf and Moser 550). Some people have found their effort to mitigate climate change counterproductive since it is not possible to measure the impact of an individual’s action in mitigating climate change, and believe political action would work. However, political action cannot solely solve the problem either. As a result, there is a need for profound changes in individuals’ behavior and choices in life. It is surprising to think of legislation or technology as a solution to the problem as they have been some of the creators of the problem. Going Green to Mitigate Climate Change.

In conclusion, individuals need to take a personal initiative to “go green” to help address the climate change crisis by using renewable energy such as solar power, recycling to reduce energy use and pollution, and the use of hybrid cars. People need to hold themselves accountable for the climate change problem, which is a major threat to the planet. Individual activities contribute significantly to climate change through the emission of greenhouse gases. Environmentally friendly behaviors such as renewable energy, recycling, and hybrid cars can save the planet from destruction. Some people believe that personal actions are insufficient to address the problem of climate change and tend to favor political action. Political action cannot be enough to mitigate climate change if the people are not willing to change the choices they make in life and live environmentally friendly lives. Personal responsibility can be used to generate collective power if all people individually stop contributing to greenhouse gas emissions. Although it may be difficult to measure the difference that will be created by choosing a greener lifestyle, other efforts would be futile without involving a change in the way people live as individuals’ everyday choices are the creator of the big problem.

Works Cited

Bouman, Thijs, et al. “When Worry About Climate Change Leads to Climate Action: How Values, Worry and Personal Responsibility Relate to Various Climate Actions.” Global Environmental Change, vol. 62, 2020, pp. 102061.

Canadell, Pep. “Global Warming and Climate Change Can Be Stopped If People Try Harder.” Gale Opposing Viewpoints Online Collection, Gale, 2021. Gale In Context: Opposing Viewpoints, link.gale.com/apps/doc/IADDFI058285395/GPS?u=toms86543&sid=GPS&xid=fa60b5f5. Accessed 27 Apr. 2021. Originally published as “We can still keep global warming below 2°C – but the hard work is about to start,” The Conversation, 30 Jan. 2017.Han, Hahrie, and Carina Barnett-Loro. “To Support a Stronger Climate Movement, Focus Research on Building Collective Power.” Frontiers in Communication, vol. 3, 2018, pp. 55. doi:10.3389/fcomm.2018.00055

Hiller, Avram. “Climate Change and Individual Responsibility.” The Monist, vol. 94, no. 3, 2011, pp. 349-368. https://www.jstor.org/stable/23039149

Jensen, Derrick, and Stephanie McMillan. As the World Burns: 50 Simple Things You Can Do to Stay in Denial-A Graphic Novel. Seven Stories Press, 2011.

Pollan, Michael. “Why Bother?.” New York Times, vol. 20, 2008.

Rickard, Laura N., et al. “The “I” in Climate: The Role of Individual Responsibility in Systematic Processing of Climate Change Information.” Science Direct, vol. 26, 2014, pp. 39-52. doi: 10.1016/j.gloenvcha.2014.03.010

Wolf, Johanna, and Susanne C. Moser. “Individual Understandings, Perceptions, and Engagement with Climate Change: Insights from in‐Depth Studies across the World.” Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: Climate Change, vol. 2, no. 4, 2011, pp. 547-569. doi:10.1002/wcc.120

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