Climate change is indeed the biggest challenge for our generation. The melting arctic ice, rising sea levels, polluted air, toxified water, extreme weather inconsistency, and natural disasters have been happening on our watch. So, how do we even get here? Several factors causing global warming include deforestation, degenerate agriculture, polluting transportation, imperishable waste in landfills, intensive use of fossil fuels, and energy waste. It may sound larger than our lives, and it feels like we’re too small to help restore the Earth’s temperature. Don’t worry! Before we jump into the how-tos, let’s understand how global warming works.
The Notorious Greenhouse Gases
As simple as how we breathe oxygen (O2) and release carbon dioxide (CO2), all matter in this world releases certain gases into the atmosphere. The more we need O2 to live, the more we need trees to exist consuming CO2. Sadly, CO2 is not the only toxic gas we have on Earth. Here they are:
1. Carbon Dioxide (CO2) releases from burning fuels, transportation, and deforestation,
2. Methane (CH4) emits from agriculture, livestock, and coal mining,
3. Nitrous oxide derives from manure, combustion of solid waste, and burning fuel,
4. Water vapor (H2O) sheds from the boiling of liquid water (in this case, ocean and sublimation of ice[the arctic]),
5. Fluorinated gases release from industrial, manufacturing, and refrigeration.
The Daily Solution
Let’s not focus on the problems but the solution. Making a slight change is better than making no changes at all. The most important thing is to influence your close ones to do the same fashion because significant changes always come from a minor force that gets bigger at times. Here are some small things you can do daily to help Mother Earth to thrive.
1. Consume less meat, and dairy products
Try to conduct a flexitarian diet, where you can drop the meat and dairy consumption to 85gr (out of 790gr weekly). Switch your latte milk with soy, oat, or almond because they’re healthier too.
2. Bring your shopping bag, tumbler, and cutleries!
To limit the use of single-use plastic, bring your own shopping bag, drinking bottle, and cutleries everywhere. Don’t forget to avoid plastic cutleries inclusion when ordering food online.
3. Shop wisely
It’s easier said than done. However, exercise to control your impulsiveness and only buy what you need. For example, clothes, opt for functionality and items that are considered long-lasting and easy to be mix-and-matched.
4. Limit energy use
Switch off your AC, lamp, and any electronic devices when not used; try to utilize a power strip for more efficiency. Also, use enough water when showering or simply when brushing your teeth.
5. Smart commute
Put your car on pause, and use public transportation or carpool instead. If you’re the sporty type, let’s bike to work!
6. Separate your trash
This one’s a little bit more advanced. Generally, you need to separate five types of trash (liquid waste, solid rubbish, organic waste, recyclable rubbish, and hazardous waste). For starters, you can go with two; organic and non-organic waste. Don’t forget to wash plastic bottles before disposal, and call your waste management to pick them up.
Start small and simple, make it a lifestyle, and aside from saving the Earth it will make you happier and healthier both physically and mentally. Don’t get too stressed, because Rome wasn’t built in a day.
While we, as the middle-low class campaign for the green movement, they cruelly exploit the terms of “green” for the sake of profit-oriented. And they, the 1% top elites of the world, are responsible for the double emissions cost of our entire globe.
The fallen of the Soviet Union in December 1991 has led to stronger capitalism — as they lose the strongest ideological contestant. In a matter of time, capitalism has its branch to all layers of our life. Neither we recognized it as a dangerous threat, nor we only recognized it as a form of employment and ecological spirit that even a government would not be able to.
The birth of the idea
Green capitalism is a form of environmentalism that points out the ecosystem of economic value and biological diversity. Hence, it attempts to reduce human environmental impacts by ensuring that the importance of environmental utility is reflected in how markets operate (Scales, 2016).
John Bellamy Foster and Fred Magdoff, in their book What Every Environmentalist Needs To Know About Capitalism (2011), stated that the idea of capitalism and an environment that coexists has a big problem, especially by the goal of capitalism itself. The capitalist system, which aims to maximize profits, which leads us to transform various things into a commodity that can be given a price, cannot coexist with the environment. Basically, the capitalist system does not have a spirit beneath it. Yet the need for the capitalist system to continuously produce will get rid of everything in its way. Sometimes, this is done without us knowing it as our ecosystem already applies it.
Green capitalism is examples of bourgeois morality that purports to act on behalf of environmental ethics while perpetuating normative pastoral representations of natural resource exploitation by neocolonial multinational corporations. Therefore, green capitalism will never facilitate the scale of action necessary to stop climate change because it refuses to take on the powerful people and industries that are fueling the climate crisis in the first place. The basic floor is that capitalism contradicts the nature of biocentrism as part of the wider environment (Bari, 1997).
We, however, need technology and industrial improvement in our civilization. But we should be alarming #ClimateEmergency worldwide as we used to read on the news that the world is getting hotter, rising sea level, decreasing the quality of air, and depleting the ozone layer in our globe. That is only the huge visible phenomenon; how about the invisible one?
How is manipulative rhetoric going in our daily?
The world’s dominant environmental rhetoric to the public, for recent years, has been about individual action only. We were told to solve the climate crisis by changing our plastic straw, lightbulbs, switch to energy-efficient appliances, electric vehicles, better insulate our homes, stop using plastic bags, and alter our personal consumption in other ways.
In the middle-class society, the campaign for abolishing plastic straw and moved on to the non-plastic straw was the biggest dominance narration in our environmental discourse. Yet we are failed to highlighting the broader layers, what the most driven factors that make the climate keep decreasing. Besides, we never get enough information about the broader process of this straw-making inside the factory. Is it terrific as its coverage?
Based on Leape’s study, Stanford Center for Ocean Solutions, plastic straws are only a tiny fraction of the problem — less than 1 percent. The risk is that banning straws may confer “moral license” — allowing companies and their customers to feel they have done their part. Plastic banning is only the first step. Therefore, we should have to look at the big picture of this climate crisis.
On the other hand, the stainless steel straw campaign, as the alternative for the plastic straw, nor merely eco-friendly to our planet. A study by the ENGR308 Technology and Environment and Humbolt State University, HSU Straw Analysis. The key findings of the stainless steel is the stainless steel drinking straws weighing 10 grams. These straws were produced by the company Santi Sora based out of Guangdong, China, and were transported to Humboldt State University in Arcata, California. The pallet purchases the straws for $0.26 per straw. It was estimated that 3% of all the stainless steel straws purchased were thrown out within 5 years of acquiring the straw. Among the other straw: plastic straw, paper straw, bamboo straw, and glass straw, steel material straw is the worse.
Who’s the most responsible actor?
According to the report, the richest 1% of the world’s population was responsible for reducing more than twice as much carbon dioxide as the poorer half of the world from 1990 to 2015. There are overconsumption things as an urgent problem, instead of the blaming of overpopulation.
Moreover, the remaining carbon budget is being sacrificed so the world elite can keep their bountiful lifestyles and leveraging their businesses widely. At the same time, they take private jets to the Davos Summit of climate conferences. The coverage on a climate conference meeting, mostly dominated by transnational corporations and politicians who used to greenwash their good name — for the sake of brand image.
The fact is we are blocked by capitalism to get no enough to address the scale of the crisis we face, and they can lead to perverse conclusions about where the blame for the climate crisis truly lies. While western countries such as the United States and most European countries lead the narration of ecological prioritization and blaming Asian and African countries for the overpopulation accusation, they forget that their jurisdiction is the most responsible for the global CO2 emissions.
Source: Our World in Data
Where is the end?
As the climate emergency movement line, we have to be well aware of the manipulative business model by green capitalism worldwide. The fact is the greenwashing by the corporations were damaged and degraded the fight for nature itself. The market-oriented orientation has falsified the philosophy of environmental ethics; thus, it kills our environment slowly. However, at the end of the day, the final decision would lie on the government as the policymaker. The official authority should guard the supervision over the capitalist’s operation and look beyond the visible image.