Be the Positive Change!
Climate Change & Our Response
Climate change – or the Climate Crisis - is a scary subject for a couple of reasons. Firstly because the effects of it are so incredibly bleak you almost feel that you don’t want to know too much about it and secondly because it means, if you do accept the first point, that you have to do something drastic about it. But what can one person, or even a few people, do that would actually make any kind of difference to a problem so vast?
Well, part of the answer to the second point is we can try our best to live as sustainably as possible. By which I mean create as little waste and as few carbon emissions as possible – ultimately creating no waste and only using renewable energy. So you can feel good if you come on a tour with Real San Francisco Tours, as all of our experiences are 100% sustainable, being based around walking, cycling and/or public transit. It happens to be the best way to learn about and experience a city, which is why we designed our tours in that way in the first place, but it’s become increasingly important to us to have no carbon footprint.
At Real San Francisco Tours we’re very excited to have partnered with Climate Cents, a California based non-profit organization, to raise money to fund innovative local solutions to this enormous global issue. The projects that we support benefit the community in many ways, including engaging with homeless residents and ex-gang members to promote recycling, tree-planting in Southern California and bringing fresh high-quality produce to low-income neighborhoods. We now contribute 5% of our gross profits to Climate Cents and since partnering with them we’ve raised over $2,500.
Why is it that we at Real San Francisco Tours are so engaged with this issue? Well, it’s becoming harder and harder to ignore the effects of climate change. We’re not talking about changes that will occur in the distant future – we’re talking about today. Right now. In 2017 the strongest storm EVER recorded in the Atlantic (Hurricane Irma) created huge destruction in the Caribbean, in 2018 there were massive fires in Northern California (in December!) and recently it was discovered that as much as 50% of the Great Barrier Reef, the world’s single biggest structure made by living organisms, may have died in just the previous two years.
But, even more than this, an article in the New York Magazine had a very profound impact on me personally and made me determined to do whatever I could to avert the approaching catastrophe. The article is based on extensive research and interviews with dozens of scientists, all of whom are leading experts in their field. One very interesting thing that I learnt is that our planet has already experienced five mass extinction events – the worst was 250 million years ago when just a five degree temperature increase led to 97% of life dying out. That’s right! Only 3% of life was able to survive only a small change in temperature on Earth.
Okay, so that was a long time ago. That won’t happen again, right? Think again!
WHAT HAPPENS IF WE JUST CARRY ON WITH BUSINESS AS USUAL?
1. Many areas that are well populated now will be completely uninhabitable by the end of the twenty-first century. By that time New York will be baking in similar temperatures to those currently experienced in Bahrain. We can only imagine what Bahrain will be like by then!
2. It’s almost certain that in just a hundred years most of Florida and Bangladesh, to mention only two examples, will have completely disappeared – inundated by the rising seas. Long before then all their inhabitants would have been forced to leave, creating huge numbers of climate refugees.
3. By then 80% of all arable land today will experience almost unending drought – meaning that much of the world’s population could simply starve to death. It turns out you can’t just move farming to other areas less affected by climate change, most of the world’s useful arable land is already being farmed.
Now you know what I meant by saying it looks bleak! The only reason scientists have any kind of optimism is because they think within a very short time it will become so obvious that we’re killing the planet that we’ll be jolted out of our complacency and forced to do something drastic. And of course the longer we leave drastic action, the more drastic that action is going to have to be. Eventually we’ll reach a point where even the most drastic action will be too late and there’ll be absolutely nothing we can do.
Nevertheless I continue to hope that we can avert climate catastrophe and I’ve pledged to do whatever I can to be part of the solution.
SO WHAT CAN I DO?
1. I try to reduce the carbon emissions that my lifestyle creates as much as I can and switch to renewable energy wherever possible.
2. I’ve encouraged as many of my friends, family members and colleagues as I can to get involved in the fight.
3. I advocate for climate change solutions whenever I can at a local, state and even national level politically.
Hopefully, if you’re not already engaged with the problem, you can make a similar pledge to do whatever you can to avert catastrophic climate change. We need all the help we can get! Either way thanks a lot for reading this – by doing so you’ve chosen to inform yourself about the climate crisis and shown an interest in being part of the solution to this massively important issue.
If you have any feedback, or ideas for the fight to save the planet, please email us as we’d love to hear from you.
Damien, founder of Real San Francisco Tours