Anxiety & optimism: thinking about the state of our climate
Thursday 4th of June 2020
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Man in hi vis standing on a hill looking up at a tall tree.
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‘Anxious’ is a word that often comes up in relation to the way we feel about our climate. Many of us are anxious that we are not doing enough and that our carbon footprint is negatively impacting the world around us.

In a time when we are faced with the immediate threat of a global pandemic, we must still comprehend the long-term impacts that we face as a result of a changing climate.

Greenfleet supporter Chris Munro recently shared his feelings of anxiety when reflecting on both the climate and the world’s collective experience of COVID-19. He feels strongly about the importance of taking climate action for future generations and remains optimistic we can work towards making a difference for them.

Chris, how do you feel about the current state of our climate?

I feel anxious, yet optimistic. I think recent events have shown just how quickly significant and unanticipated disruption can occur. COVID-19 was unexpected by almost all of us and has carried with it a slew of substantial impacts implemented at a blinding pace. We had minimal notice, and the effects have been felt intensely and very personally for everyone.

In contrast, climate action is something we have known we’ve needed to take for a long time. Of course, there is not the same sense of urgency because people aren’t feeling the big, personal impacts of climate change yet. This is apparent when you look at the way that Australia, and other quick-acting nations, have responded to COVID-19. It’s incredible to witness what the collective can achieve when focused on, and mandated to, effect change for a significant purpose.

However (and this is not new news), climate change is a slow burn. For many, it is not yet personally felt and it will take sustained effort to avoid future impacts. I worry that through climate and other environmental actions, we are destroying natural habitats all over the place, both terrestrial and aquatic. I fear that as the earth its weather and get hotter and more volatile, the window for us to make meaningful change diminishes. And I am anxious that climate change is not getting the attention it needs. We can’t let it further become one of those “If only we had acted earlier” things. We are late to the party already, but we are not too late to make a positive impact and improve life for all living things.

Why is taking climate action important for you?

Personally, there are many threads to this, and I’d answer it this way - we need to leave a positive legacy for our children and future generations generally.

We have the knowledge, the tools, and the ability to act. Not giving the climate our best shot will have dire impacts on those who walk (and swim and fly) the planet after us. I don’t think we want to go down in history as the generations that were too distracted or reluctant to do something that is so fundamentally essential to ongoing life. “Why not? What could be more important?” they will ask. I don’t feel we are on track for acceptable answers. I also think climate action has the potential to bring about a much-needed sense of global community and doing what’s right for everyone.

Many industries and markets need to be broken up or transformed to make way for new, sustainable businesses and innovative ways of operating. Doing things differently is where I think the opportunity is, and I get excited thinking about it. I am lucky to have had some space recently to reflect and question my thinking on what is important. What are the things we should value? How do we want to emerge from COVID-19? Are there better ways to work, and to travel, and to live? Should we stop this obsessive consumption-driven mania we have placed ourselves in? With this opportunity for innovation, I think climate action can be a catalyst for even more than helping the physical environment we live in. And it’s easy to get started.

Why did you choose CarbonCover 365 to take climate action?

I chose CarbonCover 365 because it lets me easily offset my carbon emissions for the coming year for a dollar a day. Greenfleet is a small yet powerful organisation that helps individuals like me take real climate action. Through its CarbonCover 365 solution, Greenfleet will plant native trees that will grow into biodiverse forests and help restore ecosystems. Not only will my carbon emissions be offset, but natural habitats will also be restored and strengthened across Australia. I chose to purchase CarbonCover 365 now because this is an issue that will not go away. While they seem like a lifetime ago, Australia is still recovering from the aftermath of the bushfires.

It’s exciting and motivating, contributing to something positive and forward-looking. It helps remind us there is a bright future, but we need to work hard for it. And it’s wonderful being able to support Greenfleet, as a not-for-profit organisation, during these difficult times so they can stay on-mission.

 

While many of us can relate to the feelings of anxiety that Chris touches on, there is still room for the optimism he also feels. As we consciously reduce our carbon footprints where we can and continue taking steps towards a greener future, there is certainly hope that we can each make a difference.

To continue your journey towards living in a more sustainable world, you can take direct, practical climate action by offsetting your emissions with Greenfleet and supporting our native reforestation efforts.

Chris has been supporting Greenfleet since 2016 and is also a member of our Business Advisory Council. He is passionate about fighting the effects of climate change and minimising his environmental impact.