If Not Aliens, Then May The Climate Unite Us
First Contact. That's the interstellar connection that every Trekkie is waiting for. But warp drive is, at the time of writing, a technological impossibility, so the Vulcans will have to wait. Meanwhile, a greater force has united countries in a way that has never been seen before.
Last weekend, history was made in the city of Katowice, Poland, when almost 200 countries agreed upon, and adopted, a rulebook to implement Paris Agreement, the landmark 2015 global pact to fight climate change. Whilst smaller countries lamented that the agreement did not quite pass muster, that the world essentially came together and said "yes, our planet is more important than the needs of the individual countries" is cause enough to celebrate. Hopefully, a new era of climate protection will begin to to keep global average temperature rise this century below 2 degrees Celsius and to limit the temperature increase even further to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels.
So great that governments will be obliged (but not required) to abide by these guidelines, but what small changes can we, as individual citizens of our beautiful planet, do to play our part? Here's 4 simple ideas:
1) Eat less animal-based product. It doesn't mean you have to turn vegan overnight. Every little bit counts.
2) Say "NO" to palm oil-based products. This NY times article explains in grim detail the devastating impact on the planet by the palm oil industry.
3) Take public transport, ride a bike, use your car less (the author is very guilty of the last point. I promise to improve!).
4) Turn off the air conditioner and heating when it's not being used.
May we live long and prosper.