On Friday, climate activist Greta Thunberg inspired millions of students worldwide to go on strike to bring awareness to the issue of the global climate crisis. All total, there were 2,500 events planned in over 150 countries, according to Vox.
A day earlier, Thunberg, along with writer and environmentalist George Monbiot released a short film in which they remind us all that we can make changes that will help save the planet from the environmental dangers being caused by our actions on a daily basis. All it takes is three simple steps which rely on us working with nature to restore the global ecosystem to health, Common Dreams reports:
“We are living in the beginning of a mass extinction. Our climate is breaking down. Children like me are giving up their education to protest,” says 16-year-old Thunberg. “But we can still fix this—you can still fix this.”
The film was produced by Tom Mustill of Gripping Films, and it touches directly on all of the climate and ecological crises that confront the world: The melting of ice in the Arctic, a decline in biodiversity, and the rampant deforestation of the rainforests:
“There is a magic machine that sucks carbon out of the air, costs very little, and builds itself. It’s called a tree,” Monbiot says. “Mangroves, peatbogs, jungles, marshes, seabeds, kelp forests, swamps, coral reefs, they take carbon out of the air and lock it away. Nature is a tool we can use to repair our broken climate.”
Also highlighted is how many nations help subsidize the fossil fuel industry when nature-based solutions would be better for all of us in the long run.:
“We need to stop funding things that destroy nature,” says Monbiot, “and pay for things that help it.”
“It is that simple,” adds Thunberg. “Protect. Restore. Fund.”
Three simple, achievable steps: Protect. Restore. Fund.
Treehugger explains how those three work in practice:
“We need to PROTECT the forests (and other living systems) that are being cut down at the rate of 30 football fields a minute; we need to RESTORE the natural world that we have destroyed; and we need to FUND these natural solutions instead of the fossil fuel industry.”
Nature is the key to restoring nature, according to Shyla Raghav from Conservation International, which helped fund the film:
“The fact is, we simply will not succeed in avoiding climate breakdown without nature.”
Global carbon emissions need to be cut in half over the next decade in order to avoid the most serious impacts from global heating. At the moment, they are still rising at an alarming scale.
Helping to preserve nature is a strategy that is growing in popularity worldwide:
“According to a new poll by the National Geographic Society and Ipsos, which surveyed 12,000 adults in Australia, Brazil, China, Great Britain, India, Indonesia, Kenya, Mexico, South Africa, South Korea, the United Arab Emirates, and the United States. The majority of respondents said they support a proposal—made famous by biologist E.O. Wilson—to set aside half of the planet as nature to safeguard biodiversity and prevent mass extinction.”
We have to begin immediately. Otherwise, we may lose the very planet that gives us all life.
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