A Net Zero Carbon Footprint Needs to Become Earth’s #1 Priority

Large carbon footprint from energy plant
Earthagram- Get Involved With Change

Reduce the Carbon Footprint Faster

Countries seem to pledge to reduce their carbon footprint every other day. Germany for example has pledged to stop using coal by the year 2040 while others are shooting for 2030 and everywhere in between. Switching to renewable energy sources at our power plants is a fantastic way to slash our carbon footprint but in reality, becoming “carbon neutral” isn’t enough, nor is doing it within twenty years. 

We need to go way past carbon neutral into the carbon negative. Soaking up carbon by any new technological means necessary. We could start with planting trees but eventually we’ll need more efficient carbon soaking methods. The reduction of the carbon footprint could actually be attainable in a short period of time all we need is to band together. 

We've United Before

In most significant wars throughout the history of the world, citizens abandoned their regular jobs to supply their countries war efforts. Think Rosie the Riveter. Women sewed uniforms, riveted airplanes, manufactured ammunition and much more. The country stopped eating bananas and rationed food so it could be sent to the troops. War bonds were purchased by civilians to fund the fight. 

What’s baffling to me is that all of these efforts were for war. People made so much of an effort to make sure that their army would prevail and people in other countries would die. Though here we are almost a hundred years in the future and we make half-hearted attempts to save our own planet.  

It’s incredible that an entire nation jumped into action to support their country, but sit back in silence (for the most part) when their own country wants to let the planet die. 

The carbon footprint mainly caused by energy production

The Time to Act on Reducing the Carbon Footprint is Now

Being carbon neutral needs to happen in the next five years or so all over the world. We’re not talking about “climate change” anymore it’s “climate crisis.” The world has talked and danced around the subject for decades without making extreme efforts to curb our carbon footprint.

Renewable energy has been around for quite a while. Hydroelectric, solar, and wind power have all been contributing to energy grids around the planet for decades. The question is why aren’t they the only source? The answer is money. I’m not going to get into corporate greed and how it’s killing our planet, but that’s the source of our problems here. 

If your bathtub was overflowing what would you do? Turn off the faucet where the water is coming from? Or turn the faucet kind of down a little bit and scoop the water out and throw it into the sink with your hands? Easy answer right? 

But why in that analogy is earth choosing the latter of the two options? Turning the faucet down is installing a couple wind turbines here and there. The scooping out water with our hands is the civilian effort currently to save our planet. 

I’m not at all bashing the efforts that we make every day to curb our carbon footprint. Reusable shopping bags, conserving water, picking up trash in our communities, planting trees: These are all fantastic things we do and should be continued. But for our efforts to really make a difference we have to turn our faucet off. 

Where the Carbon Comes From

Carbon Dioxide Emissions

This chart shows over 80% of our carbon emissions come from three places. Transport, energy, and agriculture. Reforming just three areas of our lives would put us in terrific standing to actually beat climate change. Industry, residential, waste, and other account for the other almost 20%. 

If we work on fixing our carbon emissions now, we can live to see another day to see how to reduce the carbon in the atmosphere and get back to business as usual. 

Carbon neutral is where we need to be in six years. Carbon negative is where we need to be in 11. 

This article displays six ways we can reduce carbon in the atmosphere, and the simplest way is through forests. Our forests could be enlarged by humans yearly. Arbor day or Earth Day is a tremendous existing platform we could use to get people out and planting trees. But this brings us back to the bathtub example. We can’t just plant a trillion trees and have corporations cut them down elsewhere. 

While we make efforts to soak up carbon, we have to be vigilant at the same time of companies who are attempting to do things the old way. 

 

The Green Revolution

This idea isn’t so far fetched, it’s just hard to get older generations on board because they’ve benefited for so long since the industrial revolution. The only reason the industrial revolution caught on so fast is that it promised huge profits for reduced amounts of labor. My question is how do these people expect to make money from their current way of doing business if there’s nobody to sell their goods or services to because we’ll barely be able to afford food in the near future. 

Call me alarmist, dramatic, call me unrealistic, or whatever you want. These are the cards we have in our hand right now as planet earth. What cards you ask? I’d say we have at least a 10 Queen Suited. 

I think we have fantastic cards. I think we just have to play the hand smart is all. 

The issue with becoming carbon neutral is we hear too much about how much it’s going to cost, and our government gets hung up on the numbers. Even when they’re shown how much it’ll be if we do nothing, then they take everything we say with this huge spoon of salt. 

Getting Off Carbon

The world acts like it doesn’t have the means to get off its carbon-emitting addiction. It’s literally the same situation as a heroin addict. You have this person who is so hooked on heroin that they don’t believe that anything will help them and use more and more every day. They might take methadone, but they’re never truly free from the monkey on their back that is addiction.

The only thing that will genuinely help this addict is stopping cold turkey with support from their loved ones taking care of them through withdraw. 

What the people in power on earth don’t understand is that the withdraw won’t be so painful in their situation. Yes, their margins will be slimmer, but at least they’ll have margins. 

No Carbon Footprint is Beneficial For Everyone

Things could even look better for billions of people in poverty if we end up going full force into carbon neutrality. People are going to be needed to install solar panels, wind turbines and the like. The processes we’ll have in place at manufacturing plants will be so different we’ll need more people there too. Who knows, maybe we’ll have to employ people to plant trees all over the planet. 

The reduction of our carbon footprint in transportation is currently very profitable and in the future will be a goldmine. As I’m typing this, I’m not really sure how exactly these companies are going to lose money in the long run. 

Maybe if we make everyone watch the Lorax again, then we’ll make people see why exactly we need a giant difference to be made in the world. 

The reduction of our carbon footprint is on every human on this planet, but the people in positions of power like government officials, owners of corporations, and energy tycoons will turn off the carbon faucet. 

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