An open letter on climate change

Joseph Merz

I’m writing this letter to you, an individual who has the power to impact upon those around you. What I’m about to say may well sound like something straight from a Marvel comic: our world is in peril and you are our only hope.

Climate change is a topic that I’ve been researching in various capacities for the last 5 or so years. However, I’m no expert so I’m unlikely to convince deniers. A simple Google search turns up thousands of papers written by renowned climate scientists and articles from other reliable sources if you want to learn more. Or if you’d prefer, Hollywood actor Leonardo Dicaprio’s movie Before the Flood, provides a close to perfect snapshot into what’s going on.

Climate change is an urgent issue

It’s not so much climate change denial that’s the problem, as those who deny it outright are the minority. It’s the fact that people don’t seem to understand the urgency around it. People seem to think that if the situation was that urgent, surely world leaders would have all held some sort of a meeting to discuss it, wouldn’t they? Well as a matter of fact, yes they would, and they have.

They’ve met up a few times since then to avoid what the United Nations are describing as “human tragedy”.

If it’s so serious, why isn’t it in the news every day? Well, there are a number of factors at play here. Part of the answer is that to make headlines and increase ratings you need stories that are new and climate change certainly isn’t new. In fact, I’m sad to say we’ve known about it since the 60’s and we’ve become pretty damn desensitised to the topic. Worse still, a large number of the people I speak to seem think we have it under control. The situation is far from under control and no one is going to fix this for us… Why? Because we are still causing the problem.

It’s important to know that at this point in time we can still turn things around. However, true progress is rarely made in comfort. The solution is going to take work and a lot of habits will need to change.

Positive actions for a climate change solution

One of the quickest things you can change is your diet. And your diet can make a massive impact. The New York Times claims, “You’re better off eating vegetables from Argentina than red meat from a local farm”. Which is likely true if you consider these facts. Here’s a very interesting infographic.

While I’m a strong advocate for animal rights, this isn’t about that – this is about doing what is necessary to preserve our planet and leave it in better shape than we found it. And reducing your meat and dairy consumption isn’t the only thing you can do, there are a bunch of other things too.

It’s up to you

Even though scientific predictions about climate change are coming true faster than we ever thought possible, we’re still in uncharted waters. The bottom line is that as individuals it’s up to us. We make up this fascinating and unique world and our businesses have a responsibility to build and offer sustainable, ethical products or services. Our planet’s health is a Cost of Sale that needs to make it onto every P&L.

I don’t know about you but I don’t want to look at my grandchildren one day, living in a world that today, I would hardly recognise, all the while knowing that we could have done more.

Thank you for taking the time to read this and I would be interested to hear your thoughts in the comments below.

Warm regards,

Joseph Merz


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