We interview Sustainability Facilitator, Susannah Raffe to get an insight into what climate breakdown is and what can be done.
At Telltale Research we’ve kicked off 2019 by creating Telltale Stories, an online series that explores social, ethical and environmental causes through interviews with experts, charities and trailblazing businesses.
With the freedom to delve into any topic close to our heart, we asked ourselves: ‘Which topics really caught our attention in 2018? Which are particularly relevant right now? What would we like to learn more about?”
The topic we decided on was climate change or, in other words, climate breakdown, as it is now defined.
We engaged the Australian born, London based, Sustainability Facilitator, Susannah Raffe, in a conversation about why the environmental cause has become such an urgent matter to address and what can be done to make a difference as an individual.
A brief summary of the alarming facts about climate breakdown, as per our conversation with Susannah Raffe:
- Earth’s temperature is often defined as being in a ‘Goldilocks zone’ -one that is neither too hot nor too cold, but just right for life and humanity to flourish.
- Our unique atmosphere acts like a greenhouse, protecting us from the cold of space and the rays of our burning sun. Carbon dioxide (Co2) is one of the key compounds in the atmosphere that traps heat.
- Since the Industrial revolution, humans have been burning large quantities of fossil fuels, which emit Co2 into the atmosphere, while also cutting down forests, which absorb Co2 and produce oxygen.
- The impact of these activities has caused more and more heat to be trapped in the atmosphere, which has enhanced the greenhouse effect and caused ‘global warming’.
- Among other consequences of global warming: ice caps melt and sea levels rise; hurricanes, droughts and wildfires intensify; ecosystems collapse (causing species to go extinct) and human civilisations become displaced.
- By further increasing the temperature by as little as 2 degrees celsius, it could mean a global ecological and humanitarian catastrophe -and we are currently on track for 4 degrees warming by the end of the century!
What can be done?
This is clearly a global problem that governments, businesses and individual citizens must come together to solve.
Ordinary citizens can feel powerless in the face of such a daunting task (especially if their political leaders obstruct the cause), but it is important not to loose sight of the agency that individuals do have.
“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.” Margaret Mead
If you would like to make a difference to the environmental cause yourself, we would like to highlight 3 points that can make a difference:
- Get informed: subscribe to a newsletter from a climate organisation, such as Climate for Change (www.theclimategroup.org). Watch a documentary (Susannah’s picks are: An Inconvenient Sequel, Chasing Coral, and Merchants of Doubt). Go on Eventbrite or Funzing -and keep an eye on @SusannahRaffe for Climate Conversation workshops in London!
- Stand up & exercise your political rights: let politicians know that it is an important topic to you and vote for climate policies. Talk with friends and family about it and go on a non-violent march together. You can also get creative through art -we really enjoyed Olafur Eliasson’s and Minik Rosing’s exhibition ‘Ice Watch’ at Tate Modern.
- Reduce your personal footprint & be eco-chic: Fly less (if there is an alternative), eat less meat, minimise plastic waste and support some of the exciting new eco-friendly and sustainable product innovations around. We’re personally into our re-use cups, S’well water bottles, Bee’s Wax Wrapping paper and grocery tote bags.
Thank you for reading and please feel free to clap, comment and share!
Our next episode will reflect public opinions on the topic and showcase a selection of sustainable brands that have come up with innovative solutions to the problem.
If your company has a sustainable product or service worth shouting about, get in touch to share your story!