How Exactly Do We Stop Climate Change? Plus a Summer Forecast for COVID-19

Some people on social media obsessively replace all their plastic belongings with stuff made from stainless steel, ceramic, or glass. Other environmentalists rail against fossil fuel companies and say regular people don’t need to change their behavior to stop climate change; we just need to put rich oil company heads in prison. But what do 400 scientists say when they get together to hash out what actually causes climate change and how we humans can stop it?

Here is what actually needs to be done:

  • Transform the energy system so that instead of using fossil fuels we use renewable sources of energy.
  • Accept lifestyles where we travel much less far, both for trips and in our everyday lives.
  • Change our diets, mainly to eat less meat and waste less food.
  • Live in smaller homes, which take a lot of energy and material to heat and cool and build and fill.

And these efforts need to be made by large numbers of people, not just a few people who are trying to be perfect.

People may be more motivated to make these changes if they realize that they lead to healthier ways of life—not only because they and other people won’t have to endure as much climate havoc but because changes like driving less and eating less meat make us individually more physically fit.

Summer Forecast for COVID-19

Many people have hoped that warm weather will wipe out the COVID-19 epidemic in their area. But people eager for summer camp and pool season need to think twice. For now, local weather conditions aren’t likely to stop infections. A paper in the journal Science points out that because the virus is new and so much of the population has no immunity to it, the virus will spread quickly no matter what the local climate.

Painting above by Nairi Rivers.

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