Love your Planet

Love your Planet

We must do what we can to preserve our 
dwindling resources and we must do it in a way that makes sense, 
not only to our communities and ourselves, but also for the global economy. 
Nicole Sherwin takes us on a brief tour of the pioneers dedicated 
to highlighting global warming and urgent 
planetary concerns: some are managing to 
mobilize awareness on a huge scale. 

Awareness is one thing but it’s up to us to make significant changes and have a green lifestyle as a non-negotiable part of living. Do your bit and the combined effort will make a cumulative and noticeable difference. Controversy regarding global warming is rife. Is releasing carbon dioxide into the atmosphere a massive contributing factor to global warming? Some scientists say yes, others are not convinced. Al Gore, former United States Vice President brought a passionate and inspirational look at his fervent crusade to halt global warming’s deadly progress in his documentary, An inconvenient Truth, directed by Davis Guggenheim. Alongside bracing facts exposing myths and misconceptions and looking at future predictions is the story of Gore’s personal journey: from idealistic college student who saw a massive environmental crisis looming; to a young Senator facing a harrowing family tragedy that altered his perspective. The documentary showcases many well respected scientists with a believable case that global warming is largely created by carbon emissions.

Al Gore’s message: global warming is no longer just a ‘political’ issue but rather, the biggest moral challenge facing our civilization today.

Other documentary filmmakers like Bjorn Lomborg (a political scientist from Denmark) who produced 'Cool It' is well known as ‘The Skeptical Environmentalist’. He shows scientists with a different view of global warming and solutions to climate change, environmental pollution and other major world problems. Lomborg argues many elaborate and expensive actions considered to stop global warming cost hundreds of billions of dollars without the same return on investment. These, he says, are often based on emotional rather than scientific assumptions, and may have very little impact on the world's temperature for centuries. Lomborg’s recommendation: Introduce a limited carbon tax in the first world and use subsidies from the first world to the third world to help fight ongoing humanitarian crises. Richard Branson takes a different approach with his independent non-profit organisation, The Carbon War Room. This defines market-driven solutions to climate change on a remarkable gigaton-scale. It generates clever business strategies to accelerate green solutions especially where there are low expectations and weak mandates.The Carbon War Room brings together dynamic groups of thinkers and doers from different fields and facilitates discussion and solution development. Three groups comprise of Research and Intelligence; Network Engagement; and Active Operations and focus on industry sectors like Energy Supply, Forestry, Industry, Transportation, Waste Management, Residential & Commercial Buildings and Agriculture. Branson’s message: The challenge of climate change can be addressed today in a profitable way – under existing policy conditions using mature technologies. Leonardo Di Caprio created, produced and narrated the documentary film The 11th Hour, with contributions from over 50 politicians, scientists, and environmental activists, including former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev, physicist Stephen Hawking, Nobel Prize winner Wangari Maathai and journalist Paul Hawken. The film looks at grave problems facing the planet's life systems. Global warming, deforestation, mass species extinction and depletion of the oceans' habitats are addressed concluding that the future of humanity is in jeopardy. Di Caprio’s message: Potential solutions can be found by calling for restorative action by reshaping and rethinking global human activity through technology, social responsibility and conservation. So whose way is the right way? Whether politicians, film-makers, scientists, activists, celebrities or environmentalists and whether you are for or against the arguments that global warming is caused by greenhouse gasses and carbon dioxide emissions, the deepest most fundamental message through all the presentations is that WE must take responsibility for our own actions and for our precious earth. We must do what we can to preserve our dwindling resources and we must do it in a way that makes sense, not only to our communities and ourselves, but also for the global economy. How can this new revolution not be healthier for us? It gets us thinking; it drives us to create positive solutions and gets us active and engaged to help affect change in the world. Surely this is enough to jump onboard the hot tamale green train and become more aware, more conscious and more engaged not only in our lives and our businesses, but throughout the world. This is our one home and we do love earth. As the current President of The Carbon War Room and ex President of Costa Rica, Jose Maria Figueres says, “There is no Planet B”. DID YOU KNOW? The ‘green revolution’ is now a global trillion dollar industry,producing new job opportunities, creating new technologies and solutions to reducing carbon emissions, generating energy access for third world countries and creating new lifestyle products better and safer for you and the environment.

Tip: Why not get involved in a community actively practising green living in Cape Town?

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