Importance of Natural Resources

Fighting Climate Change: Structural vs individual action

So the other week, I got invited to a party! Great party! I’m gonna get down like it’s not even
the anthropocene. God… who invited ClimateAdam?? He’s always steals all the ice to do his climate experiments… So… you got any ice..? What?? No! Worst. Party. Ever. So what do you do when you’re not asking strangers for ice? Well I’m actually a doctor in climate science, but now I’m like this big time climate change
celebrity. Imagine if Leonardo DiCaprio was even more
sexier… I think about climate change all the time. It just feels like we’re not doing nearly
enough. But I feel so helpless. It’s such a huge problem it doesn’t feel like cutting my own emissions would make any difference at all. So what’s the point in doing anything?? Well if everyone said that, then no-one would ever do anything. But no-one *is* doing anything. But look, every little helps… Given how big the problem is, I don’t think that’s true. Well… I mean… Hey! What are we talking about? *whispering* She looks… weirdly… different… Great – Miriam is like an expert in environmental behaviour. So, Miriam, back me up: isn’t it crucial that we all do our bit to cut our emissions? Well… no. Exactly! So just like I was saying… Wait, what did you say?? What we need is systemic change – we need to focus on the bigger players. You’re just focusing on individual action because you want to feel good. It’s kinda vain. That is an outrageous accusation. Look, our lives still depend so much on fossil
fuels. There’s no reasonable way to cut our dependence on them without completely changing the system. OK, maybe we as individuals can’t make all the cuts to greenhouse gas
emissions. But that doesn’t mean we can’t make a huge difference. But ultimately, just 3 countries account for 50% of all global emissions. We need to be focussing on stopping the big
emitters. But those countries are made up of individuals, and they’re producing products that are used by individuals. I mean, we’re all using them so we’re the ones that need to cut down! Maybe some individual action can change some
stuff. But plenty of things require systematic, structural change. If I wanted my city to only use electric garbage trucks, for example, that needs government action. I can’t do it myself. Unless I become, like, the electric garbage truck kingpin of New
York. That’s not a bad idea… I should write that down. OK, well if you think individual action is
so silly, then I guess you fly all the time? No, I try not to fly that much. And you eat loads of red meat? No, not exactly. And doesn’t that individual action have some structural effect?! Well, I guess vegetarianism and veganism have a little bit more common over the last couple of decades as people
are picking and choosing what they put on their
plates… Mmhmm… But what about you? Is all you do for the planet not flying, avoiding certain things, turning off your
lights? Well, no of course not. I mean, I go on protests, I write to my elected officials demanding tough climate action, I try to start climate convers… Oh I see what you’re saying actually. So it’s possible that fighting over whether individual or structural changes fight climate change better is maybe missing
the point. And I guess individual actions – where people have the means and are able
to do them – can help push for global change. … and structural changes can help us take individual actions that make a positive difference. And with global carbon emissions still
rising, if we’re going to limit global warming to anything remotely safe, we need all the actions we can get: structural and individual. OK, but what should we actually do?! Well, VOTE! Vote early, vote often, vote for climate friendly candidates. … and reuse and repair your stuff as much as possible – whether that’s your clothes, your phone,
whatever. … plus, help raise funds for community solar or other local projects. … oo! also avoiding flying and driving when
you can. … and help out on a political or a policy
campaign. Try to eat a little bit less red meat and
dairy. Woah this sounds like a lot. No, no wait! You just need to start somewhere. Just pick one or two things that work for you right now… … so long as you vote. OK, I guess I can manage that. OK! Who here ordered 20 kilos of ice?! Thanks for watching, and a huge thanks to
Miriam. It was so much fun making this video with
her! You can check out her channel over here. We also made a video on my channel where we chat about ourselves and this issue in even more detail. Until next time, bye! Haha – hi Josie!

Reader Comments

  1. Adam! Thank you so much for having me on your channel. I had so much fun making this. If anyone wants a longer, sit-down conversation on this topic check out the video we made on my channel:

  2. there's a single shot (I think just one, excluding the very end) where there's a hidden doggo… let me know when you spot the fluffy party crasher!

  3. I like that the two of you had two different versions of the same conversation. I really feel like that can help reach more people.

  4. Great video EXCEPT you both missed the single most useful thing you can do! Join or create an organisation that actively works to stop climate change like Extinction Rebellion.

    Much more useful than just voting or eating grains and veggies made with artificial fertilisers and pesticides.

  5. Red Meat is a myth. What meat you eat actually has nothing to do with climate change. Instead it was the way we raise that meat that makes all the difference.
    “The number one public enemy is the cow. But the number one tool that can save mankind is the cow. We need every cow we can get back out on the range. It is almost criminal to have them in feedlots which are inhumane, antisocial, and environmentally and economically unsound.” Allan Savory

  6. Could you do a review of the "paper" Deep Adaption : A Map for Navigating Climate Tragedy? It's very popular now a days, but should it be?

  7. The climate on earth changes since the earth has got an atmosphere. The energy that drives the weather and therefore the climate comes from the sun. The sun itself changes its activity by its own and these changes in sun's activity changes the climate on earth, even before the first mammals came up on earth.
    Now it's a climate period that is called ice age. The earth is cooling down since 10000 years now and it's 5 Kelvin colder as in the period between 12000 to 10000 years before today. So we can say that the sun reduces its activity since 10000 years now. The global temperature is now. slightly under 15 degree Celsius, the middle temperature for the last over 3 billion years. And it will cool down even further with a rate of 0.5 mK per year in case of the fact that that the sun reduces its activity even further.
    All humans saying we have a global warming and have to stop it are big lliers. The only thing to do is to in prison these climate apocalypsist and fhe world will be a much better one.
    By the way can anyone please tell me how CO2 which is a naturel part of our atmosphere should be able to increase the global temperature. Is CO2 a Perpetuum mobile of the second kind? If it is so than we should use it to produce all the power we need with CO2. But thermodynamics says that Perpetuum mobile are not possible. So how is CO2 able to increase the global temperature?

  8. Discovered you through Simon's channel and I have to say that your one of the few YouTubers out there that are not on some kind of ideological bent promoting a purely individualistic or systematic approach to solving the climate emergency. Your video pretty much sums up my viewpoint on this. Yay validation!

  9. I'm using this in my geography lectures. It's a nice way to show my pupils the relations between individual vs structural approaches to stopping our emissions. My pupils are swedish and english isn't their mother languange but I've made swedish subtitles but it hasn't gotten verified yet.
    Keep up the good work!

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