What changes have the experts made to their own lives to tackle the climate emergency?
The researcher planning a four-day working week
‘We need to reduce our capacity and urge to consume’
Month after month, there is research showing that climate change is happening faster than we thought. We’re in a car hurtling towards the edge of a cliff, we’ve got our foot on the accelerator, and we’re just talking to each other, faffing about. If anything, some of us are even putting the foot further down. What we need to do is stop the car and get out. That has become increasingly clear to me in the last couple of years, which is why I’ve made changes to my own lifestyle.
These all come from the research we’ve been doing at my work, and it’s all based on climate science. The first – and the hardest for many people – is flying. The evidence is clear that, as far as the climate is concerned, we should keep to one return short-haul flight every two to three years. So it’s not that I can’t see the world – I could still go abroad at least another 10 times in my life – it’s just that I can’t go to Istanbul for the weekend.
I’ve been vegetarian since I was about 15, and pretty much vegan for a year. It’s important that everybody goes close to vegetarian, and ideally vegan. Not just that: it’s also important that we stop eating so much. The average European eats 3,500 calories a day, which is too much. The planet has had to provide all those unnecessary calories. It’s not just about climate change: if you look at land use change, biodiversity loss, fertilisers in the ocean creating dead zones, the massive extinction and loss of insects due to pesticides – these problems are all driven by food.
Read more: The Guardian