2017 marked the third year in a row that millennials voted climate change as the most serious global issue, a statistic gathered by the World Economic Forum’s Global Shapers Survey. Nearly half of the participants chose climate change, I’ve outlined the remaining answers below:
- Lack of economic opportunity and unemployment (12.1%)
- Safety / Security / Well-being (14.1%)
- Lack of education (15.9%)
- Food and water security (18.2%)
- Government accountability and transparency / Corruption (22.7%)
- Religious conflicts (23.9%)
- Poverty (29.2%)
- Inequality [income, discrimination] (30.8%)
- Large scale conflict / Wars (38.9%)
- Climate change / Destruction of nature (48.8%)
Every factor mentioned is a global issue, an issue that is affecting various parts of the world which, in turn, have repercussions felt globally. As for myself, I also believe climate change is the most prominent issue. The reason being is that the repercussions of climate change and the destruction of nature play a part in many other issues, and if the situation becomes worse, could contribute to others. I often wonder about the conflicts that will arise from the displacements of many coastal cultures if sea levels rise and destroy their land.
Meat and agriculture are large contributors to climate change. From deforestation, waste run off, methane gases, and the sheer amount of grain and water needed to keep livestock, the industries are plagued with many issues. A point I personally am passionate about is reducing my own carbon footprint by contributing less to this industry. Within the Global Shapers Survey, 78.1% of the participants say they would be willing to alter their lifestyles to help progress towards a more sustainable environment. I would suggest eating less meat and dairy as a good start.
The Lazy Person’s Guide to Saving the World offers many suggestions on how to live a lifestyle that contributes to a better world. Many have to do with being more mindful of waste and consumption, and simply living a greener life in general. I think, if you have the privilege of the capability to change, you should truly consider becoming more conscious of your choices. If you are young, like myself, the future of this world is going to be ours to deal with. Change starts small. Do not let the idea of being simply one individual undermine your choices, every little thing matters. As it is now, each of our choices has a ripple effect. From the clothes we buy and the corporations we contribute to, to the trips we take in our cars downtown. Be conscious about your choices and help make the world a better place.