The most important story of 2018 was Climate Change.
According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), 2018 was a tipping point for the global environment and it was a pivotal year for climate action. The September 2018 IPCC Report warned us that our world has little more than a decade to bring emissions under control and halve them to limit climate change catastrophe, and that allowing warming to reach 1.5C (34.7F) above pre-industrial levels would have grave consequences for people and nature, including the die-off of coral reefs and devastation of many species. The effects of the climate we are changing have long felt distant until now and they are a terrifying wake up call for us who are prepared to listen.
At the start of 2019, NOW Founding Associate – Victoria Fuller – observed that climate change and sustainability are still too far down the political agendas and people everywhere are still distracted with other issues. Sadly, we both know that things may need to get more serious before people will start to wake up to the potential calamity that will face our later years and our children’s generation.
Globally there are many bright minds with resilience solutions and technologies to tackle Climate Change, but many decision makers who can make a difference choose to be distracted by lesser matters. Divisions prevail within borders and fear closes them. Trusted global media do not always connect the dots between natural disasters and climate change and further connect this to human lifestyles in need of correction and consciousness. Most TV news coverage on climate change is limited and monotone at a time when we need reality checks, urgent action, accountability and sirens loud enough to penetrate the stupor.
The rising toll and enormous dangers of climate change cannot be disputed, but maybe the dangers need to get personal and people need to feel fear for their lives to refocus their priorities and ignite more urgent actions. Maybe we need 2019 to be a more precarious year for us to realise that we are running out of time and our window of opportunity is closing.
Our activities and lifestyles produce carbon and green-house gas that is invisible, but their negative impacts are visible in our changing climate and dwindling nature. Nature is our secret weapon and we are in trouble if nature become so degraded that we are unable to draw on it for resilience, protection and stability. Climate change is real. It’s serious. And it’s up to us to solve it.
We protect the children in our lives and care about their health and education, yet we have also created terrifying challenges for them and their children. Many will not have carefree childhoods and teen lives. Many will be let down by elected leaders who don’t lead and disappointed by adults who find excuses and do nothing about the most urgent issue of our time while there is still time. Many will be worried about their future knowing they have the most to loose.
Maybe we need to listen more to children whose simple solution is to just change our materialistic and carbonised lifestyles and do more to protect the nature we love. Nature give us joy and keep us alive and it is the closest thing to magic that we have in our lives. People need nature to survive, but it does not need us.
itmustbeNOW.com and the NOW team refuse to be distracted. At the start of 2019, we bring you a new look, bolder weekly feature articles to promote smarter travel for people and planet, and Climate Action Countdown to 2020 campaign. We bring you technology solutions with the launch of a Carbon Calculator and Carbon Offset programmes, more inspiring choices in NOW Track & Book and innovations with positive impacts later in the year.
Air travel is sometimes the quickest and more affordable way to reach our destination, but it emits more carbon than any other human activity and creates a warming effect that contributes to climate change. Buying carbon offsets and staying in a property that has seriously committed to sustainability are the best way to reduce or neutralize our carbon footprint when we travel.
NOW Track & Book celebrates inspiring and responsible hotels, resorts, lodges, retreats and boats that commit to sustainability and are being accountable, showing progress, stopping the greenwash and being the best they can be right now for our world. They are at different levels in their sustainability journey, ranging from those that have just started out to those that have been committed for decades. All are doing their bit to help sustain our planet, give back to communities and support the sustainable development goals.
Action gives us hope and so does changing public opinion. Be empowered to act NOW and use your spending power to change and save our world, and only support companies that are accountable and doing the right thing. We are all travellers within our borders or abroad and our vote and wallet make us the most influential person to the travel industry. Our actions speak volumes about our values and we are calling on you to boldly act NOW, demand and drive change, and make a difference.
It must be NOW!