In an article on The Conversation, Matthew Adams, Principal Lecturer in Psychology, instead argues that “collective action” is the most effective way of avoiding warming above 1.5 degrees Celsius.
This was the figure that a recent report by the United Nation’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) urged the world needs to stay on or below in order to avoid environmental catastrophe.
The IPCC suggested that the impacts of 1.5 degrees Celsius warming are significantly more manageable than 2 degrees – but that in 12 years’ time a 1.5 degree target may be unattainable unless an “unprecedented” conservation effort is instigated.
Adams urges us to take influence from the spirit of communal resistance displayed in the suffragette and abolitionist to affect the decisions of policy-makers around climate change.
Reacting to the report, Adams writes: “What tends to happen with this kind of information is that it gets translated into a checklist of things we can do to make a difference – as individuals.
“Those of us in affluent, ‘developed’ societies – because those are the people to whom such lists are exclusively directed – can read the lists, think about what we can or already do individually, commit ourselves mentally to others, then park it and get on with our individual lives.