“I don’t think tackling climate change is anything to fear. It’s really something to embrace.” Neil Kitching
As climate change threatens to progressively transform the world, concerns are being directed on human activity and how it contributes to worsening the situation. Despite the hurdles faced in tackling this issue, many proponents of the matter still believe that it is possible to address climate change. Neil Kitching has a passion for climate change and believes that it all starts with every one taking personal responsibility of their actions and making an effort to choose better alternatives.
Neil Kitching is a geographer and energy specialist from Scotland. He has written his first book, Carbon Choices on the common-sense solutions to our climate and nature crises; https://amzn.to/39cOETs. He works for a public sector agency promoting the opportunities for business to benefit from low carbon heating and water technologies. Neil had a mid-life career change from accountant to working in sustainable development then energy. This book arose from Neil’s frustration that so many people lack a basic understanding of climate change and its serious impacts. Education is the first step towards taking action. Community is one way to galvanize that action.
In today’s episode, Neil will discuss more about the state of climate change and some of the simple actions that can be done by individuals in an effort to reduce their carbon emissions.
- I was brought up in Paris at the centre of Scotland at the edge of the highlands and I always enjoyed the great outdoors. [2:28
- I completed a geography degree at Edinburgh University, and then came out during the midst of one of the great recessions when there was no jobs available. [2:43]
- I was desperately looking for work and I applied to be an accountant because I was always quite good at maths and numbers. [2:56]
- I trained to be an accountant in London and then worked away visibly as an accountant for 20 years, but always had in the back of a rage that I wasn’t very satisfied with this career choice. [3:02]
- Eventually, 20 years later, I had a midlife crisis, and did successfully change my career and moved into sustainable development policy and now I work as an energy specialist. [3:16]
- I learned about climate change 30 years ago in geography and it was all very factual as I could see how sensitive they sheets were to a changing climate. [3:45]
- For the time I was working in business, nobody seemed to care and no one was acting on it and I could never understand why that was the case. [4:04]
- When I moved into the environmental area, I seeme to be speaking to the same people all the time ad so I just thought it was good to write a book. [4:12]
- My aim was to try and influence and change some people and some government policies I also wanted to get the book out prior to Glasgow conference on climate change. [4:27]
- A few years back there was a lot of scepticism but we’ve seen the effects of climate change hitting all over the world. [5:38]
- Unfortunately, climate change will affect us all, either directly, or indirectly and there’s no escaping that. [6:45]
- My book really lays out the role of the different players and overlaps between all of them. [8:12]
- It’s up to individuals and communities to influence leaders act on climate change and businesses to act in more sustainable ways. [8:36]
- Commercial break. [10:47]
- In terms of what we can do as individuals, the starting point for me is where you choose to live and also cut on carbon impact by changing lifestyle. [12:54]
- We have a concept here called 20-minute communities where all services or nearly all services are accessible within walking or cycling 20 minutes from your house. [12:24]
- In the West, we consume so much stuff and that’s been ever increasing but it just means we buy lots of stuff that we use once and then throw away. [16:55]
- That’s probably getting worse globally because other countries are copying the bad habits. [17:23]
- For every good thing you see, there’s another bad thing and so they almost balance each other out therefore we just need to do more of the good things. [18:20]
- Consumption is a big thing and the worrying thing is if you go to developing countries, you just see a sea of plastic rubbish along the roads. [18:28]
- We have landfills that were on the coast and now with rising sea levels and coastal erosion, the waves are washing out these landfills. [19:10]
- The third big area in our lives that we could change is our choice of diets with regards to how much we eat and food wastage. [19:54]
- The big issue around our diet is eating beef, mutton and dairy products basically because cows and sheep are ruminants and they produce methane which is a strong, powerful greenhouse gas. [20:33]
- That’s the big area that governments don’t like to talk about due to fear of upsetting businesses and the farmers but as individuals, it’s an area we can change overnight if we choose to do so. [20:49]
- All our food waste should be composted because if you don’t and choose to put it in a plastic bag, and it goes to landfill, it rots down and starts to produce methane. [22:25]
- I think people think of the environment as being a problem but to me, going for a low carbon future is better. [24:34]
- We can start by making lifestyle changes as all are good choices that we should be striving for. [24:43]
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