We will all want what’s best for ourselves, our friends and our families. In 1943 Abraham Maslow suggested a personal hierarchy of needs which have since been summarised in order of importance:
- Physiological – air, water, food, shelter, sleep, clothing, reproduction
- Safety – personal security, employment, resources, health, property
- Love and belonging – friendship, intimacy, family, sense of belonging
- Esteem – respect, self-esteem, status, recognition, strength, freedom
- Self-actualisation – desire to become the most that one can be
Climate change provides a threat to the most basic, physiological needs, and possibly also to employment – for example, factory-produced clothes from cotton or man-made fibres carry a high carbon footprint. We all need to decide what is most important to us, and then take steps to get it, with whatever advice we can find.
And we shouldn’t wait for any government to solve all this for us, we could wait a long time! We need to get on with it ourselves, though this can include encouraging our local council to get more involved. The South East Climate Alliance has published the results of a recent conference discussion on this topic.
- Use renewable energy in your house – and as little as possible
- Plant (fruit) trees and create “bee squares” to encourage pollinating insects
- Repair old clothes
- Don’t buy high carbon footprint goods
- Don’t waste food
- Insulate your home, using grants where available
- Grow your own food where possible (using captured rainwater)
- Find more sustainable forms of transport to work or leisure
- Collect rubbish on roads (don’t block them) while making your point
- Join your local parish or town council
- Encourage your council to buy local (and do so yourself)
Christiana Figueres & Tom Rivett-Carnac, The Future We Choose: Surviving the Climate Crisis, (Manilla Press 2020)
Mike Berners-Lee, How Bad Are Bananas? (Revised edition Profile Books 2020)
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This page was last updated on 16th February 2023.