5 Reasons to be Optimistic About Climate Change in 2019

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2018 demonstrated to us that climate change is unmistakably upon us in the form of droughts, floods and wildfires across the northern hemisphere. 

The dawn of a new year is an excellent time to make promises of better health, stronger relationships, and more ambitious career goals, but it has become increasingly difficult to wear a mask of excitement when the vitality of our climate is at risk.

Concern for the Earth’s health is warranted, but there are compelling reasons to be hopeful about climate progress as we head into 2019. Here are just a few of them:

1. Social Change

A few years ago, platforms like Arbor Army didn’t exist. Here, we provide a sounding board for positive change, a marketplace for artists whose products bring us closer to our environmentally friendly goals, and a clear strategy toward supporting reforestation efforts. People are reading and listening, and with the help of resources like ours, they are beginning to see that the fight against climate change deserves representation from all socioeconomic backgrounds. 

2. Action from Unexpected Places

After President Trump announced his intentions to pull out of the Paris Agreement, we witnessed an unprecedented call to action from cities, states, and companies. Almost immediately, plans to embrace renewable energy, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and build upon transit programs were being discussed among the overwhelming majority of Americans who believe that global warming is happening. On a greater scale, the G20 summit enabled almost every country in attendance to express their commitment to climate progress.

3. Plant-based Diets are Growing in Popularity

According to the Nielsen/Good Food Institute, plant-based milks like almond and oat now make up over 10% of the market and are contributors to a billion-dollar business in the United States. Additionally, sales of other plant based meat and dairy alternatives have grown 8% over the last year. This level of demand likely means that plant-based products will improve in taste and quality in order to remain competitive in a growing market – good news for the environment and for your taste buds!

4. Fringe Benefits

Growing efforts to solve climate change continue to shed light on what Drew Jones, co-founder of Climate Interactive, refers to as “cobenefits.” Keeping the coal, oil, and gas in the ground leads to better air quality, less respiratory disease, and less asthma. 

5. It’s Fixable

We know what it takes to promote renewable energy and reduce climate change. Knowledge is power and power never goes out of style. While it may take a concentrated and coordinated effort, we are wholly capable of making great strides toward a healthy, sustainable climate.