Is This The Only Thing We Need Do To Save The Planet?

Before I get started there are a couple of things you should know. 

The first is I’m a pilot. (What? Didn’t you know!?)

My choice of profession means I’m responsible for pumping copious amounts of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. (Seriously a fucking lot!) It should also be said I love to do this in my spare time. Travelling is a passion and if it weren’t for COVID that’s exactly what I’d be doing right now.

The second is that I eat meat, drink my tea with cows milk (because anything else ruins it) and fucking love cheese. Seriously, put some of that shit on a giant man-sized mouse trap and my last words would be, “this… mature cheddar… is… to die for… aaaaahhhhhhhh…”

This all begs the following question,

Why Should You Listen To Me Regarding The Environment?

Well, I’m not entirely sure you should, but I can, at least, think of a couple reasons why you might consider hearing me out. 

For one, I’m not here to give some fluffy account about how great I am or all the incredible things I’ve done/are doing to save this planet. 

“Hey everybody, look at me – I’ll show you exactly how you should live your life! All you have to do is be tee-totalling vegan buddhist monk just like me, yaaaay! 🤗”

No. That would be too easy.

I want to inspire change but you can’t do that without being honest. Without being clear where it is you are. For me that means admitting I still have an almighty mountain to climb if I am to become the change in this world that I wish to see. After all it’s not just changes in others I wish to inspire, but myself.

However I will admit my selfish intentions here – I want all of us to change for my children’s sake. 

With that said, I don’t subscribe to the belief that you need to be a vegan or some kind of die-hard environmentalist to save the planet either. At least not yet. At any rate, I believe telling others that they must does more harm than good.

Why?

Because beating your head against the wall trying to convince millions to become vegans overnight patiently doesn’t work. I actually think those who do turn more people off than they manage convincing – like telling people they must wear masks.

Look at how that worked out!

By the by, I don’t believe people are saying no to wearing masks per say – I don’t believe they are necessarily denying the science either – I believe they’re simply saying fuck you for demanding it of them.

Stupid as it might be, that’s America people. That’s the free world! People want to believe it was a choice they made for themselves, not because someone told them they had to. Like it or loath it, the culture of American exceptionalism is something we have to work with. In China they can demand change overnight. We can’t. Yet if we want to keep our freedoms, then we must take responsibility for them. That means doing what we know is right, not what we want simply because we are free to do so.

Can you not see why?

Our children are already striking – many becoming full-time climate activists – understanding that if things don’t change, and quickly, then becoming a doctor or a pilot (god forbid) will be luxuries they simply can’t afford to pursue. Instead we will have a generation of full-time environmentalists because we’ve left them little other choice.

If this scares you it should.

It’s a tragic irony that they’ve found themselves missing a lot more school this year as a result of our environmental exploitations.

This is precisely why we must ensure our choices are based on fact and not our feelings or fucked up entitled beliefs. If you didn’t know already, science gives zero fucks about what you feel you’re entitled to believe.

With all that said I won’t demanding you change your ways but instead ask compassionately that you please grow the fuck up and wear a mask (and make it a reusable one too). You do that and maybe, just maybe, I’ll consider putting oat milk in my cup of English breakfast tea (In other news the Queen just revoked my British passport).

I joke, of course.

Seriously though let me come back to the title of this post. The one you clicked on with a huge amount of scepticism.

Allow me to reframe it slightly and ask you this:

What’s One Thing You Can Do Today That Will Help Save The Planet?

And what if… (I’m dreaming big here.) What if all we had to do was ask and act on that one simple question?

What if we simply made the decision to be ever so slightly kinder to the environment today than they were yesterday?

And If we all did this, could it work? Could this be all that it takes?

Or am I away in the clouds again?

What do you think?

(Thanks for reading everyone. I appreciate the above might feel rich coming from a pilot but I genuinely believe in broader movements over absolute ideas of living in the woods with Bambi as my playmate. I also appreciate that the single biggest thing I could do to help the environment as a pilot is quit my job. Truthfully this is something I’m working on but now is not the right time (although it might well be out of my control soon enough).

Honestly the idea of making very small changes everyday has worked well for me – which is why I brought up this topic. For example I’m entirely plant based at home. This is a balance that works for me. It’s important to stress this didn’t happen overnight. This has been years in the making. It’s been a process. Of course I wouldn’t advocate you do the same, I’m merely pointing out a balance I’ve found in my life that works for me. It has been a long process of course, and I still have a long way to go but there is no question I’m moving in the right direction. And who knows? Maybe one day I’ll be a tee-totalling vegan Buddhist monk but that definitely isn’t the goal! Anyway it’s getting late so I’ll stop here.

As always I’m keen to get your thoughts and opinions on the matter. I welcome ALL of them. Also if you know of any easy to implement changes at home that one could incorporate to help the environment, I’m all ears?! I’ve also left a few articles for any interested parties! Thanks again and love to all, AP2 X)


nationalgeographic.com – Why We Will Succeed In Saving The Planet From Climate Change

nationalgeographic.com – Your Actions Alone Can’t Save The Planet But These Habits Can Help

www.wwf.org.uk – 10 Things You Can Do To Save Our Planet

science.howstuffworks.com – 10 Things You Can Do to Help Save the Earth

twenti.com – How To Save The Planet: 10 Changes With The Biggest Impact

9 thoughts on “Is This The Only Thing We Need Do To Save The Planet?

  • Interesting article, AP! 🙂 What alternative fuels or energy sources do you think could make airplanes less polluting?

    While I never wish to become a vegetarian, I buy organic, pasture raised, humanely sourced foods as much as possible. I also have cut back on serving sizes of proteins because I have been on a ketogenic diet with intermittent fasting for three years. This keeps my weight down and my diabetes in remission. I was on Metformin for seven years before getting off it completely about three years ago. I believe these small changes benefit the environment as well as my health.

    All the best! Cheryl ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  • Aviation is a difficult one. For most other forms of transport the technology exists to go green but not for commercial aviation. There is plenty of research being done into different kinds of bio fuels that will help but really the best way to reduce emissions from aviation is to stop flying (hate to say it). If people were properly taxed regarding environmental costs then aviation would go back to a time where only the rich could afford it. Maybe that’s the answer till we work something out. Smaller lighter planes and more fuel efficient engines help as well. But technology has been going that way for a long time. It’s not offset the increased amount people have been flying (pre COVID of course).

    I also fast intermittently. I find it interesting what is often the best for the environment is best for our health as well. I wouldn’t advocate being a vegetarian. Do what you believe you can manage. The point I was trying to make is I think people get put off doing anything for that reason. It’s really great that you think about where your meat is coming from/ how it is raised etc. I think encouraging these broader habits among all of us is the way to go without shaming people for small individual choices.

    Thanks for stopping by again Cheryl. Appreciated the chat. Wishing you well, AP2 🙏

    Liked by 1 person

  • Hey Pilot! Or soon to be Non-Pilot? My advice is don’t do it Ace! That will not change the worlds pollution one iota because there are thousands just waiting to jump in your chair once your gone. I’m just saying! Okay it won’t be ‘you’ doing the polluting, but that’s not going to change your children’s inherent polluted environment will it? And isn’t this your/the end goal? Not a personal clear conscious, but tangible, real environmental future change?

    Like not eating meat? You can abstain until the cows come home (Nice eh?) but realistically you’ll need the world’s cooperation to make even a small dent and that’s not going to happen either!

    No, real tangible change can only be implemented by those at the top of our political and consumerism chain of command. And they don’t want change! The status quo is making them fat and rich and they will not give this up without a fight. And how do you fight those that know of their destructive behavior, but greed has them not to care? Protest? Public appeasing no-hope summits? Voting for Tom instead of Dick or Harry? Has any of this worked before?

    Much like the Pandemic, real environmental change requires world unity! And how do you get China or Russia to stop burning coal? Or foreign tropical rain forest nations to stop clear-cutting? Don’t get me wrong, as you’ve been preaching, we individuals should be practicing what we preach. And yes, this may ease our conscious some, but in the overall bigger picture are we really saving our planet?

    Perhaps, as is human nature. We must be undeniably in the throes of climate change and its obvious relative destruction before real change is mandated. Will this be too late? I hope not Pilot! For all our children’s sake. I hope not! Be well my friend.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hey Wayne – Thank you – this is exactly the kind of conversation I was hoping to generate.

      I don’t disagree with you. Honestly my reasons for leaving aviation, when I choose to do so, have more to do with my long-term health than trying to save the environment. 10 years of long haul has taken its toll and my body is starting to tell me things I don’t want to hear but need to. I simply can’t do this for another 30 years. That much is made up. I’m not gonna jump ship (pun intended) just yet – I certainly won’t do anything rash. But when the time comes I won’t look back. Still I want to make sure I have a few things in place before I do.

      But I also want whatever I choose to do next, to match up a little closer with my values (which have definitely evolved and changed since I first decided to become a pilot). I don’t know about you but I like a clear conscious – I find I sleep much better.

      You’re right that no single person can make the changes that this world requires however extreme the measures are that they take. I don’t believe in extreme measures anyhow – small but permanent lifestyle changes work best for me. Anyway, if enough of us commit to small changes – to a shared sense of responsibility and duty – then maybe we can make the changes required no? When millions united against facism it worked. The same can be said of slavery, women’s rights, gay rights… Protests have definitely created change historically. At least in the democratic parts of this world. The leaders we choose matter. These things have and do make a difference. I don’t believe people like sir David Attenborough would advocate things like a plant based diet if he didn’t genuinely believe it could make a difference. He understands the science much better than I.

      Of course one person becoming a vegan doesn’t make a difference. Like one person wearing a face mask makes no difference. But using places like Hong Kong as an example (or Taiwan or South Korea) when everyone wears a face mask it most certainly does! When people trust the science implicitly – when people share the same belief – that their united efforts will make a difference. I honestly believe it can. Perhaps as a parent I have to believe that. I have no choice, regardless as to whether or not my beliefs are based in reality, but I do believe it Wayne – I really do.

      Millions have died in wars not knowing how it was going to end or whether their side would win. But they had to believe they were doing the right thing and that their side would win it – otherwise why fight? At any rate I know which side of history I want to be on, whatever happens. It is also about my conscious – I won’t deny that.

      You’re right the political elite have no interest – but they will when maintaining power is dependant on them doing so – and that time is coming (I believe sooner than most imagine). China burns more coal than anyone else – but they also invest more money in renewables than anyone else. They understand the science and changes they will have to make in time. At any rate we can’t look to China or Russia or other nations – they operate differently. In fact I believe we can’t look to anyone but ourselves when it comes down to it. “Be the change in the world you wish to see.” I believe in that ethos. We can only look at what we can do individually, come what may. But individual actions does inspire change in others. In fact it does a lot more to inspire change in people than words do…

      I believe in broader grassroots movements. I believe this is where genuine change comes from. However it must take place among all us – we must all have this shared sense of responsibility and duty when it comes to looking after the planet. I believe we do this by encouraging small changes among many rather than radical changes among the few. Not everyone has to be in ring fighting to the extreme, but I do believe everyone has to get off the side lines regarding this issue. We all need to a part of the change – however small the individual contribution is.

      Anyway I think I’m repeating myself so I’ll stop here. Thanks for the comments Wayne – I think I’ll take a break from the environmental posts for a while. They make my head hurt. Take it easy friend! Till next time…

      Liked by 1 person

      • You make good sense as usual Pilot. Its just that we need big changes now. The tipping point according to science is here Now! And Ace, I was thinking, maybe you can keep your wings and fly part time for some environmental agency somewhere? That would help the cause more directly and you’d be using skills you already have!

        Liked by 1 person

      • It’s a good idea. And one that has crossed my mind I must admit. Might be a lot of fun to fly scientists into the nether regions of the world! I’m not decided on my future as yet. I shall have a long think about it all🤔. Yes we definitely do need big changes now. I’m under no illusions buddy. Perhaps I’ll join in some radical protests. Any thoughts about how we might make those big changes happen? I guess voting Trump out would be a damn fine start. Later Wayne. Thanks for another great chat! 🙏

        Liked by 1 person

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