Small actions lead to big solutions to climate change

Thursday, 2023-11-16 – 14:43 | By: Melissa Scallan

The key to fighting climate change is grandchildren, said presidential and energy historian Dr. Jay Hakes.

Hakes recommends sitting down at the kitchen table with your children and talking about the kind of world you want to leave them.

“It’s a constant battle,” he said of climate change and global warming. “We have choices and we learn a lot.

Hakes was the guest speaker at a campus forum Nov. 14 held on the University of Southern Mississippi’s (USM) Gulf Park campus. He was Administrator of the US Energy Information Administration under President Bill Clinton and Director of Research and Policy for President Barack Obama’s BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill Commission.

“There are 8 billion people in the world,” he said. “Everyone has to step in and play their part. This is a challenge for people because most environmental problems are local. It is global.

Hakes said carbon emissions can remain in the atmosphere for 100 years, making the problem seem overwhelming. But there are solutions, both in new technology and in behavior.

Technologies that help reduce carbon emissions include hybrid cars, solar and wind batteries, and energy-efficient appliances.

“There are limitations to technological solutions alone,” he said. “We need to think not only about how we produce energy, but also about how we use it.

Some of the things people can do are recycling, carpooling, driving hybrid cars, walking instead of driving when possible, and using solar panels.

“Think about your grandchildren,” Hakes said. – What kind of world do you want them to live in?

Godfrey Kemp

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