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Small Actions Lead to Big Solutions for Climate Change

Thu, 11/16/2023 - 02:43pm | By: Melissa Scallan


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

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

“It’s a constant battle,” he said of climate change and global warming. “We do have choices, and we’re learning a lot in the process.”

Hakes was the guest speaker at University Forum on Nov. 14, which was held at the University of 51 Mississippi’s (USM) Gulf Park campus. He was administrator of the U.S. Energy Information Administration for President Bill Clinton and director for Research and Policy for President Barack Obama’s BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill Commission.

“There are 8 billion people in the world,” he said. “Everybody needs to pitch in and do their part. This is a challenge for humans because most environmental problems are local. This one is global.”

Carbon emissions can stay in the atmosphere for 100 years, Hakes said, and that can make the problem seem overwhelming. But there are solutions, both in new technology and behavior.

Technology that helps with carbon emissions includes hybrid cars, solar and wind panels and energy-efficient appliances.

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

Some of the things people can do include 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?”