Daddy, what did you do in the great climate crisis?

It’s time for everyone to take responsibility for tackling the climate crisis, publishers included, writes James Evelegh.

By James Evelegh

Daddy, what did you do in the great climate crisis?
Photograph: Alto Crew on Unsplash

Before our time I know, but there’s a famous first world war recruitment poster that shows a young girl sitting on her father’s knee, sometime after the war, asking him what he did in the Great War. Having obviously not fought, he is lost for words.

We’re now at a point in the climate war when we all need to join up, and those that are not prepared to do so, should start preparing answers to their grandchildren’s awkward questions in the future.

Speaking in January, Sir David Attenborough warned: “The moment of crisis has come. We can no longer prevaricate.”

It’s up to governments to legislate at a macro-level but for corporates and individuals to take responsibility at a micro-level for their actions and to do what they can to promote environmentally friendly policies in their own businesses, streets and homes.

In the January / February issue of InPublishing magazine, we have two fascinating articles on the climate change crisis. Liz Gerard writes about how national newspapers have reported climate change over the years. As we all know, newspapers help set the terms of the national debate, so if they are equivocal, then it makes concerted action that bit harder to take.

And Jo Beattie looks at what practical steps magazine publishers can take to reduce the environmental impact of their supply chain.

There’s a lot we can do.

We can report on climate matters honestly and objectively. We can avoid giving undue prominence to minority and fringe views or those espoused by groups with a vested interest in maintaining the status quo. We can fight harder within our own organisations to make sure that climate-change sceptics in senior positions don’t skew our editorial coverage.

We can put our shoulders into campaigning, holding local authorities and public bodies accountable for their environmental policies, highlighting wasteful practices and recognising positive initiatives.

We can make sure our own production and distribution processes are fit for purpose, reviewing all the links in the supply chain, making sure that wasteful and unnecessary processes are removed, and that all our suppliers work to the highest standards.

We can work to get our own house in order; empower facilities managers and office designers to deliver eco-friendly office environments; get HR to institute personnel and employment practices that are flexed towards delivering a meaningful reduction in our company’s carbon footprint.

We can seek out alternatives to plastics, promote recycling and use materials from sustainable sources.

There’s a lot we can do. Some companies are much further down the road than others, and I won’t pretend that we’re one of them. But it’s incumbent on us all to hear the klaxon and to accelerate the process.

This article was first published in InPublishing magazine. If you would like to be added to the free mailing list, please register here.