How you can help create a safe operating space for humanity

White text reads 'Earth Unscrewed' against a background of dark clouds
Clare Kelly
by Clare Kelly
30 September 2019

This week’s episode of Earth Unscrewed – Virgin's podcast that looks at exciting and unexpected solutions to Earth’s most pressing problems – features Johan Rockström discussing how we can all help create a safe operating space for humanity.

Johan Rockström is the executive director at the Stockholm Resilience Centre and an internationally recognised scientist for his work on global sustainability issues. Rockström helped lead the renowned team of scientists that presented the planetary boundaries framework, first published in 2009.

The nine planetary boundaries presented in the framework are argued to be fundamental in maintaining a safe operating space for humanity. This framework has been used to help guide governments, international organisations, NGOs, and companies considering their impact on the planet.

Professor Johan Rockström quoting  "i personally feel so frustrated when people talk about climate desperation... step up and show some anger"...
Image from Virgin

In this episode presenters Helen Scales and Seyi Rhodes talk to Johan about our urgent need to honour the boundaries and cut emissions in half over the next decade. Bottom-up movements and behavioural change, along with leadership from business and policy, will get us there - but it’s a race against time.

So, what can you do to help? Well, Johan Rockström has kindly shared his top five tips to guide your personal planetary stewardship: 

  1. Let out your climate anger. Step up with some adrenaline and let the world know that now is the time to make your voice heard. Join together with your communities and get out of this fossil fuel reliance. 

  2. Share your knowledge. Keep your ears to the ground. Follow the science. Talk about it. Keep the buzz up as you join the movement and momentum. 

  3. Step into the new narrative. Translate your anger to the new story! Celebrate and invest in the new pathway to a new modernity.

  4. Stop using fossil fuels for all forms of electricity. It’s a no-brainer. Switch off all provision of electricity from fossil fuels and sign up to wind and solar contracts. 

  5. Think about where you save your pension and invest your money. Make more conscious decisions that contribute towards divestment. Put your resilience to work towards a sustainable future.

Earth Unscrewed graphic

Listen to Earth Unscrewed

Earth Unscrewed is Virgin’s podcast about the incredible (and often surprising!) solutions that are providing some serious hope for the future of our planet.