Climate change

Today is Blog Action Day on climate change, with the idea that the world’s bloggers (an ugly word!) should write about this important issue.

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I’m more than happy to join in as discussions on climate change quickly divide people into 2 camps: those who think it’s complete nonsense, and people who accept that human beings are having a dramatic impact on global temperatures. Oh! I forgot the 3rd. lot: the ones who don’t give a buggers.

I belong to the first second(!!) group, because I’ve been interested in this subject since the mid-80s when it was a fringe issue, likely to get you branded as a fruitcake or an extremist. It seemed obvious back then that something was happening, but few people seemed willing to accept it. Now the issue has gone mainstream – good!

I hasten to add that I’m not a scientist and I have no hard evidence to back up this piece: that would take too long. I have certainly read up on the subject and feel very strongly that humanity is having an adverse effect on the planet, creating significant increases in global temperatures. The polar ice caps are melting, and somehow I find the suggestion that, ‘It would have happened anyway’ rather stupid.

My understanding is that climate change doesn’t always lead to uniformly distributed rises in global temperatures: some areas become hotter, while others may actually cool down. It seems that the overall effect is to create far less predictable global weather patterns. For example, unexpected droughts, anticyclones and flooding are more likely to occur in different regions.

Whenever I read articles written by climate change deniers I suspect that either:

  1. they’ve not read any well researched – and unbiased – scientific evidence and understood key messages from this.
  2. They have an underlying political agenda (usually right wing) to their view. Just to clarify, I’m a leftist so feel free to say, ‘Yeah, well you would say that wouldn’t you?’. Yes I would! But at least I’ve come clean and you can understand my perspective.
  3. They don’t want to face the grim reality of the situation, so they shut down mentally and retreat into a fantasy world.

We’re all individually responsible for changing our behaviour to reduce humanity’s impact on the environment, and the addage ‘think globally, act locally’ seems like a good place to start.

I’m trying to reduce my impact on the environment. I don’t run a car or own a TV (though obviously I have a computer!) and I use low energy lightbulbs at home. I need to recycle more stuff – that’s my weak point because my neighbours are doing more on that front than me.

Please at least consider the possibility that if we don’t face up to the realities of climate change and act NOW, our future on this planet – and the wellbeing of the whole biosphere – is at risk. It’s up to us.