( Fifteen minute read)
If warm words prevented global warming, I wouldn’t be writing this article.
One would think that after years we would get the message of not dealing with Climate change.
It is happing right in front of our eyes never mind decades or even centuries ahead.
On reflection perhaps the questions on climate should to taken away from Accountants, Politicians, Governments, GDP, Science, Technology, or the printing of money, and the verbal diarrhoea of climate summits conferences and made relatable to all us.
If it all goes wrong nobody is asking what sort of world we will have to live in.
Because day by day it is becoming less clear how sensible management of the planet should be.
Because we must stop its discounting by Countries Governments and corporations for profit.
Because the fact is climate change is now beyond serious dispute but has yet to become part of mainstream discussion.
Because we can not literally stand by and verbal about it till the cows come home.
Obliviously in shaping the planet the climate has two elements.
The Visible and not so Visible.
The climate debate is now fuelled, not only by controversial policies, and science, but the debate is moving away from the basic science, to the economic and political ramifications. Both of which are becoming old, and tired, and increasingly irrelevant, as the impacts of climate change becomes clearer.
Earth’s climate has changed many times but it’s hard to imagine what Earth might look like in 2500 never mind in the next twenty years.
Climate “scepticism” is always underpinned by politics rather than science so many people still assume the costs of climate change are in the future, despite us increasingly seeing the impacts economics and politics are now the principal battlegrounds in the climate debate.
This puts us in an invidious position.
Science should inform and underpin arguments but just what can we learn from science?
One of the real problems with the climate debate is the way in which climate science is not explained but is ‘refereed’ in the public domain. I still think that 85 percent of us never mind our governments have little understanding or concept of how climate change is going to change the planet and every living organism on it.
Taking into account limitations to predictability.
Millions of variables—known, unknown, and approximate—as well as billions of calculations, are involved in every forecast, producing informative and fascinating modern computer simulations of the Earth system.
This is all very well but the point is that the component parts of the Earth system can interact in incredibly fast in complicated ways, and this makes explicit mathematical analysis of the entire problem of climate change impossible.
Science never explicitly proves anything but finds the current best-fitting theory that explains real-world data, and that has led to the current assertion of the validity of the anthropogenic climate-change scientific theory.
Our predictions of what Mother Nature will do next are only possible with real-time imagery from satellites of the surface of the earth, not the unseen knock on effects.
OF ALL THE THINGS SHAPING THE WORLD CLIMATE CHANGE IS AND WILL BE THE MOST DEVASTATING.
There are now twice as many days over 50C. Accompanying this rise in temperatures has been a five-fold increase in weather-related disasters over the past 50 years.
The climate does not need money or the microchip or any of the other things on the list shaping the world. ( See previous postings)
The situation is bleak.
Fifty years have passed since the first climate projections, set that distant target at 2100, however we continue to fool ourselves that technology will solve the problems.
The visible effects are on our news TV bulletins daily. There is little need here to highlight them.
The ability to earn a meaningful livelihood is permanently impacted by unseasonal rains, harsher winters, drier summers, and other impacts attributed to the changing climate.
Studies by the World Bank predict that as many as 216 million people in six regions of the world may be forced to move by 2050. This includes communities in some of the most impoverished regions of the world such as Yemen and the Horn of Africa.
All will become climate refugees.
But there is another category of people who suffer from climate change and have no recourse. They’re stateless individuals who live in countries that do not grant them citizenship or permanent residency, They number in the millions. They include the Muslim Rohingya community in Myanmar, North Koreans in China, the Roma in Serbia, and many other groups.
They need to be included in any conversation about permanent, inclusive, sustainable, and ethical solutions. Otherwise, our approaches would only widen the gap between the privileged and the persecuted.
In a 2021 global survey of 10,000 people aged 16 to 25, three quarters said the future of the world was frightening, while more than half said they thought humanity is doomed.
Climate models predict that Earth’s global average temperature will rise an additional 4°.6 C (7.2° F) during the 21st Century if greenhouse gas levels continue to rise.
That results in a “major restructuring of the world’s biomes,” Changes in temperature, precipitation, and seasonal timing will alter the geographic ranges of many types of plants and animals. Many species will face extinction if the geographic range where they can survive shrinks.
We are looking at a future with much more rain and snow, and a higher risk of flooding in some regions.
By 2100, precipitation will increase by at least 1% with a possible increase of up to 12%. However, changes in precipitation will not be evenly distributed. Some locations will get more. Warmer global temperatures produce faster overall evaporation rates, resulting in more water vapor in the atmosphere…and more clouds.
Warmer temperatures will cause (and are causing) changes to other aspects of climate – such as rain, snow, and clouds. They are also causing changes to the ocean, life, ice, and all other parts of the Earth system. Melting ice may lead to changes in ocean circulation, too. By the year 2100, models predict the sea level will rise between 30 and 100 cm (12 to 39 inches). Large-scale ocean currents called thermohaline circulation, driven by differences in salinity and temperature may also be disrupted as the climate warms.
It will not just transform now-familiar terrain into alien landscapes over the next few centuries the U.S. Midwest will be transformed into subtropical agroforestry regions and by 2500 or the Ice capped poles will disappear.
To address the indirect, vicarious impacts of climate change.
Climate change is not only damaging the planet, but it’s also endangering our mental health, too. The “chronic fear of environmental doom.
Global change is as much a psychological and social phenomenon as a matter of biodiversity and geophysics and poses threats to psychological health and well-being on multiple, simultaneous levels.
We are now facing “tipping points.” A tipping point is a large, abrupt change that cannot readily be stopped at the last minute, even by employing drastic measures.
Runaway situations. The consequences of any of them are so severe, and the fact that we cannot retreat from them once they’ve been set in motion is so problematic, that we must keep them in mind when evaluating the overall risks associated with climate change.
Methane releases would generate a feedback loop of increased greenhouse warming by methane, driving further methane emissions.
At some point, seawater will become saturated with CO2 and unable to absorb any more.
It’s in our power to protect what’s left and make a meaningful difference.
Make climate change a factor in the decisions you make around what you eat, how you travel, and what you buy, demand that politicians and companies make it easier and cheaper to do the right thing for the climate.
There is now an urgent need to find new ways to narrate and envision a fairer clean future in which we all can actively participate to help to reduce global disparities in climate impacts.
Warming surface temperatures are also predicted to increase the frequency of heat waves and droughts, which can affect crop production, increase the risk of wildfires, and even impact human health.
The arguments that get bandied about in blogs and debates invariably focus solely on the predicted impacts of climate change, without any discussion of the caveats and assumptions that lie behind the models.
Take “The prefix ‘bio’ doesn’t necessarily mean environmentally friendly.”
Growing and processing crops for energy purposes or feedstocks can have the heaviest environmental impact.
It is more helpful to proceed as though climate change is real, partly man-made, and potentially quite threatening to building a sustainable world populated by a large hungry consumer-driven citizenry.
We had world summits, and the world promises to expose Sharp divisions between the major global emitters.
Trying to lead 197 countries forward on the critical global issue of climate change is not a job for the faint-hearted as democracy evolved because everyone wants other people to share the blame.
What we hear is that by 2050 or 2060 we will become carbon neutral, 2060 is far away and if the people emit at the rate they are emitting the world won’t survive, so what are you going to do in the next five years that’s what the world wants to know.
We can’t just willy-nilly ignore the next 10 years because the scientists tell us that if we don’t do enough in the next 10 years we cannot keep the Earth’s temperature at 1.5C, we cannot even get on a roadmap to net zero by 2050.
If this means we can move on from a sterile debate about the global response to much more interesting questions about regional impacts, the rights of different generations, and, most interesting of all, what to do about it.
This blog has in previous posts made suggestions as to how to get us involved and how to fairly spread the cost and finance the changes required.
So my plea is to avoid the ‘happy talk’ and recognize that this challenge is global and never has there been a challenge that requires the unity of countries all across the planet than now.
But despite how terrible it’s important to remember that the appropriate response is to leap into action, not to be paralyzed by despair.
To supply some optimism and show that humanity isn’t totally screwed, here are 3 climate change projects that would change the game.
Inaction could result in scenarios that look downright apocalyptic.
One. It is time that our governments made non-repayable grants available to us all to install solar panels, and insulation.
Two. Clean up the advertising industry for sustainability, not consumption.
Three. The introduction in a green economy of a universal basic income.
In this world, we might add another folksy adage to our climate repertoire. Just as it is the humidity, not the heat, it is the rate of change, not the magnitude, that truly matters.
All human comments are appreciated. All like clicks and abuse chucked in the bin.