Darling buds of November !!
Some people doubt that Climate Change is really happening. They don't believe the numerous scientific reports; they don't believe the fact that since 1980 we have had the hottest 19 years on record is significant; they don't believe that global sea levels have risen by 10-20cm over the last 100 years is significant; and they don't believe that snow cover in the northern hemisphere is now around 10% below the levels that prevailed in the 1960s is significant. They see no evidence of Climate Change well maybe these people should just look in their own back garden.
It is November and still most of leaves are on the trees, flowers are still in bloom and roses are still budding. The seasons are changing as nature tries to cope with the changing climate conditions. Commenting on this local Councillor David Goodall said :-
"The evidence of climate change is not just matter of reading scientific reports, watching documentaries on television or going to very earnest lectures. The evidence is all around us and just as predicted for years by those detailed scientific reports."
The real problem is the nice effects at present of a warmer autumn now give way to rising sea levels in the future. The current predictions are that unless carbon dioxide levels are reduced and brought under control in the next 10 years then the effects of Climate Change will reach a tipping point.
At the tipping point the reduced size of the ice caps will reduce their ability to reflect the suns heat back into space in so doing increases the warming effect, increasing the ice melting and so reducing the ice caps further. Also at the tipping point the permafrost in Serbia thaws out releasing millions of tons of methane into the atmosphere, another greenhouse gas which is 20 times worst than carbon dioxide and again increases the warming effect.
The effect of reaching the tipping point is an uncontrolled warming of the planet with the melting ice caps the sea levels will increase by 8 metres. The Stern reports talks about flooding of major cities like London, however for us in the south if London floods then so to do Southampton and Portsmouth, parts of West Quay underwater, Ocean Village in the Ocean, Southsea in the sea and so on. The effects will affect the greatly the lives of today's school children.
What we can we do as individuals faced with this big problem:-
- recycle - reusing recycled material uses less energy than uses raw materials to make products
- insulate our homes - to reduce the energy we use at home
- change our cars to more fuel efficient ones.
- use public transport more (if it exists in your area)
- switch our electric suppliers to ones that supply electricity from 100% renewable energy.
- change old boilers for the newest more efficient ones
- install micro-generation systems in our homes - like the solar thermal systems and wind-turbines from B&Q
- turn off the television and use standby less as it saves power
- boil just the water you need in the kettle and not a full kettle each time you make a cup of tea
- write to your MP calling on him to back real measures to tackle Climate Change
The list of things to do is longer and in general each item not only saves the planet but also saves you money. And as a supermarket keeps tells us "every little helps".