The Direct Link Between Our Actions and Climate Change

This month on ‘The Climate Change Collective’ we are discussing how climate change is impacting all of our futures. Molly from Transatlantic Notes blog has written a brilliant post about just how interrelated humans are with the environment.

In her wonderful article, Understanding how climate action redefines our future, Molly looks at how vital members of food chains are being depleted because of even small increases in temperature and just how unstable our ecosystems are.

Delicate Balance

Many people chose to ignore the threat of climate change because they cannot feel the effects of it in their daily lives. Molly outlines why that just isn’t true. Yes, the developed countries often feel it less strongly than third world nations, but the evidence of climate change is all around. One thing is for sure, it is us humans that are causing the problem.

We have seen record temperatures during the summer and winters which are far less cold than previously. Increased wild fires during heatwaves, water shortages, poor harvests and more flood occurrences are just a few of the effects we have felt in the UK and USA.

I urge you to check out Molly’s interesting article and discover how a particular butterfly species plays a major role in keeping an ecosystem strong. Locally, I have noticed far fewer insects such as bees and wasps this year. These insects are so important as pollinators and it would be awful if they were to die out.

Check out this month’s climate post and drop Molly a comment about your thoughts on this matter.

Short of Water?

Some think that water never runs out,

They believe it is infinite and free,

They shower for ages and use it all day,

To water their flowers, to bathe and to play.

Others know water as costly,

Expensive as resources go.

They realise if they let it run and run,

Their bills will grow (and that’s no fun).

Bill payers and water wasters

Are surprised to find

That water sources

Have recently come to a grind.

Rivers are at their lowest in France,

Stopping barges – they stand no chance.

Causing problems for animals and plants,

Leading to hose pipe bans – ‘That’s just pants!’

‘How dare they restrict our water!’

They cry and scream,

They need to learn

They partly caused the dry stream.

Overuse of water is a problem itself,

Pollution and urban sprawls also help.

When will everyone finally see…

That water shortages are down to YOU and ME?

Take Aways From The Heatwave

This week the UK saw its hottest temperatures since records began. An average July used to see temperatures topping at 23 degrees Celsius but this week we peaked just above 40 degrees, which would have been unthinkable when I was growing up. Working in such hot conditions without air conditioning was really difficult. If this is going to be the new norm, we have to change the way we do things.

With meteorologists now predicting a further ‘heat dome’ over Europe in August and the extension of hot weather into September (which has been apparent for the past few years), the time has come to think carefully about how we ready ourselves for such hot weather.

My thoughts…

Yes, in Southern Europe they are used to having very hot days, but they are also closed during peak sunshine hours for a siesta. As well as this, their homes are painted white colours to reflect the sun and have shutters on the outside of their windows to block out the damaging rays. Air conditioning is part of their strategy too. In Britain our homes are designed to trap hot air. We have double glazed windows and extra insulation which make things worse.

Governments need to start thinking about working conditions during such hot periods. Perhaps they will consider:

– funding air conditioning for key workers and hospitals as well as subsidising this for low income households

– making affordable shutters an option to darken houses during hot days and reduce internal temperatures

– adapting school days to suit the weather (perhaps starting earlier and closing at midday or having a siesta)

However…

I notice that President Biden has set aside 2 billion dollars for air conditioning and sun protection. This is great but I hope he and other governments are putting even more money into finding ways to counter the effects of global warming.

The following things need addressing right away:

– ensuring all power stations use renewable energy supplies such as wind, hydro or solar

– funding a better network of trains and buses to reduce the amount of traffic on the roads

-taxing and discouraging frequent flying and overuse of aeroplanes

– widespread tree planting schemes and re-wilding

Hopefully some lessons have been learned from this week’s heatwave. It would be sad to see no changes taking place, given this massive wake up call. We all know that climate change will become more of a problem over the next few decades. We really need to act now to protect our homes, our health and our crops. Thank you for reading my article. If you enjoyed it, please consider following my blog for similar future content.