For Blogtober I intend to keep up my usual mix of articles about books, TV and the environment. The latter is incredibly prominent right now, as it should be, with the Glasgow Summit just a few weeks away. As I see it, this is a real chance for us to put pressure on governments to instil changes immediately.
Anglia TV News devoted Thursday’s episode to widening awareness of our changing climate. They were at Denver Sluice, a massive construction that tries to manage water levels in East Anglia, at a time when water is distributed unevenly and rain storms are becoming features of all seasons. I felt that the questions they asked and the input from the weather presenters was first class and they definitely presented plenty of information in an accessible way.
The local river that stretches into the Fens from Peterborough is filling up quickly again, ready -no doubt- to spend months flooding the surroundings and slowing my journey to work. Small inconveniences for me are no big deal, but the fact that climate change is apparent even in my locality, highlights just how widespread the problem is. It is literally a GLOBAL problem.
Where has Winter gone?
One of my favourite things about winter is snow. As a child of the eighties, I remember my Nan constantly sweeping the path that led to our house to remove the fresh snow, which seemed to fall almost daily at the height of the season. Such weather is a natural part of our winter in the northern hemisphere and I have such fond memories of trudging through it with gloves and a woolly hat on.
Although I am fairly sentimental about flurries of snow, I miss it also because the lack of it demonstrates how much warmer our winters have become. It doesn’t take much to realise that if this is happening in England, then elsewhere in the world similar warming is going on, with devastating effects.
You only have to switch on the News to see forest fires in unusual places such as Canada, melting glaciers and species becoming extinct. When you look at climate tracking websites, every year seems to be showing clear increases in average temperatures and new seasonal high temperatures. Alongside this, more destructive storms, such as the hurricane impacting on New York and the Hamptons, are becoming frequent and occurring in locations they wouldn’t have in previous years.
Crisis In Energy
We all know that pollution from fossil fuels is a MAJOR contributor to climate change. Electric cars are becoming a commonly discussed topic, yet right now we don’t have the necessary charging stations to support their widespread use. Hopefully this will change in the coming months.
Again, looking at my local area, I am pleased to see wind turbines growing up all across the Fens. It is one of the easier solutions to powering our electronic demands. However, we still have a long way to go, especially as we become more dependent on batteries.
The ‘We Don’t Have Time’ app has been a useful source of environmental initiative news for me for quite some time. Here is an article about some Swedish projects which are looking at better ways to harness energy, using salt.
I will be drop feeding information about global warming throughout Blogtober. This subject matters to me and should matter to anyone reading this post, without a doubt. We are long past the period of questioning it and trying to understand it. What we must do is start slamming the brakes on hard.
With any luck, the Glasgow meeting will bring about lots of public discussion and set up real targets for measurable change. Please comment your thoughts on this below and consider signing my petition to make environmental education compulsory in schools which is signposted here.
As we approach the UN Climate Summit at the end of October in Glasgow, I wanted to make sure my posts are regularly touching on climate change. Usually I write two thirds of my posts about books and TV and one third about environmental issues. However, right now it is my mission to keep the global warming discussion going.
Bloggers get very excited about Halloween and Christmas but I hope the blogging community can also get involved in heightening knowledge about the climate. This conference will be an important opportunity for world leaders to be proactive about implementing real changes.
It is promising that President Biden seems to take the subject much more seriously than Trump and Boris is giving it more air time. There is still so much that needs doing to reverse the effects of pollution around the planet and only continued pressure will keep it prominent amidst a backdrop of other problems.
As a geographer I studied environmental transport management at University and there was a good knowledge within academic circles of what climate change meant. Predictions were made about the speed at which temperatures would raise by one degree, but now we are starting to see signs that this rate is increasing much faster, particularly around the north pole.
There are lots of mixed messages about global warming and I can see many articles about small changes that people can make. Sadly, the reality is that we need massive institutional changes. Big businesses and governments need to implement new policies and procedures NOW.
Here are some things that need dealing with urgently:
1) Rainforests need protecting, even if it means richer nations funding countries like Brazil to preserve these delicate ecosystems. If money can stop poorer countries deforesting, then so be it.
2) Incentives need to be provided to use public transport and move away from using aeroplanes so readily. Good rail and bus systems should be funded and supported so that less road and air pollution is created. Meetings should be over Zoom as much as possible, rather than journeys between nations for the sake of get togethers which could be managed online.
3) The infrastructure for electric vehicles should be boosted nationally so as to quicken up the move away from petrol and diesel.
4) Environmental Education should be compulsory in all school settings. Young people need to understand the effects of climate change and what we can do to change course. My previous article about this is here.
5) We need to change the way we think about clothing. So much energy is used in the manufacture and transportation of clothes. Fast fashion needs to end and we need to promote and encourage reusing and fixing clothes rather than changing our wardrobes every season.
Hopefully you have enjoyed this post and it has prompted some thoughts. Please comment below and consider reblogging this and other similar articles, especially during this period leading up to the Glasgow Summit.