Warmer Weather – What’s Not To Like?

A Climate Change Collective Blog Post

Most people look forward to hotter days in summer. Some people even sun seek all year round. Many of my friends love to fly off to hotter parts of the world for winter holidays. Everyone loves warm weather – right? So why we are we making such a big deal out of world temperatures rising?

That is exactly what I want to explore in this Climate Change Collective article. Our Collective, by the way, is a group of bloggers who care very much about the world’s ecosystems and want to keep climate change at the forefront of readers’ minds.

‘The Climate Change Collective’ sprang from a response that Michelle – Boomer Eco Crusader made to one of my blog posts last year. We then decided to establish a network of like-minded writers who cared about global warming. Each month, one of us writes a lead blog post about something which concerns us and then we all get involved with response blogs that consider each other’s unique take on that particular subject.

Read on and let me know in the comments what you think about my points.


Is hotness a big deal?

Last year I recall a colleague talking to me about the July 40 degree C heatwave. They said it was great and a one-off and that I should make the most of it. Now, let me tell you, I have heard this kind of thing on many occasions since. Whenever I talk about heatwaves in Britain, people tend to see more positives than negatives. It is because our summers used to be traditionally more wet and mild than hot.

For the UK, exceptionally hot weather is still in its infancy, but with this June breaking records as the warmest June on record, we are definitely moving towards hotter times. Having said that we haven’t reached the heights of Southern Europe yet.

The recent extended period of around 45 degrees C days that clung to Spain, Italy and Greece has highlighted just how damaging heat can be. Too much of it causes wildfires, drought and problems with arable farming. This in turn could lead to people being displaced from their homes, as is currently happening in Rhodes and Corfu.

‘Without action, hundreds of millions of people will have to leave their homes by 2050’ according to an interesting article from the BBC. Is the world ready for mass migration due to climate change?

I am watching constant News about the ongoing fires in the Greek islands and scratching my head awkwardly. These are clear signs that climate change is creating widespread problems and is on the rise.

There is no doubt that people and governments are taking the heatwaves seriously but I am hearing too much about defending against the weather. Making the planet more weather-proof is not only expensive and very difficult but it avoids dealing with the obvious. The time has come to make fossil fuel consumption a less favourable option. We need to turn back the clock and undo some of the damage we have done with industrialisation and urbanisation.

We Can Not Solve This By Ourselves!

Yes I am almost shouting that point as I see lots of well-meaning people talking about small differences that any individual can make. I agree that people can reduce their carbon footprints and recycle more. There are many brilliant adaptations we can make.

But time matters. We don’t have much time…

What we need more than anything is governments to start making drastic changes right now.

Only yesterday the UK Home Secretary stated that environmental laws must not cost too much. She was talking about the cost of living crisis and suggesting that we shouldn’t be spending money on climate change initiatives when we have economic fixes to urgently make.

I get this but…

It isn’t quite that simple. We just need to balance the books. Here are a few radical suggestions:

– The railways are a mess. It costs more to catch a train to Edinburgh than it does to fly there. Why don’t they tax shorter flights more and invest that cash into the rail network? France are starting to stop short air flights that could easily be replaced with train services. Similarly, having been to Switzerland and seen how much people use the efficient train network, I know we could be better connected and enjoy a more pleasurable journey if we sank investment into more tracks and better infrastructure.

– This one sounds odd but go with me on this. We all drive to supermarkets separately and use fuel and sit in traffic jams. If more of us used supermarket delivery vans we would save plenty of individual journeys and support more job vacancies for supermarkets. If a delivery van takes 15 lots of shopping at a time, on a circuit, that is potentially saving 14 trips by separate shoppers.

– Plane journeys could be penalised by frequency. For example, if you only flew twice a year, no additional fees would be applied. On your third flight a five percent charge would be given, then more on your fourth etc. Harsh but fair.

– Planting trees on unused fields in farms or on private land could result in rewards. For instance if you planted ten trees and they were still there five years later, you might get a reduction in Council Tax or a tax rebate even.

– Buying locally could reap you incentives. Supermarkets all use loyalty points systems and could track your consumption of food that hasn’t travelled long distances. Perhaps you might get extra points for continually purchasing local food and drink.

Final Thoughts

I may seem like I am plucking ideas out of the sky but we have to take drastic measures collectively. If you want to stay informed about environmental issues, check out an app/ website called We Don’t Have Time which is where brilliant and innovative people share sustainable initiatives and examples of ecofriendly work.

Here are a couple of articles by ‘The Climate Change Collective’ which may intrigue you:

Thank you so much for taking the time to read my article about warmer weather and why it is not a positive thing when it comes to climate change. Please also check out the link posts that will follow this one. Also drop me a comment with your own thoughts on this matter.

For a little poem I wrote about the heatwave, have a look at Heating Up. Have a lovely summer and please think about contacting your local politicians to express concern about the current lack of real environmental policies.

5 Ways To Be A Bit More Eco-Friendly

Ever since I first learned about climate change in the early 1990s, I have been alarmed by how serious the situation is and how little governments have done about it. I remember being at secondary school and forming an eco-committee to raise awareness about pollution and encourage recycling, which at the time was a reasonably new idea. It seemed to many people like a niche interest rather than a major issue, affecting everyone on the planet.

Can we do our bit to stop the world from choking?

Nonetheless, when I went on to University to study Geography I learned about rivers and glaciers and the environmental impact of vehicles and pollution. This alerted me more to just how critical it is that we start to reduce our overwhelmingly negative impact on the world’s atmosphere.

Without turning this into an article which tells you what to do, I have merely noted some easy suggestions which can definitely help you to contribute to easing climate change. They are manageable and positive steps which I hope you may consider.

1) Considering how you travel

We all have busy lives and rush around from place to place, sometimes with little thought about how we get there. Children are driven to school and their lives seem to involve hopping from one ‘island’ to another. From home to school and then on to football training or ballet class, kids often have little awareness of the journey between each place. They just switch on a tablet and play a game for a bit before magically arriving at their next destination.

How about replacing one of these journeys with a walk instead? Walking increases their cardio and gives them a better grounding in their locality. Many children are less alert to their local area because they have had very little practice of negotiating it. Walking means less pollution in the and better all round health. If more families encouraged their kids to walk to school, for example, this would drastically increase the number of people on the streets, making them feel safer, whilst reducing the traffic, which in turn means less risk of accidents as well as fewer fumes irritating people’s respiratory systems.

2) Turn it down

For most people, heating is a luxury they enjoy and make the most of in winter time. Generally we love to go home to a cosy, warm house, heated up to the max. However, if one room in the house is hardly used, why pump the radiators full of hot water all day when the benefits are not being felt by anyone? Turning down the heating by a degree at the thermostat can also make a massive difference by reducing the amount of electricity used. If everyone did this, then the power stations would need to burn less fossil fuels to get us through the winter and produce far less pollution.

3) Zoom it!

In lockdown many of us have realised the brilliance of remote meetings held over Zoom. Instead of flying to Amsterdam for a few days at a work conference, we have started to hold these events online. Perfect! Let’s keep that up. Meetings over the internet save time, energy and hassle. Instead of having to organise babysitters, pet sitters, book planes and hotels etc. you simply have to book an appointment on Zoom and off you go, reducing pollution at the same time.

4) Don’t succumb to trends

Fashion is lovely and let’s face it, very fashionable, but do you really need a new wardrobe for every season? Clothes last ages so why keep buying more, just to fit in? The factory process behind clothing manufacture is quite energy intensive and so buying a shirt and wearing it just three times is actually fairly wasteful. If you do want to replace clothes often, maybe consider recycling the older ones or reusing them around the home. Some fabrics can be useful in preventing weeds in the garden, if you lay them under the top soil, for instance.

5) Check where your food comes from

Yes we all love exotic foods but we also know that food flown in from thousands of miles away will have required a lot of energy to help it get to our supermarkets. I love bananas yet they will have travelled on aeroplanes and trucks that used tonnes of fuel on the way to my local shop. I’m not saying stop eating bananas, but planning to use more locally sourced foods can contribute towards reducing the amount of food being flown in from far away. This in turn will have a small but very important impact on the amount of pollutant in the atmosphere.

These are just a few examples of the kind of changes that we can make to our lives that could collectively help the environment by reducing carbon emissions and slow the effect of global warming.

If you enjoyed this post perhaps you will consider following my blog for more similar posts in the future. Here is another example of an environmental article that I produced.