Climate Climax

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.

This Norwegian Fjord is an example of a glaciated valley. Glaciers are fast depleting because of global warming. Nature is being destroyed as pollution continues to wreck our beautiful world.

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.

Why Care?

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.

Environmental Education Should Be Compulsory

Glaciers are shrinking as polar regions warm twice as rapidly as the rest of the globe.

Most of you will know that I have a passion for environmental issues as well as reading. In a world where global warming is becoming so visible, it makes no sense to me that the environment is not given more consideration in schools.

In this blog post I want to make the case for ‘Environmental Education’ being a separate, compulsory subject in all schools. I hope that you will read my thoughts and include your own opinions in the comments section below.

Reasons for Environmental Education being taught:

1) Everyone is affected by climate change. It is the biggest problem looming over the world at the moment and is mainly caused by us humans.

2) Currently there is a very poor coverage of environmental issues in education. It is touched upon in Geography and Science but has little limelight. Many young people have no idea that these problems exist and that they will be empowered to deal with the flack from this situation.

We often have no idea that people and animals are suffering in distant places because of climate change.

3) This is a subject in its own right. Everybody deserves to know the facts about temperature rise, pollution and the affects of these. They should be made aware of flooding, melting glaciers, a decreased gulf stream, sea level rise, desertification, deforestation, urban pollution and animal extinctions. The list goes on…

4) We need everybody on board. If young people aren’t given all the facts, they will not be best equipped to do something about the problems as they swell.

5) With people already losing homes through flooding, suffering food shortages and dealing with massive storms, this subject is relevant NOW. Education should be covering all of these events and discussing what caused them and how we can make a difference by changing mindsets and government policies.

There are so many more elements to this but for me it just makes no sense that the environment isn’t given strong coverage in classrooms and assemblies. Children have a right to know how pollution is impacting on the world and what they can do to change things for the better.

More articles will follow related to this. As you can see I feel very strongly that ‘Environmental Education’ has a big role to play in helping change our future. I hope that you enjoyed this post and will comment below. For a similar post look here.

Three Easy Ways To Be More Eco-friendly

With the awful raging wildfires in Greece and Turkey, as well as the annual fires in California, News companies are giving more air time to environmental concerns. Even some adverts for products such as washing detergents are presenting a more eco-friendly attitude to their selling strategies.

Take a train, not a plane.

As I sit by the sea and look out into the distance, I contemplate the future and worry a little about how much our coastlines may soon change.

I decided to share a few basic things to consider when wanting to be more eco-friendly. These adaptations will aim to reduce your carbon footprint, helping to reduce global warming, at least a tiny amount.

1) Buy fewer items of clothing.

Although many people love to follow Instagram trends and buy new and exciting designer clothes all the time, that needs to stop. Some items are only worn once or twice and stored for ages in wardrobes. These are then replaced again and again, with seasons bringing whole new collections.

Manufacture of clothing uses lots of materials and involves burning lots of fuel. We all need to wear out clothes more often, recycle them after they are worn out and repair them when they have the odd hole appear.

2) Use planes less.

This one is super important. I stopped using planes seven years ago and believe that unnecessary flights are damaging the environment massively because they pump damaging gases straight into the upper atmosphere. Hopefully Covid has stopped long distance business meetings happening so frequently involving air travel. Often these meeting were just jollies in the past and Zoom meetings can adequately suffice in most instances.

As power supplies move towards renewable energy, the use of trains is becoming more acceptable and is now a more eco-friendly way of travelling bigger distances. For instance in Europe you can get almost anywhere by train, with ease. I have been using the EuroStar and Inter-rail to navigate France, Germany, Austria, Belgium and Switzerland. From my limited experience in the US I can say that trains can easily get you interstate, yet many prefer the quick flying option.

3) Turn it down.

Simple changes to gas heating and use of boilers can make a positive difference. In winter, having the heating on for less time and at lower temperatures, whilst wearing jumpers and layers, is one easy way to make a change. Also, putting the boiler on once rather than several times a day is worthwhile.

The simple points above are small but important ways that we can all have an impact on climate change. However, we also need to put pressure on governments and big businesses to make meaningful alterations to practices and levels of pollution.