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.
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.