I read a very interesting article this evening from the Guardian that underlined the very real and very frightening reality that there are still many people whom haven’t come to grips with or who still refuse to acknowledge that climate change is a real and hugely problematic thing.
Some of them follow the Donald Trump argument that goes along the lines of it being something developed by China to prevent the United States from competing with them in the global market. Others will claim that it is all part of a “natural” cycle that would happen regardless of what we did. There are also those that say they don’t believe in climate change, not because they have studied the facts or that they have any real interest in climate change but because they have some deluded idea that it is the cool and heroic thing to do; that by doing so they are annoying people who they deem irritating. Some are just attention seekers while there are too those that just have a skewed understanding of science. This goes back to the whole thing about people basing their “facts” on things they’ve picked up on Facebook rather than from a book or a scientific article.
But I don’t think these people are bad people per say. I mean, to deny it at this point of time is concerning but even so. Nor are all the people who disagree with climate change Breitbart loving Republicans or UKIP followers. And indeed, there are still some people who acknowledge that climate change is happening but who think that the outcome is inevitable and therefore not worth acting on.
The truth is that climate change is happening with the ice caps melting, more frequent flash floods, droughts and wildfires. This isn’t going to change overnight and indeed, as the temperatures creep up on us, these events will be more common. Anyone living in the United Kingdom would be foolish to deny that these past few years have brought with them more floods than in previous years.
And as the article says, climate change happens by degree, and every fraction of a degree celsius matters. Last month’s report saying we’re already 1.2C above pre-industrial levels is bad. But 1.2C is less risky than 1.5C, which is less risky than 2C. That might not sound so bad but the reality is every bit matters. The hopeful bit is that all is not lost at 1.2C or 1.5C and there is always something worth fighting for.
People will say things like reducing carbon emissions won’t help much but if reducing them even partially could mean that there is a drop in temperatures and so less extreme weather, surely that is a good thing. What isn’t a good thing is saying that we can take the increases for granted. What isn’t a good thing is saying that nothing is happening or there is nothing we can do. You can see what is happening before your very eyes are saying there isn’t is just burying your head in the sand. Don’t take it for granted. Think about your children. Let’s take care of our home.