Last week I had the mixed pleasure of visiting the (flooded) French capital for what I think was the 4th time, but the 1st as a relatively grown-up. My mind has changed a lot in the past few months, even more so in the past few years, so it was really enjoyable to go and notice, appreciate and seek different aspects of life there.
Last Saturday I went to London’s Climate Change march.
I like the idea of strolling down and even sitting on the normally super-busy and car-invaded streets of London to draw attention to an issue I believe needs attention NOW.
Climate change as in human-caused climate change, as analysed on the NASA website (I think it’s a pretty good source), climate change which is causing rising sea levels and extreme weather.
It was a beautiful day and I took pictures of some of the people there on our way from Lincoln’s Inn Fields to Parliament Square.
For the past few weeks the news has literally been inundated with updates on the bad weather we’ve had here in the UK and also the storms that have been hitting the US.
Apparently it was the unusually bad storm in Indonesia that started it all off, as a chain reaction that affected so many people and even caused fatalities, 3 people died because of it in the UK alone.
This brief BBC video, from 13th February 2014, gives a good summary of what has been happening: UK storms: “Global chain reaction” behind bad weather.
One comment is particularly interesting to me: “Met Office scientists cannot give a definitive answer about climate change, but they ask about all the recent extremes”.
Another BBC article, published on 9th February so 4 days before the video, is titled “Met Office: Evidence “suggests climate change link to storms“.
I guess the way the media is reporting scientists’ opinions can be a little confusing sometimes, I initially thought these two statements from the same source, the BBC, were clashing.
However a few paragraphs into the article the concept becomes somewhat clearer, as Dame Julia Slingo states : “There is no evidence to counter the basic premise that a warmer world will lead to more intense daily and hourly rain events.”
Which to me means “We cannot prove that the bad weather we’ve had and climate change are not linked”.
With this, we can understand that scientists may not be necessarily trying to prove that climate change and the extreme weather we have been witnessing are interlinked, but rather they are trying to see if this hypothesis can be proved and become a theory.
It’s almost as if they are trying to find evidence to prove that they are not linked, in the meantime it is probable that the devastating weather and climate are, in fact, linked.
I find this is important to understand.
I have been thinking about writing this post for the past 2 weeks and it has changed a lot in the process, while I tried to understand more of what’s been going on.
At first all the articles I was reading seemed to make it clear: climate change is causing extraordinary weather, this weather is causing innumerable problems for thousands of people…
If climate change itself is mainly caused by humans’ emissions then we simply have to act more sustainably to produce less emissions, prevent and solve this problem.
I’d love to be able to know for a fact that change and adverse weather connection are linked.
But the fact that this cannot be proved as 100% true does not mean it is not, or at least in part.
I am just trying to understand how things are connected, why and what I can do in order to slow these hostile phenomenons down.
Another great article, this time the Guardian’s “World begins 2014 with unusual number of extreme weather events” quotes: “”We are living in a time where the climate is changing quite rapidly. There is reason to expect that the changes in the sea ice will have large local effects. Further investigation will improve our knowledge of whether or not the effects of sea ice decline and broader changes in the Arctic have global effects,” said leading US meteorologist Jeff Masters.”
I guess it’s an ongoing quest.
In the meantime, I will continue to look for more ways to lead a more sustainable life, together with eating less or no energy-hungry food such as meat, recycling more, buying less but better quality and from sustainable sources…
I have posted a petition to ask for better flood defenses on the blog’s Facebook page.
Do you feel confused by the way the media shapes the news?
What is your opinion on the relation between climate change and the planet’s weather?
I read it a few times and I can’t really get it out of my head. It’s something that may interest some but concerns all.
Please click on the title to read the article and let me know your thoughts.
The author, Jo Confino, writes about the news on sustainability he acquired during his recent trips.
Here are a few of his key thought-provoking paragraphs:
“I spoke to climate scientists, business leaders and activists, and the challenges we face appear even more gargantuan then I had thought and, by comparison, progress on addressing them infinitesimal. And that’s before superstorm Sandy struck the eastern board of the US.”
This paragraph didn’t surprise me, after all we live on a planet where there are still millions of polluting vehicles going around even though there are sustainable alternatives, such as electric cars, already available.
“Mann told me that the speed of ice melt is so great that vulnerable low-lying island states may have to be evacuated within a decade – far quicker than anyone had imagined.”
This paragraph definitely made me pay a lot more attention. A decade? Just think of all the coast cities in the world: can you imagine them being evacuated within a decade? That is such short amount of time…Good bye Venice…
“Montgomery raised the spectre of people starving in this country within 20 years as climate change disrupts global food supplies. Did I hear him right? In the UK?”
And did I read that properly? In the UK? People starving in a place where most moan about being so overweight?
My mind is used to being selfish – millions of people are already starving around the world…however reading about this happening so soon where I am makes it real, I can no longer pretend it’s not something that would affect me.
My head started filling with endless thoughts, going from one extreme to another: While all this is going on what am I doing? Is it helping or is it useless?
I went to my cousin’s 1st birthday the past weekend: so by the time he’s ready to celebrate his 21st birthday he won’t have anything to celebrate about? It’s my birthday tomorrow: I will be a quarter of a century old, but by the time I’m in my mid 40s we’ll all be starving, so why would I ever want to have children?
I know this all sounds very dramatic, but these were the thoughts that whizzed around my mind.
Fortunately the author also said: “Face up to the truth but also have an action plan.”
In the article he continues explaining that we should have a goal, as fear of what may happen is only going to increase the distance between us and the issue.
What does this article make you think?
Does it make you see things that a part of your daily life in a different light?