The threats of ‘Global Warming’ ‘Climate Change’ have been drilled into us to such an extent that it appears we are become immune to them, in fact instead of addressing the issues, we are ever more comfortable turning a blind, obnoxious, eye. Today the World Bank has released the latest report warning of the devastating effects of a predicted 4oC rise in mean global temperatures over the next century. So what, we heard that before, and we are all still alive right? Let’s continue driving our 4X4’s and drilling for oil, and we will work out some way of dealing with it later. In any case, cold old England could do with a nicer, warmer summer.
The fact that this report has failed to make it into the headlines is worrying. Instead of warning us that ‘we’re on track for a 4°C warmer world marked by extreme heat-waves, declining global food stocks, loss of ecosystems and biodiversity, and life-threatening sea level rise’, PM time-wasting welsh income tax, tube strikes have made it onto the BBC homepage today. In august this year, on the day that it was announced that artic sea ice has reached an unprecedented low level, three weeks before the average annual minimum, the argument about where the new runway should be built filled the media. The question of should another runway even be built was not even considered. The recent American election was taken to a standstill by a freak tropical storm, most likely of higher intensity due to the effects of climate change on ocean currents. Yet as they recover from Sandy, the US is pledging to increase the oil industry substantially over the next decade.
Read the report (http://climatechange.worldbank.org/content/climate-change-report-warns-dramatically-warmer-world-century ) it’s scary. Look at the figures released by the IPCC regarding the observed effects of climate change that we can see right now. Even more scary. The raw data is undeniable. The predictions of course cannot be perfect, but these are the accumulation of almost 30 years of climate science to date. We should be taking notice.
Take a minute to browse the environment section of the Guardian or journals such as Nature. Reports and studies demonstrating the decline of animal species come in by the day. Today for example the guardian reports that Britain’s bird population has decreased by 44 million since 1966.
What is concerning is that all these figures, warnings and predictions are now so commonplace, that it seems we are becoming immune to them. I urge you to take a step back, really think about it and read the report as if you have never heard about climate change before. If asked by your grandchildren, “you knew about climate change, so what did you do”? I for one want don’t want to say ‘nothing’.