Climate change is very much the elephant in the room. We know it’s out there, we know the climate is changing, but very few of us are actually talking about it.
In recent weeks, a huge iceberg (5,800 sq km, which is about the size of County Mayo) broke off the Larsen C ice shelf in the Antarctic. This is a very visual image that we can physical see the effects of a warming earth.
I have just read a fascinating essay by David Wallace-Wells, who expertly summarises the many changes our planet will, and is experiencing, because of climate change.
Entitled the “Uninhabitable Earth” and appearing in the New York Magazine, it makes for a very worrying reading. Wallace-Wells has interviewed hundreds of eminent scientists and combined their science, views and predictions into a very readable article.
I urge anyone, whether you view yourself as a climate change believer or skeptic to read the full article.
Just a few observations outlined by Wallace – Wells:
- The Arctic’s permafrost holds 1.8 trillion tons of carbon. Melting permafrost (as is already happening) could release this into the atmosphere
- In the last 30 years, we (or human activity) have released 50% more carbon into the atmosphere than in all the time humans have been on earth
- Some of the latest data suggests that the planet is warming at a rate that is twice as fast as what had been previously thoughts by scientists
- In the sugar cane region of El Salvador over 25% of male farm workers are suffering from chronic kidney disease, thought to be a result of dehydration while working in fields they used to be able to work in without difficulty
It is a very uncertain future we face. We need to make a huge cultural shift in the way we think, and the way we do things, if we are going to slow down the effects of climate change. And I say slow down, because personally I think we are gone beyond the point of stopping it. Is it a future we can leave in the hands of politicians who only look at things in the short term? Here in Ireland, the Climate action and low carbon development act 2015 and the recently published National Mitigation Plan do not even begin to address the seriousness of the problems we face.
In Ireland, the Citizen’s Assembly, are asking for submissions on “How the State can make Ireland a leader in tackling climate change“. Here is an opportunity to have your say. Submission deadline is the 11th August 2017.
If you are interested in finding out more check out The Stop Climate Chaos website.