This is almost entirely in line with my thinking. We have become muddled as to what is meant by “climate change”. We look for signs in global warming but that is wrong. Global change is because the balance between energy received from the sun and that lost from the earth has changed. More of the sun’s energy is being absorbed into the sea as ice (which reflects this energy back into space) melts and snowfields are reduced in size. Less energy escapes thanks to greenhouse gases. Much of this added energy is going into our weather systems rather than into global warming – which is why “unusual extreme weather events” are now pretty usual. Some of the changes in global energy increases are natural and over these we have no control. Some are man made and we should be doing what we can to control them. Putting the “blame gane” aside, we are going to see massive economic migrations in the years to come and it really is time to start thinking about how we are going to deal with this.
Climate change is thought of by many as a problem that lies reassuringly far in the future: most middle aged people will not even live to feel its effects, it is thought. If temperatures rise by a few degrees and some food shortages develop, it’s not an issue: we don’t have to worry about it until 2050, and some sort of marvellous scientific solution will have been found to allow us to continue over-consuming, flying across the globe for every holiday, and treating all consumer goods as thoroughly disposable anyway.
Such is the unconscious assumption of most people. Alas, the reality is not quite so comfortable. So let’s tackle the greatest misconception first: every time a major scientific report is issued warning of ‘X’ deaths due to climate change by 2060, or that sea levels will rise by ‘Y’ metres by 2040, this does not mean that things will remain…
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