I knew about climate change…about not buying a house on the flat by the sea, about the tendency to have a warmer, wetter and more violent climate. What I didn’t realise was how quickly this will impact us all wherever we live. Like many others, I thought we had years to prepare. I was wrong.
Last week we listened to Council’s Climate Resilience and Sustainability principal specialist, Dr Sarah Anderson She is currently co-leading on the development of an integrated Climate Action Plan for the region, addressing both reducing emissions and preparing for climate change for Auckland and NZ. The statistics from NIWA research are shocking.
A very simple explanation of the situation
I am not a scientist but what I understand is that there is a build-up of gases blanketing the atmosphere that prevent heat from escaping. These gases are a combination of natural and man-made. Then there is accelerated warming of the atmosphere. This is partly because of these gases but also related to things like deforestation, and burning fossil fuels. So, more heat on earth and less chance for it to escape. This has led to other factors in turn, like the melting of the ice caps which is compounding the original problem. For instance the melting of the ice caps may also be de-stabilising the Ocean’s currents so that countries previously warmed will be colder, and sea levels are on the rise everywhere.
What will we experience in the next few years and beyond?
Unfortunately, this change is so dramatic that even the experts underestimated its speed. Our brains expect change of this scale to take hundreds of years or at least decades. We are ill equipped to deal with sudden shifts that are cumulative and connected. Even scientists still tend to examine linear impacts rather than integrated outcomes. Very few people understand climate change in detail…just the political arguments that all have a vested interest behind them.
This is our planet and our future…it’s time everyone knew what is happening and take action. The research and data is all out there, so have a look if you think this is overly dramatic. If in doubt – do something to help.
This information is from government – not extreme survivalists!
Why climate change matters
What can we all do?
So what simple things can we all do?
It all seems so big and interconnected across the world. Well yes, the big changes need to be made at government level, but in the meantime there are many things that we can all do to prepare for the inevitable and help to stop making things worse. Here are a few of them under three categories:
2. Be resilient for yourself and in your communities.
2. Prevent further warming
3. Prevent or offset more build-up of atmospheric gases
The truth is we can all say that natural causes of gas emissions are far greater than the ones we create…volcanic activity and the melting of the icecaps. This is true, but human beings can have a significant impact and there is nothing we can do about nature. It is also useless to say that other countries are more to blame than us…so what? That doesn’t help us all in the next decade.
We need understanding, hope and action. Without hope, the situation is hopeless! We can all change something, what is the first thing you can do? Let’s start talking and acting together.