This is perhaps a shocking question: Is it time to stop talking about climate change?
We need to talk about the consequences – climate change is a real and present problem. The impacts are here now.
Anyone who saw Attenborough’s first programme in the Seven Worlds, One Planet series on BBC last night must surely be thinking that.
We are still focusing on science and arguing in abstract terms about 1.5% and 2%. Meanwhile, there are “real world” consequences.
In Antarctica more frequent and more powerful storms are blowing Albatros chicks off their nests, threatening the survival of the species.
David Saddington has something important to hear.
Global climate change has already had observable effects on the environment. Glaciers have shrunk, ice on rivers and lakes is breaking up earlier, plant and animal ranges have shifted and trees are flowering sooner.
Effects that scientists had predicted in the past would result from global climate change are now occurring: loss of sea ice, accelerated sea-level rise and longer, more intense heat waves.
Climate change will continue; temperatures will continue to rise; the frost-free growing season will continue to lengthen; changes in precipitation patterns; more droughts and heatwaves; hurricanes are becoming stronger and more intense; global sea level has risen by about 8 inches since reliable record-keeping began in 1880. It is projected to rise another 1 to 4 feet by 2100. more
In November 2018 the UK’s Environment Agency published Climate change impacts and adaptation
“Mitigation and adaptation are as inseparable in England as anywhere else: there’s no point building an energy-efficient house that could be washed away in a flood.”
“Humanity’s greatest challenge requires us to reduce carbon emissions and prepare for heatwaves, wildfires, storms, rising seas, shifting crop patterns, the spread of disease – and all of the ways those impacts will affect populations around the world.” Resilience is vital.
“Worryingly few FTSE boards are disclosing the strategic risks to their shareholders brought by the physical impacts of climate change. Boards cannot continue to see extreme weather events, like floods and heatwaves, as purely operational. They need to put aside capital expenditure for resilience measures to ensure business continuity.”
The UK Environment Agency points to flooding and coastal erosion; water quality and resources; biodiversity, soils and agriculture; and infrastructure and human health.
Debunking the three Myths used against climate change science
As Mark Carney, Governor of the Bank of England has pointed out companies and industries that are not moving towards zero-carbon emissions will be punished by investors and go bankrupt. Extreme heatwaves are forecast to increase by as much as 80% and the Global Commission on Adaptation urges action now. “Adaptation is not an alternative to a redoubled effort to stop climate change, but an essential complement to it. Failing to lead and act on adaptation will result in a huge economic and human toll, causing widespread increases in poverty and severely undermining long-term global economic prospects.”