5 Reasons to be an active participant in addressing climate change.

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It’s easy not to think how climate change will affect us after all, apart from a bit more wet weather more constantly we haven’t really seen much of the effects of climate change in the UK. The current stats put the warming between 0.8c and 1c with the current expected warming to get to 2 – 4 depending what happens from what we all do RIGHT now. We all have a part and role to play in stopping the disaster of 2c+ from happening, I thought I would list a few reasons why we all need to be active participants for climate change.

  1. The people that are suffering the most are the poor – “People who are socially, economically, culturally, politically, institutionally or otherwise marginalised are especially vulnerable to climate change.” [5]
    The world’s poorest farmers, life is a high-wire act – without safety nets. They don’t have access to improved seeds, fertilizer, irrigation systems, and other beneficial technologies, as farmers in rich countries do – and no crop insurance, either, to protect themselves against losses. Just one stroke of bad fortune – a drought, a flood, or an illness – is enough for them to tumble deeper into poverty and hunger. Poor farmers will feel the sting of these changes at the same time the world needs their help to feed a growing population. By 2050, global food demand is expected to increase by 60%. Declining harvests would strain the global food system, increasing hunger and eroding the tremendous progress the world has made against poverty over the last half-century. [6]
  2. Environmental migrants – Sinking islands, desertification and flooding, we require people to leave their homes. Scarce natural resources such as drinking water are likely to become even more limited. Many crops and some livestock are unlikely to survive in certain locations if conditions become too hot and dry, or too cold and wet. Food security, already a significant concern, will become even more challenging. People will have to try and adapt to this situation, but for many this will mean a conscious move to another place to survive. Such moves, or the adverse effects that climate change may have on natural resources, may spark conflict with other communities, as an increasing number of people compete for a decreasing amount of resources. [1] [2] [3]
  3. Coffee and Chocolate in the future might be a rarity – As we the west pay don’t pay growers the living wage ( see 5 reasons why you should buy fairtrade ) crippling poverty is driving Africa’s cocoa farmers to produce other crops. In four decades, the amount of land available for growing cocoa has dropped 40%. In the next 40 years, the temperature in Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire, where 70% of cocoa is grown, is set to rise by 2C. That’s going to make it too hot and dry for cocoa trees. By 2020, world cocoa demand is set to outstrip supply by 1m tonnes. With Coffee the problem has already started to impact you in Vietnam, where farmers have run out of water and stopped sending coffee overseas. [4]
  4. More intense weather for all of us – Global warming over the last century means heat extremes that previously only occurred once every 1,000 days are happening four to five times more often. Future warming will bring a more volatile, dangerous world, even if the world manages to keep temperature rises within a 2C limit to which governments have committed. On average, any given place on Earth will experience 60% more extreme rain events and 27 extremely hot days. Warming of the atmosphere increases the number of times temperatures reach extreme levels and evaporates more water from the oceans. It is from this hotter, wetter background that extreme weather events emerge. [7]
  5. Species extinction – One in six of the planet’s species will be lost forever to extinction due to global warming. Creatures in Australia, New Zealand and South America will be hit much harder than North American and Europe, due to a high number of species not found anywhere else, such as Australia’s white lemuroid ringtail possums, which can die within hours in higher temperatures.“The risk if we continue on our current trajectory is very high. If you look out your window and count six species and think that one of those will potentially disappear, that’s quite profound,” said the study’s author, Mark C Urban, of the University of Connecticut.“Those losses would affect our economy, our cultures, our food security, our health. It really compels us to act.” [8]

 

[1] http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-34674374 [2] http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/dec/13/refugee-status-extended-people-displaced-climate-change [3] http://www.unhcr.org/pages/49e4a5096.html [4] http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2015/jun/09/no-beer-chocolate-coffee-how-climate-change-ruin-your-weekend [ 5 ] http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2014/mar/31/climate-change-poor-suffer-most-un-report [6] http://www.project-syndicate.org/commentary/farmers-adapt-to-climate-change-by-bill-gates-2015-09 [ 7 ] http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2015/apr/27/extreme-weather-already-on-increase-due-to-climate-change-study-finds [ 8 ] http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2015/apr/30/one-in-six-of-worlds-species-faces-extinction-due-to-climate-change-study