Climate change is like that mate you don't wanna talk to because he's too drunk. It's difficult to understand, sometimes scary and people often avoid it. After all it's hard to comprehend that us little humans are significantly affecting this big, beautiful blue marble we're living on. We evolved to learn how to deal with immediate threats like a lion charging at us, rather than something that happens slowly and on a global scale because of the collective actions of 7.5 billion people. But now we must quickly face and deal with what's happening.
Climate change is essentially the few hurting the many. Historically (and simply) speaking, the Western world became rich by exploiting resources on a huge scale, and we're consequently responsible for producing over 50% of the world's carbon emissions between 1850-2011. Today the story is similar, with the richest 10% of the world's consumers being responsible for ~50% of the world's carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. Whilst the rich cause the problem, it's the poor who will suffer the consequences most.
T H E C L I M A T E C R I S I S
Want to learn more? Check these out!
Interesting Articles, Reports, & Book
Here's an interesting way to calculate your own carbon footprint - the results may surprise you!
Some great visuals on the state of the planet by NASA: http://climate.nasa.gov
This site talks you through the basics of climate change: http://www.globalchange.gov/climate-change
Statements from the popular documentary 'Cowspiracy' and the sources of those statements: http://www.cowspiracy.com/facts/
Climate change for kids! http://climatekids.nasa.gov/ocean/
Not everyone is a climate change believer though. Try not to pull all your hair out: http://www.climatehustle.org/
Jimmy Kimmel swiftly 'puts down' the climate change non-believers. Watch till the end for an important public service announcement! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9UCdFbyL8y0
Comedian Marcus Brigstocke talks making climate change 'sexy' and solving climate change within a democracy. Worth watching just for the peom:
Great TED talk on the inequality of climate change, why it's potential pathway for violence, and a final message of hope :
Learn about the effects of climate change on our health: http://www.thelancet.com/commissions/climate-change-2015
Learn about the effects of climate change on the world's oceans: http://www.annualreviews.org/eprint/QwPqRGcRzQM5ffhPjAdT/full/10.1146/annurev.marine.010908.163834?ref=driverlayer.com
What are your thoughts on climate change? Join the conversation and give us your opinion....
What can we do as individuals to make the biggest difference in preventing climate change?
What are the biggest causes of climate change?
Can we prevent climate change or have we gone too far?
Climate change hypocrites: should you practice what you preach? Can you preach if you don't practice?
How can we get more people interested in climate change and change the minds of climate sceptics?
Join the Climate Change Conversation below!
Author: Josh Robertson (16/10/16)
So it seems that in our current culture of distraction (exhibit A) we have a planetary emergency, and in this emergency we have an opportunity like mankind has never had before, to change the fate of the planet in one generation. That may sound like a bit much but it's completely true. We're the last generation that can act and we can do it! We need to be more conscious of our own habits and move together as a society towards renewable energy, leaving our old carbon-based lifestyles in the dirt. We as the people have the power to change the way our governments view this situation, and if we treat it as a big deal and make a fuss they'll do the same.
We're already making the first steps, and once renewable energy crosses the threshold making it a better investment than fossil fuels we'll be in a much stronger position. Renewable energy has huge potential, for example the solar energy reaching the earth in 1 hour is enough to provide the global energy demand for 1 year. Al Gore suggests that renewable energy is perhaps the greatest new buisness opportunity in the world! We're going to win this climate crisis, but the speed at which we win is key. Take it away Al...
Photograph by Paul Nicklen
Photograph above and video below by NASA
Jeeze, that's extreme. Well I don't want that to happen, this is my favourite planet earth! So what can I do as an individual to help? For a start we can:
1) buy locally sourced foods
2) avoid buying beef - switching to chicken can reduce your CO2 emissions by 80% on average!... and who wants to live in a world covered by a blanket of cow fart anyway?
3) go vegetarian/vegan/generally reduce the amount of meat we eat
4) use Ecosia for searching the web (they plant 1 tree for every search - pretty awesome)
5) support carbon taxes (this will cause a shift that reduces other taxes and will reduce fossil fuel use and subsidies)
6) reduce the number of flights we take by using trains instead (where possible)
7) cycle or walk short distances instead of driving
8) buy hybrid cars
9) have more efficient lightbulbs in our houses
10) and most importantly, be more concisescious of our individual impacts as consumers and strive for change.
Also - Ted Halstead breaks down what countries and governments should do in his cracking TED Talk: A climate solution where all sides can win. Ted presents a 4-point framework governments can use to increase income whilst reducing emissions.
Obviously if we keep this up, the future doesn't look too great. But what exactly will happen? Well basically we'd be pretty screwed... Weather related disasters will increase dramatically (e.g. more frequent and severe: flooding in the UK, droughts in the Mediterranean, rainstorms in the tropics, and wildfires worldwide), sea level rise will cause mass migrations of people leading to overcrowding, geopolitical instability, increasing pressure on resources and potentially leading to conflict, tropical diseases will spread to new areas, there will be a mass loss of wildlife, and the list goes on and on and on. Here's a list Al Gore composed in his presentation at TED in 2016 (ft. Kevin Hart):
Greenhouse gases like CO2 and methane trap heat around the earth like a blanket...or a greenhouse. This effect takes place in the delicate film surrounding the earth, our lifeline, also known as the atmosphere - the thin greeny-blue layer below.
When you have 90 mins, check out Leo Dicaprio's new documentary 'Before the Flood' - it's a must watch and you get to see Leo being an absolute boss in places around the world. If you don't have the time, just watch from 1hr 15mins 35 secs in (it's 15 mins long and you get a beautiful summary).
So to give you some stats, CO2 levels have increased by ~42% from preindustrial levels (from 280 parts per million (ppm) to 404.42 ppm in 2016). This CO2 is released when we drive cars, hop on flights, and heat our homes (anytime we burn fossil fuels) and chop down forests, and also through natural processes like volcanic eruptions (listen to this generically dull but informative video on the right for more info on CO2). Methane has a global warming potential 25 times higher than CO2 and is released through: agricultural practices like when cows get gassy (1 cow can produce between 250 - 500 litres of methane a day - there are at
As you can see from this fine graph on the right, temperatures are rising. In fact, since 1998 we've had the 10 warmest years on record (a 134-year data set!), the levels of CO2 are higher than they have been in 650,000 years (that's 25,545 times as old as Justin Bieber), global sea levels have risen 178mm in the last 100 years, and the mass of land ice in Antarctica and Greenland has been reduced by an average of 3742 and 8910 tonnes per second since 2002 (the weight of over 18 and 44 blue whales each second - 200 tonnes each!). But is that a big deal? I mean places like the UK could do with warmer summers anyway, and so what if the sea's gone up a little bit and we've lost a lot of ice. Well actually these things are a HUGE deal! (and Europe will actually get colder!)
Graph by NASA
least 1.4 billion cows across the world!); the production and transport of fossil fuels; and, the decay of organic waste in municipal solid waste landfills - that's why using that little annoying bin for organic waste is actually worthwhile. Basically we're producing wayyyy too much greenhouse gas, in fact around 110 million tonnes of greenhouse gas is released per day. This traps about as much heat as the heat energy released from exploding 400,000 Hiroshima atomic bombs every single day!!