Global surface average temperature is expected to rise between 0.64°C and 0.69°C by 2030. And yeah I can almost feel you rolling your eyes at me now. Your thinking to yourself 'right yeah, less than a degree of heat that's going to change everything, isn't it Bella?' Well....yeah, it kind of absolutely is. This is a much greater climate change then the one that has occurred over the last 10 000 years. And the ecosystems, the buildings, the way agriculture works, much of our society, not to mention the climate itself has been built very much on a stable climate. Things can't go in the way they do today in a new unstable climate, that is already starting to change.
I'm not going to go to much into the Science of it all because Science isn't really my strong point but I'll do a brief overview. The most important human influence in heating up the earth is burning coal. The greenhouse gases created by this burning have accumulated in the atmosphere since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution, the amount of gas increasing as we continue to burn coal. These gases are trapping more heat within the Earth’s atmosphere, which builds up throughout the lower atmosphere, at the Earth’s surface and within the oceans.
The effects of this heat will be colossal. Increased extreme weather is a particularly scary one because I cannot remember the last time I was in the mood for a tsunami or a hurricane, can you? Not to mention the risks to agriculture. Are you ready to wave goodbye to coffee, as it's beans face threats due to temperature changes and a deadly fungus charged by... you guessed it....climate change.
There's a little thing I've noticed. In general, we trust scientists. Of course we do - they're smart, they have shiny degrees, they test things over and over again, they've been instrumental in building the modern world. But when things get scary, we go into this fun little thing called denial, which is why we have groups upon groups of climate change unbelievers. Yep, I'm talking about your friends dad, you grumpy old uncle and maybe I'm even talking about you. 'Climate change can't exist, it was cold today,' they say (BULLSHIT). 'We've always had extreme weather,' they say (BULLSHIT). Well, to them I say no, it is undisputed in the scientific community. I say the evidence is overwhelming. And I say, as scary as climate change is denial isn't going to help.
I spend a little too much time thinking about the future. Fantasising about an apartment filled with plants, buying an organic coffee on the way to work, making brownies on the weekends. Little things really, the things I envisage for my future. But when it became clear that climate change means I will have to cut segments out of the future, that it means I have to reevaluate because things aren't going to be like they are now. That's when things got scary.
It can be hard to sit down at the table with climate change and relate to it. Because it's not talked about enough, and when it is, it's talked about in a way that is sterile, monotonous. Painted as a political issue, instead of the huge issue that will affect not only Australia, not only small groups but everyone. And the most frightening thing? It's happening right now. It needs to be dealt with right now because, without sounding like I'm in a sappy action movie, it will reach a point where we won't be able to turn back. Unless of course, we do something. Is this a call to big organisations, to governments? Absolutely.
Note: all of my facts in this post are researched from this website, which used to be connected to the Australian government, meaning it is 100% credible but was abolished by the current government (because apparently a climate change concerned committee was too taxing to the budget)