Saturday, 8 March 2014

Let's Talk About...Climate Change

from here
Can I tell you about the last time I felt scared, like really, genuinely, shivers down your spine scared. I was in a music hall, surrounded by about a hundred people, none of whom were carrying knifes or looking remotely threatening. On stage in front of my was Tim Flannery, and it wasn't him that made me feel scared, it was his words. Words that won't constructed to terrify but definitely did because what they held was raw truth - thing's are a changin' and not in the good way. 

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.

Bella x 

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)


  1. I agree with everything you've said here Bella, I did a university course all about climate change last year as well as an assignment on it in chemistry in year 12. I hate how so many people see climate change as some sort of political debate, because we're all caught up in the politics of it, actually helping our planet has sort of been pushed to the back of our politicians minds. In one of my uni courses we learnt about the thing called "Earth Overshoot Day" this is the day every year where we have used exactly the amount of resources that the earth can regenerate in a year, back in 1993 it was October 21st in 2012 it was August 22nd, 2013 it was August 20th and it just keeps getting earlier each year, meaning that our planet is slowly running out of the resources we need to support our current population and lifestyle. Not to mention the fact that the worlds sustainable population is around 2-3 billion, whereas there's data to suggest we could have a population of 9.5-11.5 billion by 2050. That's in our lifetime!

    I don't understand how people can CHOOSE to be so blind about what's happening. There's a plethora of knowledge out there for them to research and yet they'd rather not. Does the fact that CO2 is increasing 200x faster than it ever has over the same time period before not send a shiver up their spine? Or the fact that we need 1.4 planet earths to support us current not make them want to run outside and DO something?

    Sorry for the incredibly long comment but I'm really passionate about this topic and I feel like it is one that we all need to start having an open conversation about, so thankyou for being brave and putting your viewpoint out there. I wish I knew how to make a big impact on helping to improve things, but until then I will just keep doing my bit and helping where I can.

    xx Erin

    1. Erin,
      God, I love this comment. It's so easy for people to dismiss climate change as if the effects won't kick in for years, but it's happening right now! It's something I'm super passionate about as well.
      Thanks for the wonderful comment.

  2. I completely agree. Why can't people see the effects ! I could start like Erin but I won't because I should be in bed !
    Eb x

  3. I know! Thank you for all your wonderful comments lately!
    Bella x

  4. Lovely blog girl :)



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Isabella xx