I’m lucky enough to live in an area where I can walk in beautiful countryside every day. I’ve also trekked in mountains in the UK, the alps and the Himalayas. I love being outdoors because it keeps me fit, gives me time to think and it fuels my real passion for photography. But it also bothers me.
It bothers me because our world is changing. Climate change is real and we are not taking action quickly enough to combat it. A recent poll conducted by YouGov and commissioned by environment lawyers and charity ClientEarth, shares this concern. It shows support amongst a section of the British public for urgent action and litigation on climate change. I suspect similar results could be seen elsewhere.You can download the survey here.
The recent BBC TV series ‘Mountain – life at the extreme’ is compelling viewing if you’re interested in nature. The scenery is breathtaking and the camera work simply amazing. But it also covers the damage being done by global warming. The Quelccaya Ice Cap in Peru is the world’s largest tropical ice sheet. It’s 18,000 above sea level and it took at least 6,000 years to form, but around 30% has been lost in just 25 years.
Throughout the Andes, glaciers are now melting so rapidly that scientists have grown deeply concerned about water supplies for the people living there. Glacial meltwater is essential for helping Andean communities get through the dry season. In the short run, the melting is producing an increase of water supplies and feeding population growth in major cities of the Andes. But as the glaciers continue shrinking, trouble almost certainly looms. Douglas R. Hardy, a University of Massachusetts researcher who works in the region, said, “How much time do we have before 50 percent of Lima’s or La Paz’s water resources are gone?”
An article in the Guardian online reported that the arctic ice cap melted to hundreds of thousands of square miles below average in the summer of 2017.
CBS News reported in February 2018 that at the current rate of melting, sea levels will rise by around 61 centimetres (2 feet) by the end of this century. That will have catastrophic effects on many countries around the world. Potentially millions of people could be displaced, supply chains disrupted and chaos caused on a grand scale. This may all sound like scenes from a disaster movie, but many scientists agree it’s probable. In fact, Charles Geisler, professor at Cornell University thinks that 20% of the world’s population (about two billion people) could become climate change refugees by the year 2100 due to rising ocean levels.
By 2100 there could be 2 billion climate refugees.
National Geographic also weighs in with a video that’s a few years old, but it’s an excellent 6 minute primer on the impact of climate change.
I know there are climate change deniers, but I find it impossible to believe that this is not a real and possibly the most serious threat we face. Thankfully most world leaders and a growing number of corporate leaders also agree. That’s why there’s a growing momentum behind setting climate and science based targets for reducing the harmful effects of GHGs.
We all have a role to play, and they first step is to understand more about this topic. There are many who say it’s a scam, mainly because they are not informed, or because they believe the soundbites they hear.
Ecodesk provides a science-based target solution that combines proven environmental survey process with AI to identify and manage the impact of GHG emissions across the value chain. More information is available here.