Low- or lower-middle income developing countries are affected most.
I’ve read and written quite a lot about climate change and there are many who say it is not true, that climates are cyclic (yes they do have patterns) and it’s all just scaremongering. So tell me a month in recent years that hasn’t produced a record of some climate related kind. It might be hottest, coldest (I did say climate change), wettest, stormiest, windiest etc.
I’ve also written about climate refugees coming to New Zealand http://thefuturediaries.com/2014/11/21/the-climate-change-refugees-are-coming-to-new-zealand/ from the future, but if I read this graph it would suggest parts of New Zealand are also at risk.
Would I come back to or stay in New Zealand, yes definitely, not just because it has plenty of good drinking water and isn’t subject to the same extremes as places like Asia, USA, Europe, the Pacific Islands and even some places in Australia, but also because we are a very tolerant multicultural society. Sure we have our rednecks, crime and other problems, but they are minor and rare in comparison to many 1st World countries. When a criminal escapes custody in New Zealand, the whole country knows who they were and what their circumstances were. Would that be the case in California?
Climate change is happening and it will bring good and bad. We will have more subtropical storms in New Zealand and climate will force agriculture to rethink the best places to farm and what products are best suited to certain locations. We will be able to grow crops that we haven’t been able to grow here before, it brings new opportunities. We have issues with Ozone holes, but I’ve never seen acid rain, or huge forest fires, or heard people complain about having to drink recycled storm-water and having to buy bottled water. We have plenty of fresh water and natural energy resources. I wouldn’t buy a house at sea level on the beach unless I had a great insurance company and a back up plan, or was rich, I’m happy being 10 minutes walk from the beach. Do you think about things like that when you are looking at where to live. Here’s a really cheap eBook that will give you some great ideas to think about. Buying a House – Using Real Estate Apps, Maps and Location Based Services.
This map should be compulsory viewing for people around the world. It should be used by teachers in schools to understand why countries rate differently to others, to explore ways of improving their conditions, or at least be prepared for what is to come.
So has anything changed in your area? Have you had recent climate/weather extremes? Do you ever wonder about the fact that every few weeks there is a storm, or a drought or giant hail or extra high rainfall, tornadoes where they aren’t known, conditions that are the worst they have been in 100 years? Just watch how often those extremes are reported. It’s more prevalent than you might have thought and it is not getting better. Many scientists and world health and safety authorities are suggesting that we have brought the world past it’s tipping point and yet there still seems to be a political desire to not to much about it.
A good starting point is interactive maps like this to increase awareness and to just be aware of what is going on, at least in your neck of the woods. What will today bring? What’s happening in the Philippines this weekend for starters. But also just watch in your neighborhood, your country and your neighboring countries. Not scouring the media looking for extremes, just look at every day occurrences and think whether that is the same as it was 30 years ago. Think about what it might be like in 20 years time. Don’t care? Do you have children or maybe grandchildren? What is in store for them and did we have a part to play in creating that and can we have a part in reducing the impact, even if we are past a tipping point.
I loved the recent comments by Stephen Hawking last week, which echo what I have been saying for years. If we had artificial intelligence perfected, the Hal 9000 scenario would make a lot of sense, This planet’s chances of survival in supporting life other than cockroaches, scorpions and other species that can apparently survive almost anything, would be much improved if humans were no longer around.
I’m getting off my Sunday Soapbox now. I kind of like being human, I like living and I love experiencing new things. I also accept a responsibility that I share with all of you that in order for my descendants to have a safe environment to live in for the foreseeable future something has to change and it starts with each individual human being. It starts with acknowledgement that we have problems.
What little thing could you do today? Pick up some rubbish, recycle some plastic, teach your kids about climate change. Plant something in your garden. Find out more about what’s happening in your part of the world. You are the problem and you are the system. If it’s to be, it’s up to me…..