News & Articles

Let’s Own Climate Change

Opinion Piece by Justyn Branton BSc, M.Phil

Climate Change Together Stronger:
If you’re like me then you notice the big stories, the headline-grabbing ones. Stories about the wildfires that destroyed huge swathes of land in Australia and the USA. Both devastating in their impact on human and animal suffering, leaving a long-term mental scar on the communities that have been ravaged. There is little doubt that these events are increasing in their frequency and scale. We only have to look closer to home to witness increasingly extreme weather events that have led to flooding and destruction of both lives and property across the UK, most recently at the hands of storms Ciara, Dennis and Jorge.

Calls for greater government investment in fire or flood prevention have quickly become the focus. There is no denying that more needs to be invested in making people safe, however, focusing solely on the impact of an event is like putting a sticky plaster on a leaky dam. We can’t keep making larger flood defences or investing more into fire prevention, because these events are becoming more frequent and ever more powerful. The science tells us that global warming is driving the intensity and frequency of these events, therefore we need to address ways to help the Earth combat climate change. In other words, we have to reduce the level of pollution that we pump into the air or to find ways to take the pollution out of the atmosphere. As of last year, we added 33 Gigatons of CO2 into the atmosphere or 33000000000000 Kgs.

In simple terms, if I cut my foot on a piece of glass, I would stick a plaster on the cut and then pick the glass up. I wouldn’t ignore my foot and then throw more glass on the floor. That sounds pretty close to Einstein’s definition of madness: “Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results”. Together, we as individuals, through organisations like Climate Wise, and governments across the world can change the direction the world is heading in. The future does not have to be chaotic and destructive. If we all pick up the glass, so to speak, we can make a profound difference. To borrow a quote from Walter Payton: “We are stronger together than we are alone”.

This means that we can harness the funds through Climate Wise to support large and small projects such as the construction of hydroelectric dams or solar panel farms. We can support governments to invest in the protection and replantation of forests around the world. Together we play an important role in defining the future of carbon reduction and carbon capture. Crucially we can do this at the same time as improving our lives on the ground through improved air quality, infrastructure development and the protection of the natural habitat around the world.

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