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2013 was an extraordinary year for weather and despite the vast amounts of time, energy and money spent by the oil, gas and coal industries in trying to persuade us there is no such thing as climate change (as well as the odd few clueless politicians and hapless ‘scientists’ who tag along with that whole ‘headless chicken’ agenda) the evidence is getting more and more obvious – we are fucking up our environment, our ecosystems and our climate and our planet. Simples.
So what happened last year?
– Greenland had its highest ever recorded temperature (25.9C
– Snow fell in Cairo for the first time in 112 years
– Australia had its highest ever recorded temperatures
– The Philippines were battered by some of the strongest storms ever to reach land
– Namibia, Angola and Botswana were gripped by drought
– The UK and the Netherlands had the worst storm surge for 60 years
– Parts of China, Brazil, Russia and Sudan experienced extreme flooding
– The USA suffered extreme tornadoes, and a freezing ‘polar vortex’ that set record low temperatures as the year ended
– And did we mention it rained in England – and rained, and rained. And flooded. And rained.
It is right not to over exaggerate the risks of climate change – it MAY not be us – and one scientists recently had his name removed from the latest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Summary for Policy Makers because it had ‘drifted to far to the alarmist side’. That said, the Met Office Hadley Centre in the UK says that hot summers, like the sizzler we had in 2003 when temperatures in Kent hit 38.5C and 2,000 people died from the heat will become the norm by 2040 – as will cold winters like 2010-2011 – when temperatures at night regularly dropped to -10C – although there will be an overall gradual rise in temperatures as climate change takes hold. The Report is less clear on rainfall saying this is harder to predict although noted that heavy rainfall events were becoming more frequent.
No one is immune to the impact of climate change, which is fuelling war, hastening natural disasters, causing the extinction of species, changing coastlines, destroying homes, pushing up food prices and threatens to drag societies back into poverty, the IPCC’s report says – most comprehensive study into the phenomenon. The effects of climate change are going to cost a LOT of money to sort out (if we can sort them out) – now is not the time to keep pretending its not happening. The sun is the centre of the solar system. The Earth is not flat. Sometimes we have to accept the REAL facts, and not stick our heads in the sand.
“Nobody on this planet is going to be untouched by the impacts of climate change,” IPCC chairman Rajendra Pachauri told a press conference at the launch of the IPCC report in Yokohama, Japan.
Michel Jarraud, secretary-general of the World Meteorological Organisation, said the report, the most comprehensive to date, said it showed that “now, ignorance is no longer a good excuse” for inaction to tackle the threat.
“Climate change is hugely threatening to our way of life, in the UK, Europe and the world,” said UK climate change minister Ed Davey, in an interview with the Observer. “Not to lead is deeply irresponsible. If you don’t lead, you will not bring others with you.” The IPCC report was “an incredibly robust piece of science”, Davey said, adding that people should be “more worried” by climate change than ever. “The impacts on our people could be huge. We could see problems of real devastation from flooding and other severe weather events hitting food and water availability – really significant things,” he said.
The World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) says that each of the last three decades have been warmer than the preceding one – and that heavy rainfall events, heatwaves and droughts are becoming more common – and more intense – and whilst the WMO say there is ‘no definitive answer’ to the extent of humankind’s contribution to climate change – lets be frank – its happening ANYWAY. Now. And we need to do something about it or we sit here whilst the planet burns ……..
Dr Rowan Williams, the former Archbishop of Canterbury, has attacked Western lifestyles for causing climate change that is “pushing the environment towards crisis”: More in the Telegraph here : http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/environment/10732121/Rowan-Williams-warns-of-climate-catastrophe.html