With the start of the New Year, it's time to reflect on what has happened at the end of 2015. The recent Paris Climate Agreement is welcome news, especially after the dismal failure of the Copenhagen Climate Accord, but are we dragging our feet too much? With this year's record temperatures, a record El Nino, and already many extreme weather events, it worries me as to what will happen over the coming years as the average temperatures rise to that 1.5 degrees. Already we're talking about record high temperatures at the North Pole for December, floods in the US, UK, and Australia, devastating fires and record heat waves in Australia... the list goes on. So do we need to do more?
We need to limit climate change, and the Paris agreement is important for that, but we also need to realise that the rise in oceans is now inevitable and that we need to plan for what climate change will bring - heat waves, floods, drought, extreme weather, change in local climates, change in agricultural practices, change in water security, climate refugees, social unrest, new regions for tropical diseases, the list goes on... We need to look at this now. We don't actually know how severe the climate change is going to be, and we don't actually know how rapid it will be. More often than not, we have been using conservative estimates. The truth could be far worse.
We need to prepare, we need to curb emissions and we need to come together. Only governments can do this, and people can help by putting pressure on them.
My book "Warmth" explores many of these themes and is now available in paperback from Amazon and Barnes & Noble, or on e-book from Amazon.com