And so its come finally to us. Any thoughts that Global Warming only affected poorer lands in the southern hemisphere or around the Mediterranean shores have already been shown to be fanciful. Wealthier countries such as France have been struggling with wildfires in recent weeks, just as Germany faced floods not too long ago.
This wasn’t simply a replication of 1976 but a portend of things to come. Scotland was hot and uncomfortable but in parts of England it was positively dangerous. But its not a one off or even once in a generation but likely becoming an annual event.
Allied to that’s the worsening of winter storms. The winds we faced earlier this year were bad enough. But what if they speed up, just like the temperature has heated up. It’s a frightening prospect and one that we need to react to now. It won’t be easy and it wont be quick. The damage done cant be reversed but a worsening can be tackled and the apocalypse avoided.
But that requires political leadership and public buy in. If politicians run from stating what will be required and emphasizing how essential it is, then how can we expect the public to follow. It’s going to be hard as this will come at a cost, not just in money but in lifestyles that we’ve become used to.
At COP26 where Johnson was happy to prance the stage where he stated that it was “one minute to midnight” to prevent climate catastrophe. Yet he’s gone and his would be replacements have been ignoring that with vacillation on vital climate targets. Some seemed to think we could just turn the clock back but we can’t.
The Global Jamboree was underwhelming but at least there seemed to be an understanding of the need to act and change our ways. But when push comes to shove, when its realised just what that might mean for our current lifestyles political leaders run for cover.
Investment in renewables is welcome, as is support for insulation and other actions. But there also has to be a change in the live today and hell mend tomorrow way of life. I’m all for subsidising fuel costs so that folk can heat their home and workers can be recompensed for their mileage in the vital work they do. But others things have to change. Surely, the age of cheap flights can’t go on. The damage to the environment’s too great. Tax them more and reduce the burden for others. There might even be money to improve infrastructure to and facilities for our own holiday communities, many of which are badly in need of a revamp. Similarly, the damage done by maritime diesel must see cruise liners pay a premium. That doesn’t mean the lifeline services or fishing boats need be penalised. Other actions will equally affect the way we’ve lived and perhaps even restrict once enjoyable pursuits. But change there must be.
Technology cant safe us, how we life must alter. Otherwise firstly it’ll be the poor in the southern hemisphere and then it’ll be our children and grandchildren. But to avoid the former and leave any legacy at all for those who are following us, we have to change our ways.