Let’s face it folks, despite the inane mutterings of clueless politicians attempting to debunk it, climate change is a reality. At the current rate of emission of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, estimates are that the Earth will be at least three degrees Celsius warmer at the end of this century than it was at the start of the Industrial Revolution.
Three degrees might not seem significant, after all, the difference between a temperature of eighteen and twenty-one degrees doesn’t make all that much difference, does it? Well, those three little degrees can, in fact, have a huge impact on life on Earth. Worldwide weather patterns will be altered, and often in ways that are detrimental. Melting of glaciers and the polar ice sheets will cause rising sea levels, destroying many coastal communities, or at a minimum, vastly altering them. Winter flooding will be greater in many regions, but there will be water shortages in the warmer months. There are likely to be fewer hurricanes and cyclones, but those that do happen will be stronger, and thus, do greater damage. Wet places will become wetter and dry places dryer, affecting agriculture and food production.
So, given that climate change is a fact, and we’re going to have to live with it, just how do we do that? Here are a few tips for weathering climate change regardless of where you happen to live on the planet at the moment:
Have more green space around . Cities need to devote more areas to parks and woodlands, to increase the amount of oxygen production and carbon dioxide absorption. In addition, woodland areas have a positive effect on weather, and help stem soil erosion. The decomposition of plants also returns nutrients to the soil. At your home, you should try to have as many trees and other plants around as possible.
Live in the countryside . While cities have more support mechanisms, and because of population density, have a lower per capita rate of emission, living in a revitalized countryside, and following practices to lower the carbon footprint, will relieve some of the burdens massive urban complexes are placing on the planet. In addition, lowering the population of urban areas lessens some of the damage of catastrophes.
Don’t live too near water . That beachfront property that looks so great in the brochure might not be the best investment in the coming century. Coastal areas will be among the first impacted by rising sea levels. Governments should discourage residential development in vulnerable coastal areas, and individuals should consider locating elsewhere.
Be rich . This is not a tongue in cheek recommendation. The wealthier nations and individuals will be far better situated to cope with the situation that will be brought on by climate change. On a national or global level, governments need to step up development efforts to raise incomes and living standards of their populations. Individually, it means putting aside savings rather than consuming, or living with debt that eats up your income.
We can survive climate change. It will require, though, significant changes in how we live our lives.