I’ve always been one of those people who are mildly concerned with global warming – who tries to make sure they don’t leave all the lights on, the car running and not to leave my electrical items on standby – but I certainly don’t do enough to reduce my carbon footprint. In fact, I work in one of the businesses that is essentially causing forests to be cut down to provide the newspaper for me to write. I’m the kind of person who moans about the weather and prays for a sunny day without thinking about the long-term consequences of droughts, lack of rainfall and so on…
But lately, the prominence of weather reports in our news has caused me to really think about what is happening outside my window. I’m talking about the unusually mild weather we in the UK are experiencing after a series of huge storms and terrible flooding. I’m talking about the polar vortex that has caused deaths and extreme cold in the US – even Niagara Falls and Hell froze over! And I’m talking about the news report I read yesterday about extremely hot temperatures in Australia causing bats to fall dead from the skies.
All of this together just sound like a scene from The Day After Tomorrow – I’m just waiting for the enormous tsunami to wash over NYC (hopefully not as my little sister has just moved there)! I’m getting more than just a little concerned over these extreme fluctuations in weather across the world because it seems to becoming more and more erratic as the days go by. Growing up, I don’t remember weather being quite as astonishing and making the headlines quite as much, I don’t remember it causing quite so many deaths or generally such a stir. I’m sure it is far too late to really reverse any of the damage that we humans have already done, but it is clear that we need to do something to help prevent causing much more or who know’s what could happen.
The Met Office have said that it is too early to tell whether this extreme weather has been caused by climate change but surely all they need to do is look at records from the past 50 years and to take a look outside their window to see that something serious is going on. I almost wish I had some kind of a scientific brain and could understand facts and figures associated with this in order to see for myself what is happening and what can be done. You only have to take a quick look at The Guardian website to see that they have created a webpage especially for stories about extreme weather and natural disasters because they are happening so frequently.
I can’t offer any solutions for global warming but I think it is time to start listening to those who know before things get even more serious. I’m certainly going to start looking at reducing my carbon footprint by driving more conscientiously, walking more, making sure all light bulbs are eco-friendly, although we barely use our home heating I will make sure we are using it even less, turning all appliances off instead of leaving them on standby and of course, recycling. I already do a lot of these, but will make sure to be consistent with them as well.
Have any of you found other ways of reducing your carbon footprint? What are your weather concerns?