The reality of climate change.

13 Apr

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A recent study released by the U.N on the topic of climate change is a most sobering document. Compiled over a period of 5 years by several hundred authors the report warns of rising seas, dwindling food supplies and the prediction that the poorest people in the world who have had virtually nothing  to do with causing global warming  will bear the brunt of the consequences.

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“The oceans are rising at a pace that threatens coastal communities and becoming more acidic as they absorb some of the carbon dioxide given off by cars and power plants. That is killing some creatures or stunting their growth. Organic matter locked into frozen Arctic soils since before civilization began is now melting, allowing it to decay into greenhouses gases that will cause further warming.”

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“Throughout the 21st century, climate-change impacts are projected to slow down economic growth, make poverty reduction more difficult, further erode food security, and prolong existing and create new poverty traps, the latter particularly in urban areas and emerging hotspots of hunger.”

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The authors stress that climate change is not some problem far off in the future, it is happening now. We have all experienced changes in the weather in the last few years. Here in Ireland rain has changed from being mostly soft showers to monsoon like downpours. We have seen coastal erosion on an unprecedented scale this past Winter.  Severe winds earlier this year brought down 1% of Ireland’s trees. In a country with only about 11%  tree cover that’s a huge loss.

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The report cites a particular risk that in a hotter climate farmers will not be able to produce enough food to feed the ever increasing needs of our planet.  “When supply falls below demand, somebody doesn’t have enough food,” says Michael Oppenheimer, a Princeton University climate scientist who was one of the contributors to the report. “When some people don’t have food. you get starvation. Yes. I’m worried.”

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We all have a responsibility to try our best to protect our beautiful planet. We really need to become self sufficient again. Each person with land or access to land has a duty to grow at least a portion of their food. Crops like Potatoes and Brassicas are so easy to grow. Salad crops can even be grown in containers, no land necessary. It pains me to go to the supermarket and see Spring Onions coming from countries like Chile or Kenya. I know people in these countries also have to make a  living but I’m sure they could grow crops to feed their families or sell locally instead of being at the mercy of corporations whose only desire is cheap labour and cheap produce.

Consumerism has to cease. How can we expect to continue to shop, shop, shop while our Planet pays the price. Andy and I rarely go to shopping centres. We buy nearly everything locally and clothes are nearly always secondhand. Even though our country is still in recession one can still get great quality clothing in the secondhand shops. Of course we grow what we can and will increase that each year.  I also think that being vegetarian is a more planet friendly choice. More tree cover would be far better for our country than land being used to grow meat. Animals themselves add to the pollution problem. Slurry runoff has contaminated a lot of Ireland’s waterways. I’ve nothing against animals, I love them and choose not to dine on them, but we have a huge amount of  animals being produced now. Far more than our country actually needs if we were just feeding ourselves. I know there will not be a huge conversion to a non meat diet but even a reduction would help the situation and probably improve people’s health too.

I could go on but I won’t. Most people at this point know the changes they can make to make a difference.

So come on!

Let’s work together to save our beautiful planet. For our own  sakes and for the people who come after us.

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19 Responses to “The reality of climate change.”

  1. digitalgardener April 13, 2014 at 2:17 pm #

    So beautifully expressed, thank you so much for this post!

  2. puppiesinparadise April 13, 2014 at 2:32 pm #

    It was interesting to hear the effect that you see in Ireland. We see the same problems here in Sweden. The last 8 years we have had storms with hurricane winds. It has damaged and knocked down large section of the Swedish forrest as well. Not to mention the damage in the southren Sweden infrastructure with phone lines and power line were knocked down… I was shocked to see tornados & flood on the news in England. Now We have had a few tornados here as well. I have never heard of that before on Swedish soil.

    I agree with you that over consummerism and consumption of the world resources can not continue at this pace.I am glad to see we have the same concerns and interest on this matter. Keep up the good work spreading the word about climate change.
    Honey

    • bridget April 13, 2014 at 5:27 pm #

      I visited your lovely country recently…spent 3 days in Stockholm. Really impressed by the amount of trees there but shocked to see so many fast food joints. We have had tornadoes in Ireland this Winter too. A very unusual occurence.

      • puppiesinparadise April 14, 2014 at 7:57 am #

        I know you were in Sweden because I follow you blog. Sweden is forrest and lakes. The cities are built with nature in mind. I have had other friends from Brussels who made the same comment as you did about the green areas when we took her to Gothenburg.

        I too have notice that Swedish food culture has changed during the last 30 years. Most people made food from scratch. They ate 5-7 small meals a day. Meat portions were very small. Eating out was considered a luxury…
        We didn’t have premade foods in shops freezers to buy like we do today. A lot more fast food places.

        There is two good things on changes in Swedish food culture. Swedish people are experimenting with food of the world in resteraunts and at home. Now we see that their are more vegetarians and people eating Ecologial food as well.

        The tornados we have had were during the summer. I did not know Ireland had one this winter. That is alarming.
        Honey

  3. Small House Under a Big Sky April 13, 2014 at 3:19 pm #

    Such a sad state of affairs. We are seeing/experiencing this too in the US. I think many people care and want to change things but feel they are not empowered and working against big business and greed. We need to have a forum on how and what the common folks can do.

    • bridget April 13, 2014 at 5:31 pm #

      I sometimes think people bury their heads in the sand and pretend this is’nt happening but all of us need to make some effort, however small. Shopping locally, eating seasonal produce and not buying disposable items are good starting points.

      • puppiesinparadise April 14, 2014 at 4:14 pm #

        There are such forum all over the internet. Some of them are taking organized actions. May be you can find one that interest you. Discussion like this and exchanging information to inform others is a really good start. I have learned a lot from Bridget myself. I have enjoyed this discussion with all of you as well.
        Honey

  4. Willowarchway April 14, 2014 at 10:54 am #

    As you know, we grow quite a lot of veg ( and the variety is increasing yearly), but we decided that as we can’t ‘grow’ meat, we would try to live just on veg that we grow, or certainly what is in season. It has opened our eyes, we don’t miss meat at all, and although it’s not been long, I’m certain I feel better !! All it takes is one small step and we can all try to heal this planet.

    • bridget April 14, 2014 at 5:44 pm #

      Well done you! It so easy to create variety with vegetables. Just a bit of imagination needed. If only more people would take the small step…even for a couple of days each week.

  5. puppiesinparadise April 14, 2014 at 6:10 pm #

    Thanks for trackback/pingbacks. I just learned what they are and where I can find it on my Dashboard. I am still a newbee to the blogging world. I have heard the pingbacks but I had no idea what they were for sure LOL. I live and learn some thing everyday.I have been checking out organisations myself on line that are working to change our world. I am taking baby steps in the right direction. Thanks for that nudge.

    I have never been to Ireland but it is on my wish list for places to see. I have seen shows about Ireland. It is beautiful, lush and green. It is steeped in a long rich history and culture. I love visiting historical sites and learning about history of the places we visit. I have been in London. It is a beautiful city but we never got to see the countryside. I am sad to say but that is the closest We have ever come to Ireland, Wales, or Scottland.

    The reality of climate change being published in this report hopefully will impact everyone and we the people of the world will impliment changes for the good of all the worlds populations. I have seen one change already the realize it is happening now not in the distant future and that is progress.
    Honey

  6. Christina April 15, 2014 at 1:00 pm #

    There are still people out there who don’t even accept that climate change is happening! I’m not vegetarian (although I perfer vegetables to meat and most meals are based around them with meat only once or twice a week. I’ve read that we do still need to have animals because we need their manure to cultivate our land well; but the balance is all wrong with many eating meat twice a day rather than as a rareity. As you say we should all know what we have to do. Being lucky enough to have enough space to grow most of our vegetables is one of my greatest pleasures.

    • bridget April 16, 2014 at 8:27 am #

      I’m not saying we need a world without animals, it’s just the overbreeding for financial gain I hate. Thousands of animals kept together in enclosed spaces is nor healthy for man or beast. As you say they provide manure for the land. Years ago in Ireland everyone kept their own animal which was slaughtered at home…expertly. If meat is to be eaten surely this is better for the animal. I know this era will never return now but it was the best system. Before we were veggies we reared our own poultry and goats for food. It really brings home the reality that this animal is dying to provide your food. We loike you are lucky to have enough land to grow our own veggies. A privilege indeed!

  7. Anne Wilson April 17, 2014 at 7:13 pm #

    I also read the report and agree with what you say, however my reaction to the report was why are they telling us this now when the warnings were there for all to see over three decades ago, yet nothing has been done except to encourage people to consume more. Most people will not change unless forced to by law, then they complain about the nannie state or blame it on the EU. As you know we produce our own meat and veg, shopping for us is just a top up, many things have gone from our diet yet we don’t miss them or even remember what they were, rather shows we didn’t need them. Governments seem incapable of introducing legislation that protects the weakest, if you don’t spend they don’t want to acknowledge your existence. As governments wont act it is time for people to take responsibly for themselves and our planet.

    • bridget April 17, 2014 at 8:26 pm #

      I lost faith in governments (not that I ever had much faith in them) when citizens started to be called consumers and infinite economic growth was the ideal. On a planet with finite resources that is a policy for disaster. If people took responsibility for producing even a portion of their own food a great difference could indeed be made.

      • puppiesinparadise April 18, 2014 at 9:36 am #

        The thing in this report that stands out to me was when it is reported that this report was approved by not only the scientist but governments. It only makes me question that the climate change is far worse than this report says. All we need to do is look out our windows and see our world is changing quickly. Discussions like this have a positive impact because the people who otherwise might not have seen this information. Fracking, Oil spill off of Florida’s coast, Fukashima nuclear plant are man made events that have a detrimental affects on our world. Only time will tell us what impact they have on the world as a whole.
        Honey

  8. cmmarcum April 22, 2014 at 3:59 pm #

    Oh man, this post could drive me off into so many tangents that I’d be blogging on your blog, and that would be rude, so I’ll just say ditto. Ordinary people do have the power to change the world, but it is very difficult to get past the brainwashing tactics of big business. Perhaps the internet is the last weapon we have, so keep talking.

    • bridget April 22, 2014 at 5:29 pm #

      and the more people talking the better!

      • charlieeasterfield May 6, 2014 at 9:28 am #

        It appears that most world gvnmnts are totally and utterly corrupted by the bribes and lobbying of huge transnational mega-corporations, it’s SO hard to believe that us ‘little people’ at the bottom can make a jot of difference, but that doesn’t mean we can’t try…spread the word! x

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