A few weeks ago I mused on whether the climate change scenario I’d used in Truth Sister was actually pretty tame compared with what was actually going to happen. Now of course, weather isn’t the same as climate: essentially, climate is the average weather, year on year. But one of the predictions of all credible climate change models is that as the average temperature increases, the weather will also get more variable. As it is now.
There’s a lot of distressing news at the moment, with wildfires and heatwaves killing people from Canada to Greece and Japan, widespread droughts and threatened crops. And yes, this could be just down to a natural seasonal variation. But this kind of thing is happening more often – which is a definite indicator of climate change. At times like this it becomes even more reprehensible that powerful people continue to obstruct the reduction of greenhouse emissions. I wish there were a word for the sheer recklessness of blighting the lives of everyone on the planet, both today and for generations to come. “Irresponsible” isn’t really strong enough.
Still, I haven’t heard any presidents saying that what we need right now is a “big fat dose of global warming” recently. So that’s progress. Ha ha.
Incidentally, I’ve based the scenario in Truth Sister on a 4 m sea level rise by the middle of the next century, with temperatures up by 3° and all of the associated wildness of the weather. What makes me think this may be optimistic is not the stuff that’s happening right now; it’s that collectively, we’re not doing enough to stop climate change. The US has a climate change denier for a president, and Europe (especially the UK) is preoccupied with Brexit – at a time when we should all be pulling together.
For more, see the authoritative IPCC, the UK Committee on Climate Change , and the Met Office. And, as I think I’ve mentioned before, watch Before the Flood.
What can we do? At least write to your MP and ask why the government isn’t putting more effort into reducing greenhouse emissions. Change has to be at the international level, but we’ve got to start somewhere.