When the north wind blows
Happisburgh near Norwich, courtesy of NationalWorld
For those who have been reading my weekly missives for a while, thank you. You may have also noticed a recent trend, focus drawn more to climate change. Less so on the tragedy of what might happen, more on some of the amazing science and discovery which might help to mitigate what is already in motion.
I’m a science optimist and truly believe that humanity can survive. As a realist, I also expect our future or more likely my grandchildren’s future to require significant sacrifice. New discovery and development will help, but it won’t provide the get-out-of-jail card to conveniently carry on living the way we have been until now. I’m referring too developed, first world country populations primarily.
I want to consider a terrifying and morbidly fascinating question which has been bugging me — what has to happen here in the UK, Europe and the US, to change our attitudes towards how we live and the environment we live in? When does Flygskam (flight shame movement in Sweden) become front of mind, if ever, and we choose to think about alternative plans rather than choosing to fly? Flying is an easy behaviour to pick on. It uses 90% more carbon than the train per passenger and Britains love it, more than any other nation in 2018. We could help future generations by changing behaviour and do less of it, or we can continue as we are and wait for a higher authority to intervene.
How scary does it need to get?
Perhaps the real question is, how threatened do our lives have to feel before we really start listening to the scientists and support the changes that are needed? I would include governments in the question, but they’ve been reliably consistent in pushing back on the pledges signed-up to at COP 26. It seems if we do leave it to our elected authorities, which seem more interested in protecting shareholder profits than the environment, it will be too little too late.
The consequences will be harsh. Expect draconian rules like those experienced recently during the recent pandemic to be introduced, except they won’t fall away in a year or two, they’ll be here for decades, directed at carbon polluters and the containment of…