We need to take climate change seriously

Source: Chay Kelly (via Unsplash)

by Harry Clarke-Ezzidio

As yet another storm battered the UK last weekend, many of us decided to hunker down and do what us Brits do best and complain about the weather. Storm Dennis brought extreme winds and rain, causing severe flooding across the UK – with Wales being hit particularly hard. In light of back-to-back storms hitting the UK (after storm Ciara hit prior to Dennis), and other recent weather anomalies seen across the world over, will these recent weather sensations finally open people’s eyes to the realities of climate change?

The reality is that, thankfully, most of us are fully aware about the grave realities of climate-change. So, here arises the question, what is making us neglect such a pressing issue? Well, since most of the majority is well aware and accepting of realities affecting the climate, there are also those who still question well-established scientific facts (hello, flat-earthers). It’s just that when people disagree with over 99% of the scientific community it tends to cause a stir because the sheer ridiculousness and negativity of climate deniers stands out like a sore thumb.

“It just doesn’t make any financial sense, even though the moral argument is strong”

The sad reality is, the recent storms and flooding will probably go some way in convincing deniers that climate change isn’t such a crucial issue. Some who don’t really follow the latest research surrounding climate change – either through disinterest or ignorance – will use caveman logic and use this as evidence against climate-change. However, now the reality is pretty clear and conclusive.

Unfortunately us being aware of the realities doesn’t mean anything in the grand scheme of things – as we’re not the ones who can do much to stop or reverse anything. Systemic change from governments, to help stem, and eventually reduce carbon emissions, and put initiatives in place to switch to a more eco-friendly society based on renewable and sustainable sources of energy. And, whilst progress is being made (albeit slowly), we’re still doing nowhere near enough to counteract the damage we’ve already done. For big corporations – with the biggest 100 companies contributing to over 70% of all global emissions – it isn’t worth the financial and practical hassle of switching to more renewable practices in order to tick a few boxes. It just doesn’t make any financial sense, even though the moral argument is strong. Although it may sound cold and heartless, some big corps didn’t about the conditions of the people that produce their latest and greatest products, and they don’t really care about the condition of the planet.

Scientists have already said that we are past the point whereby individual change can save us, and, whilst we can buy as many metal straws as our heart desires, the reality is we can’t really do much. You can give up meat, or only shop second-hand, but as long as big businesses and governments rest on their laurels, your tofu addiction won’t save the planet.  That doesn’t mean I’m condoning people being irresponsible and being wasteful, people should try and be environmentally responsible in their consumption. But our ethical consumption will do nothing to prevent more storms and other sensational weather events, we don’t need to open people’s eyes to climate change – those at the top actually need to do something to tackle it.

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