There’s a worrying attitude which you often hear about global warming, in which people try to downplay it’s effects. The glib, well I could do with a bit more sun or the ‘well it’s always cold here’ type attitude is perhaps understandable in a local context when you’ve had a cold, dreary Summer but the world wide figures are extremely worrying.
The world has just has it’s hottest month since records began in 1880, it’s likely given the underlying trends go much further back than that. Every year the world gets hotter and hotter, and the problems multiply on a global scale. In countries like much of Europe, a few degrees change appears to have minimal effect on the surface, although even this is completely misleading.
However in countries with more extreme temperatures the problems escalate in scale rapidly. In Iraq, the government has shut down for days at a time simply because of the heat – democracy can be effected by the weather. In Kuwait, although shielded by some fantastic air conditioning units inside, step outside and feel the heat of a 54C sun (that’s 129F). It’s a temperature which human beings simply can’t cope with but whole populations are being subjected to.
The problems are not all ways as straightforward as simply dealing with the direct effects of heat. In Siberia rising temperatures have melted the permafrost releasing a strain of anthrax lying dormant in reindeer carcass for decades – a deadly outbreak was started as a result of this thawing carcass.
All the trends suggest higher and higher temperatures, the concerns grow in all of the globe in different forms. This is not the sort of instant cataclysmic event you might have watched on the big disaster movies, well at least I did until the Netflix blocking proxies thing. It’s more a series of growing events from crop failures, to mass migrations or flooding and drought events linked to the rise in the temperatures.
Of course, we have always had temperature and weather fluctuations and sometimes it’s difficult to comprehend the scale of global warming whilst shivering in a cold August afternoon. Yet all the evidence and trends points to a rise in temperatures, the results of which we are already seeing – look at the crop and farmers programmes on US Television for example or bypass BBC VPN block and watch the worldwide news and weather reports.
The evidence grows and yet the human race always finds ways to distract itself, political elections, Brexit or conflicts somewhere in the world. The reality is that climate change will bring the world problems on a scale that dwarfs these issues.