I sometimes wonder when the world will get it – the climate crisis. There is plenty of big and bold talk coming from governments and world leaders at the moment, and that’s to be applauded, but is it believable?
Reading the environmental page in The Guardian, makes you realise time is running out fast, and if we are to avoid an environmental crisis the magnitude of which is too awful to predict, action is required right now.
- Glaciers and artic ice are melting faster than previously predicted, causing sea levels to rise and eventual flooding. Small islands may disappear, all coastal communities are at risk, many will be wiped out.
- Intense heat and raging wildfires will make it uninhabitable in many inland parts of the world, like Australia, part of Africa, the Middle East, North and South America and others.
- Mass migration and population movement will be inevitable. By necessity, people will seek safe and sustainable places to live, bringing about pressure and tension as local populations grow bigger, resulting in hostilities, maybe wars.
- Severe drought, already killing wildlife and plant species and causing water shortages, will become more frequent.
- Pesticides, intense heat, and lack of rain are decimating the insect population. This will worsen, which will result in crop failures and food shortages.
- Coral reefs, vital to sea life, are dying due to increased sea temperatures, while at the same time, overfishing and warming waters are causing fish stocks to plummet and other sea creatures to disappear.
- Increased human diseases and more corona type viruses are bound to happen due to man’s encroachment on nature.
- As the world becomes more polluted, respiratory infections will increase.
- Natural disasters will become more severe, more frequent, and cause greater destruction and loss of life.
It’s not all negative:
- Solar energy worldwide is growing exponentially year on year. By 2030 it’s predicted to have quadrupled. The US president, Joe Biden, called for an emissions-free power sector by 2035.
- Carbon capture, where through technology carbon emissions are captured and ploughed back into the earth, is gaining momentum, and believed by many scientists to be the major contributor in keeping the rise in the average global temperature below the 1.5/2% goal.
- Coral reef grafting – Adaptive Reefscapes – where pieces of tiny live coral taken from dying reefs are nurtured and grown in a land-based farm before being planted back in the ocean in areas without coral, are proving successful and being developed. Also, marine scientists have found evidence of coral naturally moving and adapting to survive in areas of the sea previously without coral.
- Electric vehicles are on the increase. Governments are legislating to make fossil fuel powered vehicles relics of the past.
- Hydrogen gas, completely fossil free, is replacing gas extracted from the earth and predicted to be the main fuel in the UK, US, and many other parts of the world by 2035.
- Everyday there are success stories and technological advances that will lessen the effects of climate change.
- It’s generally accepted by most of the world’s leaders that the climate crisis is man-made, and man has to do whatever is necessary to avoid a catastrophe.
I’m an optimist. History tells us human beings have overcome or found a way around most crises that befall us. But this one will be tough, and I think and hope on balance we will get through. What is required is strong leadership and agreement.
Above all we need to stop fossil fuel extraction now and keep carbon in the ground forever.
My recent publications
Otto and Frankie, my latest novel, is about a dying man’s fight against injustice, his wife’s unusual affair, and the love from his long-lost daughter.
Otto and his daughter Frankie could not be more different. He’s rich, an acclaimed author, human rights activist, and lives in England. She lives in New York, just about survives from one pay cheque to the next and hasn’t seen or spoken to her father for twenty years. Dutifully reunited by his impending death, she’s amazed to find him a kind and noble man who, while grappling with his wife’s bizarre affair, champions for the world’s forgotten and dispossessed to his last. After Otto’s death, Frankie’s admiration for her father leads her into a dangerous and life changing pursuit.
Life in four stories
Recently I donated a substantial sum to the INTERNATIONAL COMMITTEE OF THE RED CROSS (ICRC) from the proceeds of this little book of shorts. ICRC help the most vulnerable communities fight COVID – 19.
Four shorts: two about life, love, and death; one a poignant and disturbing memory that dangles a question unanswered; and one a wild fantasy – plus the first chapter of my latest book, Otto and Frankie.
By buying this book you are helping fund ICRC in its valuable work.