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What will happen if climate change is ignored?

There is so much talk about the importance of climate change action, it just seems to never end. Despite how much of a discussed topic it is, I have never stopped to think about what the effects of climate change will be to me and whether its effects will be significant or not. During my education, I had learnt about the environmental, social and economic impacts of climate change and I'm guessing you have too. We all learnt about rising temperatures and sea levels, the increased difficulty of growing food, people being displaced from their homes and becoming "climate refugees", but do we ever stop to think about the possibility of any of these things significantly impacting us?

Living in a developed environment, you do take some things for granted. The water that flows from your tap, the food that is readily available from your local shops, the comfort of living in a home which is powered by technology that allows you to adjust the conditions to your liking. If climate change were to be ignored, would these basic everyday things become unavailable to us?

Whatever it is that we do, we use some form of technology in today's world. It has become a crucial part of everyday life. It's also a major contributor to climate change, but is it also the "answer"? I'm guessing that many of you are thinking "well, yes and no, because using technology isn't enough. We must also mitigate the causes of climate change!" and that is true. Technology cannot solely take on the huge task of reducing emissions and lowering global temperatures. What it can probably do however is to take care of individual people within a world where climate change has been ignored. Have you ever seen Wall E, where the earth has been ruined beyond repair and the answer to it was for people live in giant spaceships where everything is taken care for them? It might be a silly idea, but it's a possibility that this is the future result of ignored climate change action. No matter how big of a problem it is, technology will always be there to bail us long as we can afford it.







It's possible that a lot of us will be able to survive well into a world where the effects of climate change have severely ruined the earth, however that won't be the case for the many others on this planet. I started this post with no real point or message, I just wondered whether my life would be significantly impacted if climate change were to be ignored, and now I see that no it probably won't be, it's just that I'm not the only one living on this planet. If anything, I should using my situation of living in a developed environment where basic everyday needs are taken care of in order to better the lives of those who aren't in the same situation as me. I think the quote from Animal Farm is rather appropriate here, which is "All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others", but I won't go into the morals and ethics of climate change, perhaps that's for another post.

I think climate change action is something that everybody in this planet must be engaged in if we really are to make a significant difference. Being responsible only for your actions may seem fair, but it just isn't enough, and when you're talking about the earth's future, I don't know if we have time to discuss what is and isn't fair. I still don't know what I'm trying to say, maybe nothing, but perhaps this post will spark an interest in some of you. Perhaps it will be the beginning of something :)

Interesting and thoughtful post, Toki. I think climate change is already affecting each and every one of us, I used to work landscaping during the summer months and last year in particular was very dry. We left watering instructions for clients and still the new rolls of sod shrunk and left small gaps. One of the biggest impacts where I used to live was upon mountain towns with ski hills, less snow or hard packed snow because of more warmth made people spend less time on the hill and in those towns which affected many of the small businesses. In the province there was also a drought, though an individual wouldn't notice a drier spring and smaller snowpack having such a big impact but it did, and the provincial government sent millions to farmers to supplement their loss of income.

Whilst these are local impacts and not individual, they impact those on the "frontlines" if you like, and those over the hill from the direct social and economic impacts tend not to notice or experience a negative effect other than some odd weather. I think looking at individual impacts is difficult because weather and climate operate at much larger scales than the individual does and is boundless with large variation in intensity from place to place. However, if you spoke to someone living in California, Bangladesh, or Brazil you would get a very different response because their experiences and perceptions of the impact climate change is having on their lives. Maybe it's better to think as a species instead of individuals (as we are so encouraged to by our society and monetary system)?

The most important evidence comes from the study of past climate conditions, a field known as paleoclimate research. The amount of carbon dioxide in the air has fluctuated naturally in the past, and every time it rises,write my dissertation on that topic to reknown the Earth warms up, ice melts and the ocean rises. A hundred miles inland from today’s East Coast of the, a blink of an eye in geologic time.