Climate change makes the news more often than it did a decade ago, but it still does not dominate the news cycle.
That’s a problem. Climate change is not a ‘woke’ issue for the hippies and the young. Nor is it a policy conundrum that can be solved by making a loophole of ambiguous phrasing.
Climate change is a state of being that our generation, and the ones that come next, will have to grapple with for our entire lives.
We need to pay attention to climate change because we need to breathe clean air. 8.3% of premature deaths in the UK are linked to diseases (asthma, lung disease, stroke) which are themselves linked to air pollution.
We need to pay attention to climate change because we love seeing polar bears in nature documentaries. But scientists expect a 30% decline in polar bear numbers over the next 30 years.
Even our morning coffee fix and beloved coffee dates at Flat White are in danger. Half of land currently used to grow coffee could be unproductive by 2050.
We urgently need to understand the impacts of climate change and how our activities contribute. That’s why the SciTech section has given over its pages in the final print edition of term (3rd December 2020) to a collection of articles on the theme. With the UN Climate Ambition Summit coming up on 12th December, this could not be more timely. It marks 5 years since the signing of the Paris Climate Agreement.
Reading through the submissions for this feature, I have been shocked by some of the facts.
Harrison Newsham found that Amazon hired 250,000 new couriers and warehouse workers between July and September 2020, to cope with increasing demand for online deliveries. And after reading that 20% of returns are sent to landfill, not re-sold, I’ll certainly stop buying clothes just to try on. Elise Garcon offers us a much-needed reminder that oil giants, such as Exxon, fund politicians who deny climate change.
If you want to go further, I recommend listening to the podcast ‘How to Save a Planet’. The New York Times’ newsletter ‘Climate fwd’ is also excellent. But after reading Jonny Tiplady’s article ‘The Case for CDs’, you might think twice before signing up to any more emails!
SciTech will continue to publish articles on climate change throughout the year. If you have an idea, send us an email: firstname.lastname@example.org