Climate change has been on my mind for a long time, partly because of where I am living at the moment – West Australia, where today it’s predicted to have temperatures of close to 50 degrees centigrade, in the northern parts of the state. And partly because I’ve been actively engaged in a movement of people who believe there is a better world than the one we currently live in, and they have plans and policies to achieve it.
2015 was the hottest year on record globally, with climate change being a major factor. Yet still we have climate change sceptics and those that know it’s happening but either can’t be bothered to do anything or believe they, as an individual, can have no impact on any climate outcomes. If we were all to think that way then our world is indeed doomed. Fortunately there are enough optimists around to make a difference. I strongly and optimistically believe that each one of us can make a difference.
To ignore warnings and scientific data, to bury our heads in the sand, to consume and remain dependent on a fossil fuel economy, and to place greed and monetary gain over our environment is not only wrong but also short-sighted and or ignorant.
The Paris Agreement at the end of last year allowed us some hope that the major economic powers would do the right thing – although I see little evidence of it here in Australia – and we have to be optimistic that common sense, science and the sheer magnitude of educated popular opinion and action will prevail.
Where I live, it has already reached 42C one day this summer. In the past we’ve always known that there will be respite after a series of hot days, or a sea breeze will eventually cool us down and with the Indian Ocean on our doorstep what better way to cool off after a hot summer’s day. I’ve always felt fortunate to live in such a beautiful place with a fantastic climate. I do wonder about future summers and not only the discomfort of those hot days, but also the drought, the fire danger and the unsustainable trend of building oversized houses requiring 24 hour air conditioning.
In the heat of summer we look forward to autumn which can be one of the best times of the year. Autumn is the reprieve after the heat, the beginning of cooler temperatures and, if we are really lucky, some rain. I see my garden sighs with relief and plants begin to thrive again.
And then after the cooler mild winters, spring arrives with its sense of renewal, warm, lengthening sunny days and cool nights, vibrant plants springing up after the winter rain in a land that seemed so barren and inhospitable.
To know these plants survive through fire, heat and drought gives me a huge sense of optimism.
West Australian wildflowers in spring
If you got to the bottom of this ‘optimistic’ rant and found the photos, well done!
“The record global warmth of 2015 is part of a long-term trend. All of the world’s 10 warmest years have occurred since 1998. 2015 is the 39th consecutive year with above-average global temperatures.” http://www.climatecouncil.org.au/hottestyear2015