Deal With IT's Secretary Victoria Nicholls writes a regular column in the East Kent Mercury:
Climate change is already with us and we have had plenty of evidence of this during recent weeks. We have seen heart rending pictures of the disastrous floods in Pakistan, landslides caused by heavy rain in China and fires in Russia resulting from the heat wave there when temperatures reached 38⁰C and caused many deaths from choking smog. Closer to home, France suffered a minor heat wave in July and the UK had the driest first six months of the year since 1929.
All over the world there are extreme weather conditions caused by global temperatures being the hottest, for the first six months of this year, since records began more than 100 years ago. Evidence that periods of heavy rain are getting heavier is consistent with our knowledge of the atmosphere where warmer air holds more moisture and shows us that a warmer world results in extreme rainfall. Changes to the effects of the jet stream, which normally moves to the north, have also resulted in the high temperatures in Moscow and caused the worst drought for 130 years.
It is easy to feel helpless in the face of such horror when news teams can bring vivid pictures into our homes. We feel that all we can do is to send as much money as we can afford to try to save homeless people and help them to reconstruct their lives. But that is acting after the fact and maybe, if we all take small actions now, we can try to limit climate change for a future world.
It seems that nothing we can do from our cosy sitting rooms could possibly have any effect on the bigger picture but if we try to cut our energy use we will also cut our carbon emissions and if all of us do this we may well bring about change.