Saturday, May 25, 2013

Victoria's Green Matters - 23rd May 2013

Deal With IT's Secretary Victoria Nicholls writes a regular column in the East Kent Mercury

If you are a climate change denier you will not attribute our horribly cold winter and spring to anything other than 'it was just one of those things'. Fair enough - turn up the heating, wear more clothes and grin and bear it. What will you think when this becomes the norm? Is it still one of those things?

The changes to our weather are minor in the great scheme of things; this is not so if you happen to live in Alaska. Alaska is warming faster than anywhere else in the USA with a 4°F increase in average temperatures and melting ice is endangering the way of life for those people who still live off the land and sea. There is no question that changes are happening - people live with them every day but the debate about the causes of these changes still goes on.

As a result of increased temperatures there is coastal erosion, retreating sea-ice, thawing permafrost and record forest fires all of which impinge on the way of life of people who have hunted for their food for many years. The hunters notice that the winters are getting later and are warmer and shorter; springs are earlier and rising waters are causing floods. Many communities are threatened by these changes and will need to move to safer ground.

Melting ice has other effects, too. International companies scramble to compete for the oil and coal deposits - but burning them will increase the warming even more.

Victoria Nicholls. DWI - Transition Deal.

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