Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Planning for and managing climate change

1:51 AM Posted by: Slamun Atlanta 1 comments

Many people’s perception of climate change is that it will lead to warmer conditions and that in the UK, where weather is a perennial topic of conversation, this must be a good thing. Something that many people fail to grasp is that climate change equals global warming equals disruption of the weather patterns that we have grown up with. There have been many instances of freak weather in the last hundred years or so, but generally weather patterns across the globe have been fairly stable. However, as we all know, this is starting to change. The Gulf Stream brings warm ocean currents across the Atlantic from the Gulf of Mexico. This has a positive impact on the weather of the UK, particularly on the west side. Toronto in Canada, for example, is further south than the UK but has much more severe winters. Disruption to the Gulf Stream could mean a dramatic change in the UK’s climate. The debate about whether climate change is being caused by natural cycles or human intervention rumbles on. The knowledge of past events on our planet proves conclusively that weather patterns go through cycles – for example ice ages – and we may be entering one of these new cycles. However, it is also certain that we have been polluting the planet to unprecedented levels since the industrial revolution, and the likelihood is that this is contributing to climate change. Some governments and organizations have looked only at the short-term view in relation to climate change issues, but things are improving and there now seems to be a much stronger will to ‘save the planet’ before it is too late. Whether we have yet reached the tipping point or whether we can, or will, have any impact on reversing or slowing down climate change remains to be seen, but everyone has a moral obligation to participate in the process.


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