We are grateful to Rhoda for being the Zoom host on 5th May, when 14 members joined in the virtual meeting. Our speaker for the evening was David Ramsden MBE, who lives in Devon. We were also joined by two other ladies from Devon and another from Kent.
Although David is not a climate scientist his passion for his subject resulted in a very enlightening, but challenging, talk entitled “Climate and Ecological Crisis – What’s all the Fuss About?” He explained in easily understandable terms the reasons for the present damaging effects of climate and ecological change and went on to cover the ways in which the massive problems could be overcome. The emphasis throughout was that the problem is manmade, so the solution is also our responsibility.
In respect of climate change he explained the importance of containing the rise in temperature caused by the massive amount of carbon dioxide being released into the atmosphere, giving us global warming and the “greenhouse effect”. This results in faster loss of ice, especially at the poles and from glaciers, also from permafrost melting. Crop failures are increasing, because of more floods and droughts, wildlife and fish stocks are in decline and poor air quality is killing people.
With more severe storms and floods, his maps showed how by 2050, with increased sea levels because of global warming, parts of Lincolnshire, Cambridgeshire and Norfolk could be under water if no action is taken.
In the 2015 Paris Agreement, 196 countries agreed to do their part in keeping the overall increase in temperature to less than 2°C, but not enough progress has been made and the UK is not on track to meet this target. If current trends continue and the temperature increase is between 2°C to 3.7°C most life would be wiped out and it could lead to the collapse of civilisation.
The solution to the problem is a responsibility for all of us and even if we take small actions it can make a difference. The main areas where action is required begin with transport, the biggest contributors to the problem being jet aircraft and cruise ships. What we eat also needs to be reviewed, especially to consider consuming less meat, reducing waste and buying local produce. Consumerism is an important factor, so we are urged to reuse, recycle, repair or rehome where possible. Finally, we should be talking about it all, including contacting our MP to encourage them to act or vote as appropriate. His summing up – act now for life and for the children.
If anyone is interested in learning more there is a lot of information and advice available on the following links:
Our next meeting is on Wednesday, 2nd June, at 7pm on Zoom, when we will have a totally different theme, with Colin Evans giving us a light-hearted evening with readings, poems and anecdotes.
The Zoom link will be sent in advance as a reminder.
Please contact me if you have any queries or suggestions.
Trish Law Committee Member