But here’s the thing. It shouldn’t have been this hot. 40 degrees centigrade is your average temperature in Istanbul or Cairo, not in Stoke-on-Trent. And this is just indicative of the damage that has been done to the environment for hundreds of years, and to which only now are we waking up. It’s not just in the fact that two days this week in Britain are going far hotter than normal. It’s in the fact that the polar ice caps are melting at an alarming rate, leaving many arctic species in real danger of becoming extinct. Then there is the fact that those melting ice caps will cause sea levels to rise worldwide. If the damage is not at least delayed then we face real problems. Many places on Earth will simply become uninhabitable if serious action is not taken now.
And yet, there are still those who will claim that climate change isn’t a real thing; that it is something dreamt up by the global elite for whatever reason. Or that this how God designed the Earth and that it will all suddenly and miraculously reverse. And it infuriates me. Did you go outside on Tuesday?! That wasn’t normal for a July day in Britain. We can’t keep kidding ourselves that it’s just a bit hotter than usual. I don’t like the Conservatives (as anyone will know if they’ve read this blog’s political post for a minute) but one thing I was relieved to see at the last leadership debate that all five candidates (although Kemi Badenoch and Penny Mordaunt have subsequently been knocked out of the contest) committed to keeping to Boris Johnson’s target to reach national net zero emissions by 2050. Investment needs to be directed towards alternative energy and emissions reduction technology. And while it may be detrimental to the economy in the immediate short term, the potential benefits in the middle and long term could be seen all around the world.
This was the point of the Paris Climate Agreement. That the world commit to tackling climate change. We are already so far down the path, and the point of no return is fast approaching. Much faster than we may think. I don’t have the answers to the questions about what to do next or how do we tackle this crisis. That will be for much smarter people than me to work out. But my desperate hope is that those with the influence will gain the wherewithal to keep funding research and development projects, to keep the net zero targets in place, to plant more trees, restore the rainforest, develop the fuel of the future. It’s going to take a lot of work to reduce carbon emissions. Because before we were simply consuming the resources that had already been there. For millions of years. And in less than three hundred, we’ve used nearly all of them and caused catastrophic damage to the planet. We now have to create the resources we consume. And that is a far trickier thing to do than just taking and consuming.