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CLIMATE CHANGE

Part 3 of 9 in PLANETARY BOUNDARIES

Climate change is a loaded topic and you can dig deep into intimidating mathematical calculations and chemistry. What it all boils down to (pun intended) are the molecules in our atmosphere. Before the industrial revolution, it worked like this: The sun shines down on earth and mostly the energy bounces back out to space. Water vapour and some carbon  dioxide keeps a fraction of the energy maintaining warmth. This way, the sun warms the earth enough to sustain life but doesn’t burn us to a crisp.
With carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, hydroflourocarbons and other gases in the atmosphere, a harmful amount of the sun’s heat is trapped in our atmosphere and not enough is reflected back out into space.
This is ultimately the greenhouse effect which warms our planet. This is why we are reaching record high temperatures and earth’s creatures are behaving differently.

I got so lost in links of links of links in Wikipeadia and whilst I understood the just of it, I couldn’t write about it the way I would like to. Luckily, there are some brainiacs on Youtube that can explain it perfectly in visuals.

Enjoy the videos below and pat yourself on the back for learning the science behind climate change. They all compliment each other and are fun to watch.

 

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NOVEMBER – THE PENULTIMATE MONTH

No sun – no moon!
No morn – no noon –
No dawn – no dusk – no proper time of day.
No warmth, no cheerfulness, no healthful ease,
No comfortable feel in any member –
No shade, no shine, no butterflies, no bees,
No fruits, no flowers, no leaves, no birds –
November!

Written by Thomas Hood in 1844 when London was subjected to frequent smog.

This poem also describes a future that a handful of transnational companies have designed for us and are ready to profit even more from. Almost every country has a government that can be bought with Mother Nature’s blood money and almost every political leader is ignoring climate change because it’s ‘not good for business.’

These decisions are leaving us to face our own extinction because money seems more important than our survival. Our pensions are literally paying for our death. The madness has to stop NOW!

Photo by Jerry Kiesewetter on Unsplash

We are going through the most critical, ecological crisis this planet has ever experienced. It is bigger than our previous five mass extinctions and more concerning than world war one and world war two. This is the time for everyone to heed the call to prevent further damage. The social contract between those who govern us and the rest of humanity has been broken.

In order to survive, we must all take up the fight.

Photo by Cleam Onojeghuo on Unsplash
Photo by Cleam Onojeghuo on Unsplash

That is what hundreds of concerned citizens in the UK are doing and they are calling it Extinction Rebellion.

Students in Sweden went on strike from school for climate change and 15 year old Greta made a moving speech.

Civil disobedience is growing because governments fail to acknowledge the severity of climate change and divest from fossil fuels. The youth have foreseen a dark future ahead while those in power are almost ready to retire. Some activists are winning and continue to win with support from ordinary folk like you and me.

Protests have been happening all over the world on a large scale and still we continue to fight.

We can change the course we are on from destructive to regenerative and we must, because we no longer have a choice. It’s not about you or me or them, it’s about every force of life on this precious planet. Every life counts, every creature matters.

If everything we do, we do with the best intention for the planet, then we can live healthy lives, in body and mind. This is no longer the time to start with something small like recycling your glass, this is the time to do a complete overhaul of your life and terminate our bad habits that have a high carbon footprint.

Like John Newton’s successful campaign to end the slave trade, we must do 5 things:

1. Join the community
2. Communicate in images
3. Invoke emotion with intention
4. Create meaningful calls to action
5. Tell better stories

To elaborate on number 4: What can we do?

  • Stop traveling on fossil fuels on your own. Take a bus, a taxi, a train or car pool or even ride a bicycle. Not only will it be cheaper but you will have more time to yourself to read and feed your mind. Riding a bicycle is a healthy gift to your body because you can burn fat instead of fossil fuels. Live close to work or find work close to home.
  • Plant more trees. Plant a tree for Arbour day, for your birthday, for your wedding, for your funeral, for the birth of your children, to celebrate someone else’s life. Plant a tree for the community, for the future, for the unborn, for the birds, the bees and the love in between. Trees sequester carbon, filter noise and wind, drop temperatures, seed rain, fertilise soil, create shade, enhance wildlife, increase value of property, decrease crime and they are beautiful.
  • Eat more vegetables. Grow them too if you can. Eating more vegetables means you eat less meat. Animal agriculture accounts for over 50% of biomass on the planet. We are so busy growing food to feed livestock that children in poorer countries are starving to death not to mention water becoming a scarcity. Growing your own food means less poison on your plate, less salt in the earth, more diverse ecosystems, less fossil fuels from farm to store, less fossil fuels from store to plate, less fossil fuels to keep food cool and better quality food. Growing food is fun, educational, rewarding and it just tastes better – I promise.
  • Ditch the dustbin and the trashy life. Roll up your sleeves and learn to zero waste your lifestyle. Join Facebook groups. Many are on this journey already. Join Freecycle. You will need the help of an ecobrick to get you started.
  • Get involved. Join your neighbourhood community or start one. Go to protests, sign petitions, volunteer for environmental justice, engage in civil disobedience if that’s what it takes. This is your call to do your part for the green revolution.
  • Invest in clean energy and harvest water. You can reuse your grey water for the garden by making your own biodegradable cleaning products. Guerrilla House regularly hold workshops to learn how to do this effectively.
  • Search with Ecosia instead of Google. They have planted over 40 million trees and offered 1 million Euros to save Germany’s forest from coal mining. They have great success and when you search with them all the time, they share these positive stories with you. Latest happy story here.
  • If there is one philosophy, one science, one topic, one book, one youtube video, one subject you should invest your time in, this should be permaculture. It truly does have the answers to live a healthy life. Read about it, investigate it and study it if you can. Want proof? Good! I’m glad you asked. Search for Surviving Collapse by Geoff Lawton and he will show you how he is greening deserts. The most arid, barren, dry, hot deserts where nothing grows. He may even become your new best friend.
  • Invest in an eco loo and build a compost bin. You can use all that water that you were using to flush, for your food garden. Plus, in year’s time, your biowaste would have turned into lovely black compost for your trees. It’s nature’s way and has been this way long before flushing toilets came into operation in the mid nineteenth century. Despite public opinion and paranoia, eco toilets are much cleaner than their flushing counterparts, if managed correctly. No bacteria aerosols, no need for ghastly sewerage pipes running under the city letting off methane in it’s path. Nature does all the work for you and everything you ate is returned back into the ground as carbon, where it belongs. Your water saving efforts are then repeated because soil that contains organic matter retains water very well. This means plants don’t need to be watered as frequently.
  • Support small local businesses instead of transnational companies.

Mother Nature can feed us abundantly with nutritious food, she can shelter us, give us happiness and provide future generations with a diverse and beautiful home. In order to unlock her gifts, we must honour, love and respect her with every single action we take during our lives. Let’s evolve from an industrial revolution to a green revolution!

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PLANETARY BOUNDARIES Part 2 LOSS OF BIOSPHERE INTEGRITY (BIODIVERSITY LOSS & EXTINCTIONS)

 

PLANETARY BOUNDARIES Part 2
LOSS OF BIOSPHERE INTEGRITY (BIODIVERSITY LOSS & EXTINCTIONS)

See part 1 of 9 here.

 

CHANGE OF BIOSPHERE INTEGRITY

This planetary boundary is one of two core boundaries. This means that if this threshold has been crossed, it affects other processes on earth. The other core boundary is climate change.
By looking at the planetary boundary picture above, you can see that the green to yellow to red piece of the pie, indicates that we have crossed this threshold.

We are now experiencing the sixth mass extinction of planet earth. This beautiful blue and green planet of ours has experienced 5 mass extinctions before. These have been said to be caused by volcano eruptions, asetroid strikes, climate shifts and other natural causes. During these natural phenomenons, species extinction occurs at 1 to 5 species a year. This is called a background rate.

The sixth mass extinction known as the Holocene or Anthropocene extinction is caused by humans. The extinction rate of species is 1,000 to 10,000 times larger than the background rate of previous extinctions.

We are facing a future of losing 30 – 50% of all species by 2050 if we don’t act dramatically now.

This is caused by a number of factors:

  • Habitat loss and degration due to farming especially animal agriculture
  • Climate change through heat stress and drought stress
  • Excessive nutrient load and other forms of pollution
  • Over-exploitation and unsustainable use (e.g. unsustainable fishing methods) we are currently using 25% more natural resources than the planet
  • Armed conflict, which disrupts human livelihoods and institutions, contributes to habitat loss, and intensifies over-exploitation of economically valuable species, leading to population declines and local extinctions.
  • Invasive alien species that effectively compete for a niche, replacing indigenous species

The threat of extinction is at large and includes:

  • 1 out of 8 birds
  • 1 out of 4 mammals
  • 1 out of 4 conifers
  • 1 out 3 amphibians
  • 6 out of 7 marine turtles
  • 75% of genetic diversity of animal crops have been lost
  • 75% of the world’s fisheries are fully or over exploited
  • Up to 70% of the world’s known species risk extinction if the global temperatures rise by more than 3.5°C
  • 1/3rd of reef-building corals around the world are threatened with extinction
  • Over 350 million people suffer from severe water scarcity

1.29 minutes

 

4.52 minutes

23.42 minutes

 

 

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CLIMATE CHANGE in August 2018

Where to start…

I wanted to write about climate change so that every day people could understand what is happening to our planet. The science journals and graphs and special lingo can be offputting and a lot of information is not understood by the majority of people. The motivation to write about climate change happened one year ago and sadly, I have not devoted the time needed to resarch this topic fully in the way that I would like to write it.

My starting point was to explain planetary boundaries. This is a system based on 9 planetary life support systems and how they are interconnected. If a number of them are pushed, then the system in it’s entirety collapses threatning this planet’s habitability. To just explain one of these nine systems, I had to build on my limited scientific knowledge and quickly, I realised that writing this would be a series of artcles that would take a considerable amount of time.

Writing articles is not my main focus however I do feel that humans need to radically change their lifestyle to live harmoniously with the ecosystem. Hence, I write artciles to promote regenerative living however, there is more to expect…

9 Earth Systems
Planetary Boundaries

Climate Change is happening now.

We are at the point of irreversable damage and that point may have passed us already. Sustainable is no longer good enough and regenerative living is not enough right now. For those that can accept the difficult and uncomfortable truth, preparation for adaption is needed.

We need to be informed of what to expect so that we can make preparations. Unicorn Cafe focuses on the positive side and drives change from this angle. Doom and gloom is not an experience we want to feel yet ignoring that serious consequences lie ahead of us would be irresponsible.

What I can do now is post links to media out on the world wide web and I hope to take you on the journey with me as I explore options to survive.

Polar Bears affected most by climate change. Less ice to reflect the sun’s rays.

There are support groups in place

It is inevitable that some of us will feel hopeless and helpless when we understand the magnitude of what is to come and so, suport groups are forming.

You can find a list here.

Find support

What Media is Reporting

There is a paper written by Professor Jem Bendell called ‘Deep Adaptation:A Map for Navigating Climate Tragedy’.

Fedback on the paper can be found here.

What Do We Do When The Science Gets Scary: Climate Change And The End Of Civilization?

Runaway warming could push the world into a ‘hothouse Earth’ state

The 5 Best Places to Live in 2100

I hope that we can adopt the ‘Each One Teach One’ Philosophy and change our bad habits soon.

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