What will the UK be like in our life times?
With COPT26 coming to a close, never before have there been so may discussions about climate change and so much global cooperation, with I am sure, with positive changes more to come.
I have enjoyed reading the pledges on the UN website, but didn’t necessarily agree with all of the strategies…a global smart regenerative energy grid? I’m more in favour of off-grid and local networks based on local resources (sun, wind, tidal with natural storage such as lakes or disused mines).
Climate change is a global issue, but the UK will almost certainly be impacted badly too and over the last years we have seen the beginning with heat waves, flash floods and wild fires.
By focussing on the changes predicted to take place in the UK alone, I felt that I could better understand the issues and feel a bit more empowered to do something to help.
So I have sketched up a blog with some of the projections that I have heard lately about the impacts in the UK over our lifespans, 2030, 2050, 2080, 2100.
Despite much goodwill at COPT26, if the governments acted on all their pledges, it would not avert climate change right now, but slow it a little. Hopefully one day we will live in balance with our planet. It is clear that the COP meetings must continue. At COPT27, to be held in Sharm El Sheikh in Egypt, much more progress must be made.
Yes, the governments of the world will in due course make changes to help restore the damage humanity has done to the planet, but it might not be fast enough.
As consumers, we can act today, by staying well informed and by making changes in our own lives. We can intervene to help restore nature by getting involved in the many excellent nature based organisations and charities. So let’s take this as an opportunity.
Here are the often mentioned dates and some of the current scientific forecasts – mostly from what I have picked up over the last few weeks – most from memory…
The UK has lost almost half of its biodiversity, a number far below the global average of 75%. Researchers state that the world average needs to be at 90% in order to avoid an “ecological meltdown.” www.earth.org
The impoverished state of nature in Britain has been “triggered by the mechanised destruction of nature in order to convert it into goods for profit…As a result, the UK has been among the most nature-depleted countries in the world for a long time.” www.earth.org
15 per cent of species within the UK are threatened with extinction, and since 1970 the abundance of UK priority species has declined by 60 per cent.
One of the reasons marine life is under threat is because of the sewerage, plastic pollution and agricultural chemicals deposited in rivers, harming freshwater ecosystems, and impacting the oceans. See government report here.
UK continued coastal erosion.
Possible salt water inundations.
Continued upward global temperature increases.
1 in 4 homes will have electric cars?
70% renewable energy?
85% of people will live in urban areas.
The UK will have the fastest growing and second largest population in Europe.
Could reach net zero, but temperatures will still rise, partly due to the thermal lag of the sea.
Heat waves will be common causing disruption to road and rail as well as agriculture.
Increased shortage of homes.
For every degree rise in air temperature, that air has 7% more capacity to hold more water, so a warmer atmosphere can hold more moisture.”
Severe rain storms common with flooding, soil erosion.
With no intervention, the temperatures will be 4 degrees above preindustrial levels.
The sea level rise, 20cm.
1.5 million buildings, mostly in the south-east under water from sea level rising.
100,000 properties subject to coastal erosion.
With no intervention, the temperatures will be 6 degrees above preindustrial levels.
A mass extinction of one million species will be inevitable.
Please bear in mind that this is only a sketch made from snippets I have heard over the last few weeks with some light research and all of it will alter in time.
I think generally that it has been great to see global cooperation between governments, NGOs, charities and volunteer groups. I am not overwhelmed by the input from big business or world banks which seemed more self-serving than ambitious. COP26 will not avert climate change, but it is of course, real progress towards that goal.
One of the missing elements was on engendering the support of individuals like you and me and it would have helped with the COP strategy had they done so all along. It is not to late for them to bring us all in to the forum.
There are so many things we do can to live a more natural life by using natural products in our homes, by making our homes more energy efficient, using air source heat pumps, solar panels, electric vehicles etc.
We can also add to nature and increase biodiversity in our country by getting involved in restoration projects.
Later on, I will be planting berries taken from trees and hedges in my village. When my seeds, spindle, snow berry, rowan, honeysuckle, byrony germinate in the Spring, I will be able to home them in the hedges and add to the local biodiversity. I will do a blog on this soon so you can have a go.
Finally, take action – public bodies are influenced by people. Follow white papers – lobby your MP, get involved in nature based organisations and charities, take part in wildlife surveys – big nationwide survey programs are in the pipeline! Offer to help your local tree warden – every village should have one, be sure your council is respecting nature and improving our natural biodiversity. Play a leading role at work and be a pioneer in your family and among your friendship group.
I hope you found this blog useful and empowering. We can make a start now in the lead up to Christmas. Let this Christmas be the most environmentally friendly one yet.
If you are thinking of buying natural personal care or household products for Christmas gifts may I invite you to have a peep in our Christmas Shop. Here you will find a range of carefully selected kits made from single ingredient products in local eco packaging and that surely is the way to go.
Thanks for reading. Happy campaigning and Happy Eco Christmas.