Global climate change is real

2009-12-12 13:04

TWO degrees Celsius.

It seems a tiny figure. But at the moment it is an insurmountable

obstacle.

Environmentalists say that a new treaty being hammered out by world

leaders in Copenhagen should aim to keep ­global mean temperature changes below

2°C.

But irrespective of what ­happens in Copenhagen, halting the

effects of global warming will not be achieved if ­ordinary citizens continue to

believe that it is a “white” ­issue.

Or that it is a problem that government

must solve.

The negotiations for a legally binding treaty in Denmark seem too

distant from our ­everyday reality.

Who cares about polar bears dying or ice

caps melting? Those are other people’s problems. But we should care – the

effects of ­climate change on Africa have already been catastrophic.

Our ocean currents are ­already getting warmer, changing the

breeding habits of fish species. Vegetation is changing, affecting crop

production. All this affects food security.

Rainfall patterns have also changed, resulting in either ­severe

flooding or drought.

Dams are running dry. Right here in South Africa people don’t have

water to drink.

It will get worse – much worse. But every one of us can determine

just how bad it is ­going to be by the length to which we go to be more

environmentally conscious.


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