I’ve finished my environmental science PhD (finally!) and in recent months I’ve had the time to finally really investigate climate change information to try to better understand its likely impacts on me and my kids (here in Australia) and what we can do to mitigate it.
I’ve started a sub-page on my webpage here called “climate change for parents” where I want to include simple graphics and text to present my current knowledge on likely impacts and what we can do. As a parent I don’t have time to read through the many different articles to find out simple information to empower me to make a change to protect my children’s future. So this is my small attempt to make a change personally and to share my knowledge in the hope of empowering others. I like to think of it as using the K.I.S.S. (Keep it Simple Sweetheart) approach to climate change mitigation. So far I’ve just posted one information page relating to the key impacts likely to be felt here in Australia for a 4 degree C increase in global temperatures (which is likely to occur by 2100 if climate change mitigation doesn’t ramp up). Next I want to post some simple graphics about my current carbon footprint as well as a simple to do list to reduce my footprint with the easiest and least costly changes I could make. If you have any other suggestions please feel free to make a suggestion in the comments below.
As well as the pages there that should have little tiny bits of useful info, I thought I’d start putting my best thoughts on the matter together in a blog. So here’s my take, and I’m still working on it.
People care about themselves first, then their children, then their grandchildren, then their great^x grandchildren, then everybody else and their children and grandchildren etc, then the critters…
So just using the term “climate change” doesn’t tell people a lot. They want to know whether it’s A) “climate change that will harm me, or discomfort me”, or B) “climate change that will harm or discomfort my children and grandchildren” or C)”climate change that will harm others I am not related to” or D) “climate change that will harm critters”. For a lot of people only the first and second will matter and the second may not register as being important because people don’t realise that their beloved grandchildren (yet to be born) might be so badly affected. This is not surprising because many of the articles about climate change that I have been finding and reading are generally long and don’t get to the point about things that matter to people quickly or succinctly enough.
Finally a little challenge to all the scientists out there. The coverage of climate change in the news has NOT given me the basic understanding of its ramifications and solutions. Even after a couple of hours of researching it, I’m still slightly bewildered. We can’t expect everyone to be scientists, just as we scientists can’t expect ourselves to be medical doctors, or nurses, or pilots, or teachers, without the training in these areas, so the language around this, and how we share information about it has to keep becoming more on point and more simple. Even though its complex and the implications are different depending where on earth you live.
xx Love Heidi
Image credit: Elliott Brennan
(Originally posted 10 Jan 2017)