Friday, 6 October 2017

Climate Concerns

Global Climate Change Week


Global Climate Change Week is coming up folks— it begins on October 9th! In light of this, we thought we'd take the opportunity to share some info about the climate. 


Alaska, the home of these bears, is being hit pretty hard by the effects of global warming

So what is going on with climate change today? 

Good question. Whether you believe in it or don't, or just aren't sure who to believe, here's the lowdown.

The Technical Stuff

Earth's climate has always fluctuated, since before the dinosaurs were hanging out with us, but the biggest human-made change in climate in the UK was during the Industrial Revolution, which began in the 1700s. This marked the point when industries began to use fossil fuels to replace renewable fuels such as wood or water. In the mid-1800s scientists discovered just how effective gases like CO₂ are at trapping heat— and began to realise how much was released into the atmosphere as a result of the Industrial Revolution.
It's interesting to note how much the industrialisation of the Western world relied on fossil fuels, and the consequences of this. Many people are still only just realising the impact of everyday actions on the climate.
According to NASA, the evidence of our changing climate can be found in 'ice cores', which are "cylinders of ice drilled out of an ice sheet or glacier", in Greenland and Antarctica. Ancient tree rings and layers of sedimentary rock can also provide evidence for significant climate change. This evidence shows that global warming is increasing at the rate of—brace yourselves—ten times the average rate of global warming, measured against millions of years of atmospheric changes on Earth. Scary, huh? For a thorough, reliable and eye-opening source on climate change, click here.

A joint statement issued by 11 international science academies in 2005 summarises: "The evidence [for climate change] comes from direct measurements of rising surface air temperatures and subsurface ocean temperatures and from phenomena such as increases in average global sea levels, retreating glaciers, and changes to many physical and biological systems". However: before things start to feel depressing, let's take a look at the future... #crystalball
A graph showing carbon dioxide levels over 400 000 years

Coping with Climate Change
NASA reckons the 'solution' to climate change (yes! There is one!) has 2 main parts: mitigation, or reducing the amounts of greenhouse gases released into the atmosphere; and adaptation, or how we can adapt ourselves to our changing climate, including what it might be like in 200 years.

There are some really inspirational stories of cities which have taken climate concerns into their own hands: Samsø, a Danish island, "achieved carbon neutrality" in about 5 years in the late '90s through eschewing fossil fuels and replacing them with clean, renewable energy sources such as wind turbines. Amazingly, these turbines were funded by the inhabitants of Samsø themselves! How about that?

You may have heard of the Paris Agreement— this is a large part of the United Nations' current work on climate change awareness and action, on an international scale. According to its website, the UN declares that the Paris Agreement "brings all nations into a common cause to undertake ambitious efforts to combat climate change and adapt to its effects, with enhanced support to assist developing countries to do so". Exciting, no? It might seem on a small scale as if agreements like this are not doing enough to combat the effects of climate change, but it's really a huge step in the right direction. It means that climate change is finally an issue of international importance. More on the Paris Agreement and the UN here.





















How can you help? 
Educate yourself! (This blog's a great place to start, we say). Leonardo DiCaprio has set up his own foundation, the LDF (Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation) which is "dedicated to the long-term health and wellbeing of all Earth's inhabitants". The LDF website is full of great info on climate change, vulnerable marine life and landscapes, plus much more. Check it out here

For a closer-to-home company focused on clean energy production, look no further than Ecotricity, founded by Stroud's very own Dale Vince. They are pioneers for a cleaner, more effective and eco-friendly source of energy. Ecotricity are contributing to local economy and sustainability in a fantastic way. So there you have it: a provider of clean, green energy so you can binge Netflix guilt-free! More about Ecotricity here.

You could also... Buy all your clothes from Madia & Matilda! Yes, this really is a solution. Supporting small local businesses is important as it boosts local economy and morale. As to our business, it is founded with ethical and ecological concerns at heart. We upcycle materials and breathe new life into pre-loved garments, meaning that our carbon footprint is as small as possible.

Altering your diet to include less meat could also significantly reduce your carbon footprint. Cows and sheep are famously good producers of methane, a hefty greenhouse gas. There are many other arguments surrounding the production of meat, focussing on the ethics/lack of in the meat industry— but let's save that for another day (don't think you're off the hook, steak lovers: more on this another time!)

Interestingly, shelling out for an electric car won't result in a cut to your carbon emissions as effectively as maintaining and using your old car properly will (at least according to the Guardian). If looked after, cars will go and go, unless you're one of those people who loves to drive through Scottish lochs in your holidays.

For loads more ways to reduce your own carbon footprint, look at this cool article by The Guardian, or do your own research! There are SO MANY ways to do your bit. (Please share your findings with us if you hit anything super good!) +Madia & Matilda follow us on Instagram or twitter.




Sincerely Madia & Matilda