Climate change is occurring earlier and more rapidly than expected. Even at the current level of 1C warming, it is painful. The IPCC report is really important. It has a scientific robustness that shows 1.5C is not just a political concession. There is a growing recognition that 2C is dangerous.
- Scientific Writer Johan Rockström
In its report of 2013, UNICEF recorded its findings that “three-quarters of 11 to 16-year-olds in the UK are worried about how climate change will affect their future and wish the government would do more to tackle it.” Despite the scepticism of some adults towards climate change, the report showed that young people all around the world “understand that the damage that is being done to the Earth by man-fuelled climate change is damage that their generation will have to suffer, pay for and attempt to rectify.” More severe and more frequent natural disasters, changes in rainfall patterns and subsequent food crises threaten their education and health.
In 2019, our own research shows that many of the younger-parent-age population are also devastated by predictions for the world and the prospects for future generations. In a high street survey, which we conducted of 20-40-year-olds, one result was particularly alarming: so many were determined not to have children at all, since they couldn’t see a purpose, place or future for them.
As providers of care for the youngest amongst us (and their families by default), we are bestowed a unique gift, the chance to make a difference at grass roots. Therefore, we have a responsibility to inform, influence and put into practice the transformations that are necessary to halt and redress climate change, in doing so addressing the concerns of our younger generations. If all of the 22,000 children’s nurseries in the UK worked together, the momentum and effect of a call for change could be considerable. That is why it is vital that we commit to our children and use our website to spread our mission as far and as wide as we possibly can. There is so much to lose if we don’t!
We are not alone. Many large companies are keeping apace. For example, Ikea has launched a range of new sustainable products; branches of Morrisons have become the first supermarkets to have a plastic-free loose fruit and veg counter, complete with old-school paper bags; and Waitrose is trialling dispense and bag yourself cereal and grain products.
As change seeps slowly into larger companies, children’s nurseries must speedily lead the way!
In 2000 the report released by The Hadley Centre, UK, clearly showed how reaching 3 degrees would act as a TIPPING POINT or SWITCH. THIS EFFECTIVELY COULD TIP THE PLANET INTO A RUNAWAY GLOBAL WARMING SPIRAL. This would be vastly accelerated and unstoppable by humans and by carbon emission reduction.
The Tipping Point or Switch is now widely recognised by Scientists.
Existence of our ecosystems (our plant, animal and insect life) is largely threatened by 2 degrees. And, without this biodiversity, existence for humans is also on that list!
🔥Heatwaves caused by global warming harm crops and wildlife and are deadly to humans. Air stagnates so pollution sticks around in the environment instead of being replaced with fresh air.
🔥The tiny village of Kaktovik, Alaska, has recently been inundated with visitors, who come to catch sight of the increasing numbers of polar bears stranded due to retreating Arctic sea ice.
🔥In October 2018, the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) warned that we only had 12 years in which to stop global temperatures rising by more than 1.5 degrees. Should warming go even half a degree beyond this — a rise of 2 degrees above pre-industrial levels — we risk placing a catastrophic strain on water and food supplies and large-scale destruction of marine life. The Maldives and much of the Caribbean would be gone, Southern Europe will be so hot as to be off limits.
🔥Time and carbon budgets are running out. By mid-century, a shift to the lower goal would require a supercharged roll-back of emissions sources that have built up over the past 250 years.
🔥The IPCC maps out four pathways to achieve 1.5C, with different combinations of land use and technological change. Reforestation is essential to all of them as are shifts to electric transport systems and greater adoption of carbon capture technology.
🔥Carbon pollution would have to be cut by 45% by 2030.
Surely we have a responsibility to leave for future generations a planet that is healthy and habitable by all species.
- David Attenborough