Why Extreme Weather Should Remind Us To Live More Lightly

I have great sympathy for those who have had their lives turned upside down by the recent storms. Many have had their homes and possessions damaged. But I am just wondering if this weather could be the result of man made climate change and a timely reminder for us all to continue to press on with living more lightly and supporting ecological change.

Extreme weather is upon us

Extreme Weather: Polar Vortex

The Polar Vortex

In North America the polar vortex is a large cyclone originating from near the north poll bringing heavy snowfall and record breaking drops in temperature. Apparently it was so cold people were throwing boiling water in the air to see it freeze and often scalding themselves in the process.

Meanwhile here in Britain we’ve been experiences floods and storms over Christmas and the New Year. The polar vortex is now threatening to swing by Britain. Although it may have broken up by the time it gets here. It may just produce more flooding.

Some in the States argue that the cold weather is evidence against global warming. But of course it isn’t that simple. Climate change produces freak variations rather than uniform warming.

Extreme weather could be the result of climate change

Our storms could be an early effect of climate change. For instance “This is Global Warming” declared the front page headline of Irish Examiner. “The increased ferocity and intensity of storms that battered the Irish coast in recent days can be attributed to man-made climate change, says one of the country’s foremost experts on climate change.”

Even David Cameron has recently linked the recent extreme weather that has wreaked havoc on Britain to climate change. But we do need to take this with some caution as the Met Office is saying that it is too soon to make such a link. Whether or not these are shown conclusively to be the effects of man made climate change I believe that there is enough evidence of the threat of climate change.

Climate change reminds us to live lightly

There is a global ecological crisis that we need to do something about – but what can we do? We can address the bigger picture in both our personal and professional lives by living lightly and strongly supporting ecological change.

Surely somewhere the vision for our life should contain some ecological evaluation that leads to a commitment to reduce greenhouse gasses rather than empowering ourselves and others to further wreck our world.

For a lot of us in the West with a comfortable life style increasing our income and our carbon footprint does not bring greater happiness. There is plenty to indicate that a simpler lifestyle with a reduced carbon footprint actually increases our own sense of well being as well as enabling others in the future to flourish.

As well as ‘living lightly’ by reducing our rampant consumerism there are other simple things that I am sure many of you do already:

  • Reduce our energy use
  • Take time to recycle rather than dump material in landfill
  • Use your own compost bin to compost food waste
  • Use charity shops when you are throwing out your old clothes or bric-a-brac
  • Buy second-hand and recycled products
  • Reduce your use of pollutants such as aerosols and pesticides
  • Where possible use environmentally friendly products
  • Think green and research greener options
  • Recommend these actions to your friends and colleagues

One person can make a difference! Together we can change the world in fundamental ways.

Further Reading

Positive Psychology and Climate Change
The Irish Examiner: Severe Weather Attributed To Human Impact
The Guardian: White House tackles climate change and polar vortex in Google+ Hangout
The Guardian: David Cameron right to link floods and global warming, say climate scientists
The Guardian: Too early to link UK extreme weather to climate change, says Met Office
The Ecology of Business

January 16, 2014Permalink Leave a comment

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