Has something clicked over climate change?

Hockey stock - 21st centuryHas something clicked over climate change?  Over the last year I’ve seen a big change in levels of concern over those I know concerning climate change.  My church has put protecting the planet if not at the heart of its new five year strategy then as an important plank.  This in itself is quite a major change.  In addition most weeks the environment is prayed for and increasingly mentioned in sermons.  We now have an ethical challenge (environmental) in our news sheet every month.  Its not just at church that concern seems to be rising.  My children are increasingly asking how they can cut their emissions.  They may not be ready to give up flying yet, but one has gone to Berlin/Amsterdam by train this week and two are now vegetarian.

What has brought this change about?  In my view it was last summer’s heat wave.  As one comedian put it one the BBC Radio 4 comedy “The News Quiz” last week.  “You can tell climate change is real since I got a tan in Edinburgh last summer”.  I’ve always thought people in the West would only take the issue seriously once the impacts could be seen close to home.  This does seem to be the case now.  Crazy weather is now commonplace and almost expected.  Australia has just had the most amazing drought and record temperatures of almost 50 degrees C followed by huge floods in Queensland over the last few days.  Obviously people have to move from concern to action, but concern is the first step and has to be encouraging.  Has something clicked over climate change?  It looks like it to me.

Neil

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