Tag Archives: climate change

Worrying thoughts on Climate Change

I’ve just finished reading this article on Medium by Umair Haque. I think everyone should read it. It paints a bleak picture of the future unless we do something immediately.

Umair Haque says,

“2022. It was the year that climate change became frighteningly real. Europe burned, Pakistan drowned. A mega-heatwave stretched from China to America, reaching every corner of the globe. Rivers ran dry, and crops failed.

One of the most urgent tasks our civilization faces is educating people about the reality of climate change. After too long, spent in a haze of denial, largely coming from the far right, funded by Big Energy, it’s undeniable now that climate change is real, and it’s here. And yet really understanding it? Most people, even at this juncture, have far too little awareness of what it really means.”

The 4 Horsemen of the Apocalypse.


Image by Gordon Johnson from Pixabay

Recently I’ve been watching the news, as have most of you, I suspect, with increasing anxiety. The world seems to have gone completely mad. We no longer consider anything but the short term. Even things that threaten our own existence.

I think that the 4 Horsemen of the Apocalypse is a great analogy as to what is happening.

‘What are these Horsemen?’ you ask. Well I’ll tell you.

They first appear in the Old Testament in the prophetic book of Zachariah and Ezikiel. Then they re-appear in the New Testament Book of Revelation.

They are named as War, Pestilence, Famine and Death, and will ride at the End of Days.

Let’s take them one by one.

War.

Image by 849356 from Pixabay

There seems to be a lot of fighting around the globe at the moment. It’s not only Russia and Ukraine, although if you watch solely the news in the UK, you might think so. There are wars going on in Africa, (including Rwanda where the British Government has thought fit to send illegal migrants!). Have we forgotten about Syria’s civil war? And what about the Israeli/Palestinian conflicts?

I’m also going to include here the civil unrest in many parts of the world that have not completely turned into civil wars, but there are violent protests everywhere it seems.

Peaceful protest has gone. Take the Maillot Jaune in France, the storming of the White House in the USA, Sri Lanka, Equador, India, Hong Kong, I could go on.

People are turning to violence almost as a first resort.

So wars everywhere.

The first Horseman has ridden.

Pestilence.

Image by Vicki Hamilton from Pixabay

We can’t forget the pandemic of the last three years. The lockdowns, the deaths, the seriously ill.

Now there’s Monkey Pox. And before that, AIDS. What next?

These things spread because we can travel around the globe so easily nowadays. Jump on a plane and within a few hours you can be in most parts of the world. Once, if someone was ill, they would have recovered, or not be infectious when travel was slow. If it takes a week to cross the Atlantic, a person who is infected would be known before arriving, and quarantine could be begun. But now, they arrive in a few hours and contact many people (maybe even thousands, certainly hundreds) before even knowing they are ill.

So the second Horseman has ridden.

Famine.

Image by Yuri_B from Pixabay

Climate change is having a devastating effect on agriculture. We recently heard about the farmers in the Po Valley in Italy having crop failures because of lack of water in the river. This river is fed from the snows in the Alps, but those snows are melting and are not there any more.

Glaciers are retreating. They are the source of many rivers, and rivers are where agriculture gets its water. Lakes are drying up, causing the death of wildlife who have nowhere else to go to drink.

Now you might think that that’s not a problem. We can desalinate the sea water as they do in Dubai, and use that to irrigate the crops, but it’s not that simple. We are an integral part of life on this planet. We aren’t separate. Insects need water, too. We’re already destroying many of our pollinators with indiscriminate use of pesticides, and their food plants, by indiscriminate use of herbicides, all in the name of maximizing profit. If the wildlife dies, ultimately, so do we.

Then there’s the grain shortage brought about by the Russian invasion of Ukraine. We’ve been told that will cause famine in Africa, and maybe elsewhere.

Here in the UK, the cost of living is rising, and more and more people are living in poverty, not able to afford to buy food for their families. They are relying on food banks. Food banks in a comparatively rich economy in 2022!

The third Horseman has ridden.

We are just waiting for the fourth. Death.

Image by Reimund Bertrams from Pixabay

He may not come soon, but unless we do something to ameliorate these things, come he will. The human race will not survive. It’s not just being too hot that climate change causes, but all these other things too.

The British Government has, I understand given the go ahead for more north sea gas exploration, and I just read that one of the candidates for the leadership of the Conservative Party is promising he will allow no more onshore wind farms. So much for cutting carbon emissions!

Economic considerations come first, before the life on this planet, which will die unless we do something about it NOW.

Review of Hydrosphere Rising by Philip J. Rutherford.

Overview.

This book has a serious message within an exciting story. It is set in the future when, because we have failed to act quickly enough on climate change, the seas have risen by 5 metres and devastated the coastline of Australia, where the story is set.

Blurb

The year is 2120 and sea levels have risen five metres in the last hundred years. The coast is now also lashed by superstorms. Owen is a teenager who grew up on the flooded coastline of Australia. He sets out on a journey to find a missing marine biologist but is about to come up against powerful forces that will push his mind and body beyond their limits. Owen must battle both internal and external monsters to solve the mystery of Evelyn’s disappearance before these forces change the ocean forever and threaten the future of the entire planet.

Owen likes writing poetry (or he used to) but he’ll need to revive every last one of his poetic skills to find the clues that will guide him. Time is running out but why is poetry suddenly so important?

This book has used the latest topographic maps and climate science to imagine what Australia could really be like in a hundred years if climate change continues. It also explores the human response to these changes. What are the implications for the rest of the world?

Story

Owen is haunted by the disappearance of his older sister, and blames himself, although he was not in anyway at fault. This guilt leads him to go in search of his sister’s teacher who has disappeared.
What he thought was a straightforward adventure turns out to be something far more serious and threatening to the whole world.

Characters

The character of Owen is well-drawn. He is a young man of eighteen, with all the adventurous spirit of one of that age. He is a little lacking in confidence, though, due to the guilt he feels over his sister’s disappearance. It is because of this that he sets off to find Evelyn, her teacher. His character develops through his adventures, and at the end he has changed.

Owen is the main character, and there are few others as Owen is mainly alone on his boat.

Writing

Although nothing grammatically wrong with the writing, except for a few typos, I felt that it could be made so much better and stronger. With some tweaking here and there, we would feel much closer to Owen and the action.

Conclusion

I enjoyed reading this story. It kept me guessing all through as to where, or if, he would find Evelyn, and what he would discover when he did. I enjoyed the poetry, which gave the story an extra dimension, and turned out to be important in the end.
The twist at the end surprised me.
I give it 4* for the story, losing 1* for the writing.

Please add your comments in the comments box. If you’ve read this, or any books like it, what do you think of them? Do you think such stories help in the serious condition the world finds itself in?