As the heatwave continues in the UK, we’ve started seeing some damaging impacts from farmers reporting crops wilting in fields to water warnings issued in some places, and in Moray private water supplies have run completely dry. Prolonged periods of hotter temperatures risks the vulnerable members of our society who may be elderly or already suffering ill health. But now we’re watching simultaneous climate disasters unfolding around the world.
Today’s news is truly terrifying – wildfires raging in Greece have killed at least 60 people, hundreds are dead or missing after flash floods in Laos caused a dam to collapse, while Japan has declared its heatwave a natural disaster after 65 deaths in a week.
— Christina Malactou (@CMalactou) July 24, 2018
Forest fires continue to burn in Sweden, inside the Arctic Circle, and record breaking temperatures have been recorded across the world over the last month, including Ottawa, Canada; Southern California; Ouargla, Algeria; Tibilisi, Georgia; Tokyo, Japan; Sydney, Australia.
Yet most coverage isn’t making the connection between this extreme weather and its cause – climate change.
In extremely hot summer, wildfires are hitting the Arctic Circle https://t.co/eFn36eOcWS Once relatively fire-free, Arctic areas are now likely to become more susceptible to fires because of #ClimateChange, climate scientists say @wef #ParisAgreement #ClimateAction pic.twitter.com/cWKPHMJgKi
— UN Climate Change (@UNFCCC) July 20, 2018
This is climate change
There is no doubt that the prolonged extreme temperatures and floods we are witnessing around the world right now are a result of climate change. The temperature records being broken across the UK and globally are exactly as climate science has long warned, and with devastating consequences.
Increased warming means that events like these will become much more powerful and more frequent in future, and nowhere, including Scotland, will be immune from the impacts.
We can’t delay – it’s time for action
Both these headline-grabbing events and the slow motion disasters, such as droughts leading to crop failures, show that we have no time to waste in cutting climate emissions. We cannot afford to delay or pretend that ‘business as usual’ is still an option, decisions must be made today to significantly cut our emissions within the next decade.
The Scottish Government’s recent proposals for a new climate law do almost nothing to increase action within the next ten years, despite this being the most crucial time for climate action. MSPs from across the Parliament must strengthen the new law, and take action now for a rapid and just transition to a zero carbon economy.
We can no longer ignore the impacts of our changing climate. Will you take action now and ask your MSPs to ensure Scotland’s new climate law urgently cuts our climate emissions?