At Greenfish, we actively look for the latest innovations and trends in sustainability. Each month, we organise our Impact Sessions, a sort of mini conference that aims to share knowledge and debate with specialists on sustainability-related topics. This is an opportunity for our consultants to learn more about their field and feel more integrated into our Greenfish community.
In 2018, we have a good understanding of environmental issues, climate change and the melting of the ice caps. Last week, during our #6 Impact Session, we had the amazing opportunity to hear Raymond Bradley speak about this climate change and how carbon dioxide affects the rising temperature.
We know that temperatures have been intensely rising over the years, and more precisely since 1880. The CO2 ppm has also increased by 40%.
The reason why the ice is constantly melting in the poles is because of the excess CO2 emitted during post-industrial times that is now stuck in our atmosphere. Because of this carbon dioxide, oceans get warmer, but at a slower rate than the land. Even if we succeed in lowering the atmospheric temperature, our oceans will keep warming up because of the already present CO2 in addition to the CO2 we keep producing…
This disastrous change isn’t only happening in the poles; it can also be seen all the way down in Ecuador (Cotopaxi volcano). The melting of the ice is leading to a rise in sea level, leading to some possible city disappearance in a few years. Some of them have already taken precautions by building huge barriers at the sea-facing side of cities.
We don’t know for sure if extreme weather events are always caused by climate change, but we do know that they have gotten stronger and will continue to do so. Because of the ocean warming up, typhoons and hurricanes have intensified, and waves have gotten higher. Furthermore, as the CO2 level goes up, the PH goes down, indicating that oceans are more acidic. This decrease in the PH level has an impact on the marine life; there is a higher chance of calcareous soil and acidic atmosphere, bleaching and destruction of coral reefs.
During the COP21, it was decided to limit emissions and not reach 2°C above pre-industrial level. But we are far from being on the right path: if things continue going this way, we will reach 3.5°C.
According to Raymond Bradley, the biggest failure of climatologists was to not tell people what 2°C really means. Until you bring it down to a local level, people don’t understand how impactful 2°C can be. All over the globe, people are aware of the environmental problems but the reason why countries haven’t taken action yet is due to political reasons and mentalities.
The good news is that most of the action is taken at state level in the United States. Massachusetts recently created 80+ jobs in the environmental sector and California has seen its GDP and population rising while emissions have been decreasing. Both show that you can have economic prosperity and reduce emissions. California Governor Jerry Brown signed a bill to eliminate fossil fuel use for electricity and neutralise carbon by 2045. The State will also have to be net greenhouse negative thereafter.
We are leaning towards change thanks to the young generation who is angry and conscious of the environmental problems. Humanity should be the driver. This is where the hope is.
Next impact session will be held on the 06th of November, with Philippe Lamberts talking about finance and politics in ecology.