How climate change affected my life

Today climate change is a reality. The year 2023 presented a showcase of climate-related disasters1 and gave us an impression of what we can expect in the near future. Looking further ahead, the scenario will be much more grim2.

Climate change in the life of Caspar Bosma - climate bars
Climate changes in the life of Caspar Bosma, visualised by climate bars. Adapted from https://showyourstripes.info/c by me

The notion of a changing climate came quite late for me. During my education at Wageningen University I heard about the greenhouse effect3, but I didn’t realise the gravity of this phenomenon. Until 2007 I focused on environmental pollution and biodiversity degration, assuming these were the main problems that urgently needed to be directed. Publicity around the documentary ‘An Inconvenient Truth’4 made me realise that I had to shift my priorities towards climate change as the defining problem of the twentyfirst century5.
Since then I’ve been following the news and research about our threatened climate. Furthermore, I looked for possibilities to help decrease warming. In my personal life I made some adjustments, knowing I was living quite climate-friendly already. But selling the second hand car I had bought for my former job as environmental engineer, was a logical consequence.

Looking at the graph depicted in this blog, the warming of our planet is evident. I was born in a relative cold year, while in the Netherlands temperatures were lower than normal in the second half of the twentieth century. Worldwide it was a quite average temperature. Nowadays we can only dream of such years, where the winters brought snow and ice. The weather in the Netherlands is different now, with higher temperatures. The increase is about 2 degrees6, far more than the 1.2 degrees of the world as a whole.

During my research7 every year the evidence of warming accumulated and the climate reports were getting more alarming. The urge to mitigate climate change and cut down our carbon emissions is still growing. To me it is clear we are far too late taking action. The consumer should have changed his lifestyle when Al Gore presented the documentary An Inconvenient Truth8. He certainly had a personal message, that only few people noticed. We all had to become carbon neutral9. Not in 205010, not in 2030 and even not in 2023. The year 2007 was the right moment for the consumer to start living a CO2-neutral lifestyle.
Everyone knows that this is far from reality. And we are presented the consequences of this lack of response and responsibility already today.

  1. 2023 Worst Year On Record For Billion-Dollar Climate Disasters | https://www.forbes.com/sites/roberthart/2023/09/12/2023-worst-year-on-record-for-billion-dollar-climate-disasters-noaa-says/
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  2. Future of Climate Change | https://climatechange.chicago.gov/climate-change-science/future-climate-change ↩︎
  3. Greenhouse effect – Wikipedia | https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greenhouse_effect ↩︎
  4. An Inconvenient Truth – Wikipedia | https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/An_Inconvenient_Truth ↩︎
  5. Climate Change – The World Bank Group | https://www.worldbank.org/en/topic/climatechange ↩︎
  6. Climate change in the Netherlands – Wikipedia | https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Climate_change_in_the_Netherlands
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  7. The modern Consumer, cause and remedy for the ecological crisis↩︎
  8. An Inconvenient Truth | https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/An_Inconvenient_Truth ↩︎
  9. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Net_zero_emissions ↩︎
  10. Carbon neutrality by 2050: the world’s most urgent mission | https://www.un.org/sg/en/content/sg/articles/2020-12-11/carbon-neutrality-2050-the-world%E2%80%99s-most-urgent-mission ↩︎

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