Home > Leadership, The Monday Musings Column > the effect of climate change

the effect of climate change

Some of the grounds maintenance issues that we face have got me thinking about the climate change debate. There is no doubt that the plant life around the site is working to something other than its usual timetable and that, in turn, brings issues for the contractors and the contracted schedules.

Dead wood that we would be cutting back is shooting like mad with new growth, grass that should not need cutting for another eight to ten weeks is starting to look like a meadow and all of this external activity has been reflected inside the building where the heating system has been running much less than we would expect it to and has even been off on several days through December, January and February.

If anyone really doubts that things are changing they really do not have far to look for evidence, but there are many who seem to still need convincing. Part of the problem is in the language that both sides of the argument are using. Global warming, and cooling, is part of a natural process that this planet cycles through; it has got hot before, got cold and got hot again and all of that of its own doing. Yes the current warming up has been affected by human actions, but even a complete abandonment of the things that we have done in those areas will not stop the warming cycle.

We talk about the balance of nature and that is where we have made an impact by messing it up and where we can take positive steps by ceasing, and in some cases reversing, the things that we have done over the last couple of hundred years since the industrial revolution. But there is no magic wand that we can wave and all the wailing and gnashing of teeth in the world will not stop the planet warming up if it wants to.

It is easy for me to joke that I live 600 feet or so above the current sea level so I’ll be OK, but there is little point in my being smug about keeping my feet dry if I find myself living on an archipelago and having to revert to the ancient Ridgeway Path instead of the M4 if I want to head up towards town. Perhaps that is an extreme example, but what will the world map look like in another hundred years? I’m not going to be around to know, as will be the same for most others reading this. That does not absolve us from trying to do something about it though. It would be far more useful that some of the daft arguments we are having about energy sources for just one example.

I believe that we need a two pronged approach; one to continue to look the ways that we can reduce the environmental impact of what we do and the second to look at reducing the risks that we face from the changes that are happening now and into the foreseeable future. Whilst I hear a lot of noise about the former I don’t see too much attention being focused on the latter. Almost every organisation is happy to tout their environmental policies and proclaim their good intentions in terms of achieving green cred, but is anyone really thinking strategically about the risks to their operational premises or indeed their operations? Maybe they should…


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