Many governments around the world, including the UK and our own Devon County Council, have declared a climate and environmental emergency. This is a first important step in acknowledging the urgency of tackling climate change with a need to follow this up with real action. Some have set a target date for going carbon neutral of 2050 others of 2030 and many have not given a target date at all.
So why the need for a target date and why the rush? One significant factor is the existence of (‘positive’) feedback loops. In any system, a small disturbance can sometimes have the effect of increasing that disturbance even more. In climate change, just to give a few examples: First, and most topically, tree loss: due to climate change rainfall will become imbalanced creating a greater risk of drought. The increase of forest fires and desertification in forested regions reduces their ability to absorb carbon which further contributes to global warming.
Secondly loss of ice: ice is white and therefore reflects sunlight (84% of incoming solar radiation). As Arctic, Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets melt there is less white ice. Water reflects only 5% of solar radiation. This causes a further increase in global warming.
So climate change resulting from human activity is very real. Due to global warming, there is a greater risk of flooding, droughts and heatwaves’, according to the government website (gov.uk). It is already causing millions of people to suffer, lose their homes and even their lives. Melting polar ice and glaciers are making sea levels rise, threatening coastal communities and low-lying islands such as the Maldives. 600 billion tons of melting ice flowing into oceans (2017, NASA) will permanently and drastically alter the world’s coastlines, but well before that storms and floods will make these areas uninhabitable. For example, the big rocks which were thrown into Lynmouth by the storm Ciara’s waves. With the warming of the planet comes the warming of the oceans too, which adds to rising sea levels and increases the probability of stronger and more frequent storms, hurricanes and cyclones.
Action taken now to reduce carbon emissions has the chance to drastically limit the global temperature rise to a safer level. There will still be global warming, and there will still be changes in the climate, but these could be limited, prepared for and dealt with. No-one is immune to the negative effects of climate change. Our voice, our actions are very important. LCA is for everyone; there is a Facebook page, an Instagram page, and an online noticeboard –
padlet.com/lynclimateaction/lovelynvalley – for communications and ideas.
Val and Steve of ‘Ginger Nut’ opened their Eco goods, home and gift store in Lynton last September having wanted to run this kind of venture for some time. Concern for the climate is the thread that runs throughout their choices both for what kind of things they sell and how they sell them. Very relevant are their refillable and eco-friendly cleaning products: such as ‘Fill’ washing-up liquid, laundry liquid, and personal cleaning products. Plastic containers, toxic additives, and palm oil are all avoided. Visitors can either bring their own containers so that you only pay for the added weight of the product or buy refillable glass containers. Val and Steve plan to sell milk in refillable containers soon.
And on the theme of product miles, they buy as locally as possible: the best example of this has to be the pack of wax wraps – a durable alternative for single-use plastic cling-film – that are made locally in Lynton. Other great ideas are the reusable coffee cups made from recycled coffee cups, glasses from recycled glass, and products such as washable coconut fibre scourers and body wash soap bars. There are also gift ideas from the ethical and Eco friendly and Devon based ‘Nkuku’ products.
When in Lynton why not pop in, not just for the Eco-products but to be inspired by their ethos.
Dates for your diary
Devon Climate Week – 22 to 28 March. Look out for events in Lyn valley and across Devon.
22 March, Come and make seed bombs and learn what flowers are loved by bees and other insects. 2pm – 3.30pm, Lynton Town Hall.
Logo Competition. We want your logo designs please kidz!
LCA Hub – talks are underway to have a space in Lynton for an exciting LCA community space.
May Meeting – 27 May, 7pm, Lynton Town Hall. Our MP, Selaine Saxby, will be a guest speaker at the LCA quarterly meeting.