What is Climate Change?
Climate Change, and more importantly the changing climate which is caused by us people (anthropogenic), has a number of causes. A big cause is deforestation without replanting, which happens on an enormous scale globally. But the biggest cause is burning oil, gas, coal.
But the problem is not a slight increase in global temperatures. The problem is upsetting a fragile balance: melting polar ice changes reflectivity which increases melting of ice. Tundra may thaw and release methane and CO2 in large quantities, causing more tundra to melt and so on. Oceans become more acidic which harms and kills corals, shellfish, plankton, etc. Ocean currents may change or stop, causing seas to die (nutrients stop moving). Many effects have a tipping point where they become unstoppable, and we're near many of them. If we leave it too late hundreds of millions of people will suffer and many will die: this sounds extreme but it is our current best scientific understanding.
Is Climate Change Happening?
There is no doubt in the minds of the scientists (see IPCC= Intergovernmental Panel for Climate Change; also read the remit of the IPCC which explains why their estimates are by definition low.)
The UN and countries all over the world are preparing.
Even the oil industry is taking serious precautions, while some are still supporting climate deniers make the news.
It is happening much quicker than the IPCC announced, though of course most climate scientists already knew better.
By the time absolutely all evidence is incontrovertible it will be too late to do anything.
Governments are generally instructed to adhere to the "precautionary principle", in some (such as the EU) that is explicit in their job description. This means: if in doubt react safely. That is not always happening: with climate, nor with pesticides, nor with much else.
Why are we not doing enough?
We lack the political will. There are no technical issues.
Our politicians, who make rules about pollution, power usage and taxes, do not appear very interested.
Why they are not is simple, mostly a combination of basic economics (summarised here) and who guides the government (summarised here, also see note on TTIP on this page).
People with understanding of the facts would stand up and stop this needless madness of carbon addiction and ensuing destruction.
Changing from oil to renewables is like changing from horses to steam, from steam to petrol, from CFC's to alternatives, from whale oil to petroleum: it's not some unprecedented recipe for disaster.
If done well it actually improves everything.
What can you do now?
Knowledge is paramount: educate yourself about what is really happening. Read up at these climate fact links if you want to read, or if you prefer to watch check out these info links.
If you'd rather read a ready made plan on what can be done, read what the IEA suggests. And then demand that our governments do it.
Listen to the experts. Experts on climate are climate scientists. Quite a few of the best ones are in the IPCC. Find them and ask what they are worried about and what they think should be done.
Share this knowledge far and wide: educate others.
Speak up loudly. Demonstrate. Write to MP's and other politicians, industries, shops, anyone who is doing what is not right. Support groups who also do this to have a louder voice.
Do personally as much as you can in saving energy, planting trees, supporting fish and wildlife.
Don't give up. Change is possible, even without revolution. But it will be close: the time to act is now.
Have you heard of TTIP, CETA or TAFTA? They are secretly negotiated trade agreements between the EU and the USA/Canada which could make limiting Climate Change via political means very difficult. The agreements would remove transparency of companies suing governments about new regulations they don't like. Though media barely cover it (well, it's secret so hardly news... yet), it is a substantial threat to democracy and our environment: these agreements are "binding for governments at all levels". Read more here, or consider signing this EU citizens' intiative. (the initiative has already helped achieve a start of openness, but more is needed.)