Chris Beales - climate change | music
From a summer of extremes to COP26

My summer was been interesting. Looking back there was a lot going on: some changes at work, which will hopefully create new opportunities; a couple of gigs at Marvellousfest and Reading Town Meal, which were great after all the months of silence; and a couple of opportunities to give talks about climate change. These included a really enjoyable evening speaking to the Reading Rotary Club; and also speaking as Water Theme lead for ReadingCAN at one of the online events for Reading Town Meal / Reading Climate Festival.

Preparing for those talks was eye opening. I wanted to get an update on how extreme the weather was during the summer. There were a lot of them: from hurricanes to flooding in Belgium/Germany and China; major heat events; wildfires and drought.

Slide of extreme weather event photos
A summer of extreme weather 2021


As I write this we are half-way through COP26. Given the speed that the climate is changing, and the weather events that we are seeing, it seems so obvious that global leaders should be dropping everything to make the deals and really zero our carbon emissions. Sadly that is far too optimistic. I hope some significant steps are taken though, and at least the USA is at the table this time.

This is the 26th meeting of the parties … 26 years! The build up to it was full of strong ‘do or die’ rhetoric. It reminded of Copenhagen and the big push on tipping points. I don’t know if that impression is being amplified because it is in the UK this time? The messages are not far wrong. But even if COP26 is a disappointment, we mustn’t give up hope.

It is good to see that things are going on in Reading to mark COP26. Friends of mine from GREN have done a lot of work organising things, including a march tomorrow, which I am looking forward to.

And it is good to see adaptation being talked about more. It is crucial that we take more action to become resilient to these extremes in weather, they are only going to get worse. The following post should be going up on the ReadingCAN site on Monday to mark the COP26 Adaption Day.

Categories:   Adaptation  Blog  Presentations  ReadingCAN  
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