Challenging Myths

It is true that natural changes in the world's climate have happened in the past - but it is sometimes overlooked that in extreme cases this resulted in mass extinction!

What we are dealing with now is potentially a big change in our climate that we ourselves have caused. 



Myth 1 - Human activity doesn't cause climate change

Human civilization has only thrived for the past 10,000 years when the climate has been relatively stable. 

Whilst it is true that the Earth’s climate has naturally fluctuated over geological time, Scientists agree that this current warming period is occurring much more rapidly than before due to human emissions. In 2013 a survey showed that, of over 12,000 peer-reviewed climate science papers, 97% of those that expressed an opinion about what is causing climate change attributed it to human activity. 

Concentrations of heat trapping greenhouses gases in our atmosphere are now higher than they have been at any point in the last 800,000 years.



Myth 2 - It's too late to make a difference

There are some changes that have happened which cannot be reversed. However, by acting now, we can reduce the risk of big changes occurring to our climate and reduce the impacts that we and future generations will experience. Scientists believe we still have a window of opportunity to stop the most disastrous effects of climate change if we take strong action now. Scientists believe that if we can limit global warming to less than 1.5°C, we can avoid the worst impacts of climate change. If the current warming trend continues, we are on
course to reach a warming of 1.5°C around 2040 (IPCC SR 2018 – pg. 82).

This could prevent the extinction of corals, limit the percentage of the population that is displaced, and reduce the number of people that will experience water scarcity.



Myth 3 - There's no point in me taking action

Every reduction in emissions that takes place, no matter where it occurs, makes a difference by not adding to the risk. Countries like the UK are in a great position to cut emissions and inspire others to do the same. We do need other countries to join in, but they need us to join in.



Myth 4 - Climate change will make life more comfortable in the UK

Climate change is leading to a warmer climate overall in the UK. But the climate is becoming unpredictable and extreme, unpleasant, and even fatal, for many people. We may have warmer winters, but they are also wetter. And in the summer  peak temperatures of over 35°C will become regular events. Excessive heat causes problems for the elderly, the very young, and those with health problems, impacts agriculture and food costs, and increases wildfire risk. Tackling climate change and helping to secure a more stable climate for ourselves will make life a lot more comfortable for us all in the end.