Week 8: Looking Ahead The last week of the course; I have managed to get to the end even if a bit behind schedule as usual. So, the title of my first post in this blog was also the title used for one of the last parts of the course: Welcome to the Anthropocene! Defining the Anthropocene: this site has all you need to know, courtesy of the British Geological Society. There’s a great diagram at this part of the site. Click on the diagram to see it properly/print it.
How will Sea Level Change Affect YOU?
I live some 75+ m asl just to the north of Glasgow. The excellent SEPA online maps (see Sepa’s site) show flood risk at present, as I understand it, and have our area in the clear for the moment. But the disruption to livelihood and lives that has already begun, I think, will continue to impact on us hereabouts: transport disruption, increasing isolation of communities, questions about the viability of protecting everyone’s homes are already out there in open discussion. Examples would be the road links with the various peninsulas in Argyll, many at or close to sl, and the many homes alongside the lengthy coastline of these deeply indented sea lochs. More islands ahead! And the more extreme weather will exacerbate sea level impacts. Turning in the other direction, much of the city of Glasgow with its communications and industrial (yes, industry remains) infrastructure not to mention homes and livelihoods will be affected. The diversion of resources to plan for and cope with these changes as they evolve will likely impact on the use of resources elsewhere, diminishing the quality of provision of services. I think I want to talk to my local council about planning policy for sea level change.
There are lots of places you can find the means to calculate your carbon footprint. This one was given in the course. Oh dear, no I’m not surprised that the figures for us are not so brilliant. Good news? Below the overall average for those with similar houses and below the national average; the average uses more C at home than we do but uses less for travel. Our house has various measures but that’s not really the point. Last year’s travel was the highest mileage ever. We walk and bus/train a great deal now we’re retired but thinking of my former working lifestyle – 20+ miles each way into the middle reaches of Central Scotland, no public transport that takes less than 1.5 hours each way, needed to go to meetings from school c 2/3 times a week, 20 mile round trip school/ Ed HQ, at work long hours most days – I could have had a smaller car but would have struggled to make other changes. But the hard stuff will have to be faced. We cycle a bit but the dark cool wet windy months (as against the light cool wet windy months!!) here are frightening on a bike in your 60s, so it’s hard to see cycling as other than a leisure activity for us. Looked at hybrid cars recently and still found them very costly to buy, so passed them by, again; maybe should not have. So, trying to limit flying and turning down the thermostat seem like the most effective ways to cut emissions…..
Can I just say thanks? The course team are brilliant. The feedback videos have been a highlight, it’s just great to watch Prof Tim in action (if I can keep up…). It’s been positively inspiring to ‘hear’ so many fellow students give their views and experiences. I have learned so much, and will endeavour to keep doing so.
This last couple of weeks I’ve been quite evangelical about MOOCs in general and this one in particular. It’s quite a wrench to contemplate NOT looking at the activity feed on the FutureLearn site with a cup of tea of a morning! It’s an absolute privilege. I have been inspired to try to make some changes and I hope to maintain that, little by little.
Key quotes from Prof Tim Lenton in the last video of the course – stirring stuff:
“How we live now matters.”
“Our choices will determine whether we’re all right or not. It’s up to us.”