Last week’s cyclone-determined weather was mild for us in Pukekohe, but severe on our east coast and catastrophic further south in the Bay of Plenty.
It is likely that a future cyclone will deal equally severe blows to us and our west coast communities.
Whilst we cannot forecast severe weather impacts for specific areas, NIWA have warned North Islanders to brace themselves for more flooding events.
And scientists are finding more linkages between our carbon emissions and extreme weather events. Last month, Nature.com published an article on the influence of anthropogenic – aka “human caused” – climate change on extreme weather events.
Are we, individually and collectively, prepared to take a punt on future catastrophic weather events bypassing us? The people of Edgecumbe would give a different answer to that question from those not yet seriously affected.
Those who do not consider the risks are burying their heads in ever-warming sands, for one thing is clear: extreme weather events are now part of our future.
The Insurance Council agrees. It was reported last week, that the Insurance Council and Local Government NZ have worked together for about three years to explore changes to building consenting processes. Their goal is to minimise property damage during severe weather events.
But Prime Minister Bill English does not agree. He was reported last week as saying that it does not matter “too much”, what is causing the weather we have experienced over the past three weeks. He went on to say that climate change as the cause, is something he does not want to spend time thinking about.
It is our grandchildren’s future that he dismisses so casually.
So what can we as individuals do that our government do not want to think about?
One action is to reduce our household carbon emissions. Which means travelling less, buying only what we need, reducing waste, saving energy and more.
An easy-do action, is for us to take carbon out of the atmosphere.
Atmospheric carbon now exceeds 400 parts per million, and to bring that back to a level that will keep global warming below 2°C, carbon needs to be removed from the atmosphere.
At The Charcoal Fire event on Sunday 23rd April, you can learn the means to achieve that.
Making and burying biochar is a win for carbon sequestration and a win for the fertility and water holding capacity of our garden soils.
And planting fruit trees on top of that biochar is a further win for growing healthy, nutritious food.
Join us at 18 Wesley Street in Pukekohe, anytime between 8 am and 11 am this Sunday (23rd April) to learn how to make biochar as a win win win climate action.