Weather is not the same as climate change, but... - GulfToday

Weather is not the same as climate change, but...

Birjees Hussain

She has more than 10 years of experience in writing articles on a range of topics including health, beauty, lifestyle, finance, management and Quality Management.


The photo has been used for illustrative purposes.

At the annual G7 Summit many political, economical and social issues are placed on the agenda but at no other time than this year’s Summit had there been a greater urgency to add climate change on the table. Why? Because, as you may be aware, many large sections of the Amazonian rainforest are on fire. The fires are so widespread that they can even be seen from space.

Now there are climate change advocates and climate change deniers, and it is the former who prioritised climate issues for the recent G7 Summit. We know what acts advocates claim are causing the rise in sea levels, the increase in frequency and intensity of forest fires and elevated temperatures across the globe. They’ve spoken about these repeatedly.

For example, they state that avoiding meat consumption can help the environment; recycling plastic or eliminating single use plastic can help reduce plastic islands and rivers. Using environmentally-friendly cosmetics and paper can go a long way towards helping the environment stay clean, all of which make sense to advocates and those who agree with them.

But those on the other side of the aisle see things very differently. Many deniers, as they are now called, claim either that climate change is a hoax perpetrated by China in order to stifle their competition who will put in place numerous regulations to curb unwanted emissions or by socialists who want to control how businesses operate. They claim that environmental regulations are nothing more than made up to stifle business. They claim that, because it’s snowing in Australia, how can there be global warming? They claim that, if the winters are especially harsh, there is, therefore, no such thing as rising temperatures. However, they forget the extreme heat that many parts of Europe and America experienced in the last month. In many areas the temperatures were comparable to those in the Middle East. Imagine those temperatures in countries where air-conditioning is not a facility that is common in buildings? Many residents had to leave their homes just to cool down.

But weather experts tell us that climate change and weather are two different things. Whereas weather is localised, climate change describes how the environment behaves overall. If a winter is more frequently colder than normal for the time of year, that is climate change. If a summer is hotter and hotter every summer then that too is climate change. The weather is that it is cold in the winter and warm in the summer.

But this is lost on many climate change deniers. In fact, people who have not expressed an opinion either way still ask the question, ‘Do you believe in climate change?’

That being said, many advocates feel a sense of urgency because of the raging fires in the rainforests of Brazil. They think these fires are a stark sign that something is seriously wrong. The rainforests, they say, are the lungs of our planet and if the fires are not brought under control as quickly as possible, the consequences will be dire for the planet. They say, these fires affect every single human being on Earth.

But are the Brazilians as disturbed about the fires as the rest of the world? I don’t know whether or not they have thought about the issues or understood them. As you saw in the news last week, residents living miles away from the forest can still see the smoke as it wafts into their neighbourhoods. The smoke in the skies is so dense and intense that day has turned into night. Is it just another fire to them?

The Brazilian authorities claim that the fires were started deliberately by NGOs to send a message to the people who cut down trees as a business. Climate change activists, on the other hand claim that the trees are cut down, or fires are deliberately started by people, to make way for land that can be used for farming and other businesses. However, because NGO claims are falling on deaf ears, they are being blamed for starting the fires.

Some advocates quip that when Notre Dame burnt down people started taking action immediately but when the rainforest burns away...crickets.

Just to close on a humorous note, I recently saw a video of a crow doing some recycling. In its beak it had an empty plastic bottle that he carefully deposited in a recycling bin and then flew off. If he can do it, anyone can.

Related articles