The predictability of climate change patterns is like a slot machine. We can only guess exactly what will happen when, where and to what extent. But one certainty is that everyone will be affected by changes in some way.
|(Illustration by Ap)
Scientists can’t yet determine the outcome of our planet’s climate, so we only can respond to what we see now to help us and future generations survive. Adaptation to climate change is about making responsible adjustments to changes around us: rising tides, droughts, fires, floods and so on.
Nature is like our mother in charge, and we are the children. Our planet’s weather is undergoing some kind of extreme mutation, and it’s a bit naïve to think we can “push a few buttons” or pass regulations to change conditions back to earlier “normal” times. It’s like trying to hit – Control – Alt – Delete – to put Earth in reset mode!
A number of think tanks are looking for this “reset” button to stabilize long-term climate conditions. But we urgently need more thinkers who are focused on damage control and adaptation to worst-case scenarios that are already hitting the worst-possible places. With some innovative approaches, maybe we can even find ways to benefit from these changes already taking place.
It’s only a matter of standing by until nature strikes again, and then moving into response mode, like with Hurricanes Katrina & Sandy, the Europe floods of 2013, and counting. Responsible investments in adapting human engineering before the storms are less costly than the damage afterward. For example, more aggressive reinforcement of dikes after previous flooding in Germany could have prevented some of the present billions of euros in flood damage.
When facing the great climate change slot machine, we need to focus on more fresh, responsible approaches to benefit our next generations. “Sustainable” programs are welcome initiatives by businesses, governments and NGOs to help make a difference, and let’s take it a step further by ensuring we are taking proactive“Responsible” action that will have a positive impact now and when the next storm comes.