The news in the summer of 2017 was all about the hurricanes in the Caribbean (three of which ripped into the US causing extensive damage), the earthquakes in Iran, Iraq, and Mexico, and disastrous, flooding in India, Nepal, Pakistan and Bangladesh that drowned over a thousand people and displaced millions more.
In 2018, the roll call of natural disasters continued: stifling heatwaves in Australia, numerous destructive wildfires along the west coast of America and Canada, and more devastating hurricanes tearing into the Caribbean islands and the USA. Then in early 2019, the monster cyclone Idai barrelled into Mozambique killing at least 1000 people and leaving almost half a million homeless.
Are these disasters becoming more frequent, and are they somehow related to climate change? Or do they always happen every 10 or 20 years, and so the disasters of the last few years are just a normal run of horrible weather: storms, heatwaves, and floods.
Most people have read that scientists and meteorologists are saying that global temperatures are now increasing year after year. After 2015, which was a record-breaking year, 2016 was hotter still and then so was 2017. The five hottest years on record have all occurred since 2010. Is this just part of a normal cycle of temperature variations that sometimes go up and then eventually come down?
Earth, wind and fire
But the warning signs are unmistakeable. The Earth is suffering from a multitude of stresses and forces that are making life miserable and dangerous–not just for the majority of people around the world, but also for most of the ecosystems and animal species that share this space with us. Something is seriously wrong. Something out there is having a malign influence on what was once a beautiful and healthy planet.
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