Michal Nachmany to N1: Countries need to start adapting to climate change now

NEWS 20.07.2022 13:21

The situation with climate change in Great Britain shows negative trends and warns of the dangers that the inhabitants of the island will face in the coming period. Experts warn that it is time for an urgent change in behavior, but also for the realization of previously made promises. We talked about this and other topics with dr. Michal Nachmany of Climate Policy Radar.

N1: Situation in United Kingdom is pretty perilous. These days, temperature has risen above a 40 degrees. It's the first time in history in the United Kingdom that the temperature is so high. Highways are basically getting to look like skate parks. Airports are closed because runways are not in function. Trains are not operating because it's too hot for them to operate. Can you tell us what's what is the situation over the last few days in the United Kingdom.

NACHMANY: Well, it's hot, it's miserable. And we knew this was coming. Climate scientists have been telling us for a very, very, very long time that manmade climate change is going to get us to these extreme weather events and predictions are constantly beating themselves. The models that said that the UK will reach 40 degrees said that they will do it by 2050. But here we are in 2022. We are seeing a country and a region that is completely unprepared for what is coming for what is here and for what is coming. Adapting to climate change is one of the things that countries need to do right now. Countries cannot continue to be delusional about the fact that this is going to continue coming. Temperatures are going to rise. Infrastructure is going to collapse. Water systems at risk food systems are at risk. You have kids in school without the ability to study. You have people in offices and people working outdoors, unable to work, and you have systems collapsing if we don't adapt. And of course, if we don't reduce emissions so we can start reversing this horrendous trend that is right now witnessed by many of us in the UK and across Europe.

N1: There was a claim by scientists that in the next several decades, London will have the same climate as Barcelona, but it looks like that the London will have the same climate as Barcelona next year. And that we will probably go to swim in London and in Britain as we were going probably to Spain or Canary islands. But how dangerous is this exceptionally fast shift, which we are seeing, how much danger can be for humans, but also for the rest of nature as it happens at the moment?

NACHMANY: I think one thing that's important to remember is that going swimming is really not the right thing to do in this temperature. This is not about holidays. This is not how wonderful it is to be in the sun right now. Anyone who lives in a hot country knows that this is the time to get in the shade, to make sure that you're hydrated, to look after your community and make sure that you are well prepared for this. This is not a joke. Now is this dangerous? The UK has, for the first time announced a national emergency. In previous heatwaves, thousands of excess deaths have happened. This is beyond those. We are talking about a situation where not only people who are vulnerable or have underlying health conditions are at risk, but also people who are perfectly fit and healthy. And this is because climate change increases air pollution and drops the blood pressure for people. People are vulnerable to heat strokes, and anyone being outside and working outside or being indoors, in houses that were planned to trap heat, so in winter, everything will be nice and warm, is now living in really unbearable circumstances. So this is for humans and the inability to continue life as it is when you're not prepared for it. When you don't have air conditioning, when infrastructure breaks down and so on. But also other systems like you've said are breaking down. Wildlife is at risk. Plants are at risk. Food systems are at risk. We're already experiencing global food shortages because of the situation in Ukraine. We're also experiencing crops failing. We're also experiencing large areas in wildfires, in France and in Spain and in Portugal. All of these contribute to what we call a threatened multiplying effect. So climate change comes and takes all of the situation that is already messed up for a number of reasons and exacerbates the impact of it. So it is really, really important that we not only prepare our systems, but also start reversing it. And that we can only do by stopping fossil fuel extraction and burning. That is the most critical thing that we can do in order to make sure this doesn't get much worse than it already is.


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