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March 29th, 2016

paper birds

Stories of Climate Change Survival

The stories that we tell ourselves can be powerful things. They colour our outlook on the world and they affect our interactions with people and the world around us. What I discovered at SwanCon yesterday was that we are not telling many science fiction stories about climate change survival. I can only guess at the reasons for this: it takes time to research and write a book, people may not have the words yet to describe the new society, the future will be shaped by a complex mix of technology and social change and it will be on a local scale.

While climate change is a global phenomena the specific effects will be local. They will depend on the prevailing winds and ocean currents, local geography and population distribution, supply chains and energy resources and also the political climate and the resiliance of the people.

So there are many questions that can be asked about the future and therefore many stories that could be written in response. Perhaps the topic is too big? Then we need to break it down into manageable parts. Cat Sparks asked us where are the stories about proactive governments who create policies and social structures that make it easy for private enterprise to do the right thing for the land and its people. Perhaps the current western free enterprise structure has been around so long that younger people have not known anything else. Then we have to look to other societies, both past and present, for answers.

What I would like to do in this space for a while is tell the true stories that I find from the past and present that can act as a springboard for the science fiction stories of our future.
paper birds

BOM Links Weather to Climate

So the first step in dealing with climate change for your area is to understand the climate you will be dealing with and who better to ask about this than the Bureau of Meterology or BOM for short. Here are a couple of useful links to get you started. The first is a gold mine of information. The deeper you dig the more you find. It would be easy to lose a good chunk of a day wandering around in there.

http://www.climatechangeinaustralia.gov.au/en/

The second provides information on the El Niño and La Niña weather systems that govern the weather in the North of WA and are likely to send more weather our way as the Earth's atmosphere warms.

http://www.bom.gov.au/climate/enso/

The short version is that it is going to get warmer on average. The exact amount of warming depends on the concentration of the various greenhouse gasses in the atmosphere but if they do not keep increasing then a new equilibrium will be reached. If the concentrations can be reduced then the effect on the Earth's climate and weather will not be a bad as it could be. So it is never too late to get started.

People in other parts of the world manage to live in harsher climates than Perth +2C even Perth +6C. We have much to learn, much to do and much to think about, technically, socially, morally and ethically so we may as well roll up our sleeves and get started.