Image from Pixabay. Because pretty.
Answers to today’s question at thefridayfive @ Dreamwidth
1) What’s the weather like where you are right now?
It’s been around 22-25 degrees Celcius, sunny/overcast.
2) Has your weather been seasonally appropriate lately, or has it been unusual?
It’s been traditionally seasonally appropriate, with only a handful of heat wave days so far. This summer’s been very much like I remember summers being in my childhood! Sunny and warmer days switching with a little bit cooler overcast days. Although we’re supposed to have another mini heat wave from today until next week’s Friday at least, I think. I read that the heat’ll be more of the impending-but-never-happens thunderstorm variety – oppressive, muggy, humid rather than sun glaring hotly but we’ll see next week! Either way, I won’t like the heat.
3) Have you noticed any trends in the weather near you over the past few years?
Yes, big changes.
Our summers have been getting steadily hotter and hotter, with more heat wave days per summer. The summer last year was a monster – three months of unrelenting heat “wave” with temperatures in 28-30 degrees most of time which is historically very unusual. Our buildings aren’t built for hot summers so it was very hard to endure.
Our winters aren’t real winters any more, either – when I was a kid in the 1980s, we’d have temperatures around -20… -25 Celcius normally for months and months (and sometimes even -30 degrees for many days) and lots of snow; now we’re lucky to reach -10 degrees and the little snow we get is all slushy and the sky is grey and wet. Winters don’t much differ from autumn now.
4) Are you worried about climate change?
Sometimes I am and sometimes am not. It changes a lot with how bad the heat is in the summer, and my mood and over-all stress level about my and my family’s illnesses. When I have a lot of other stress I don’t worry about it because I don’t have the bandwidth.
5) Are you doing anything to combat climate change?
I consciously do some things such as recycling, use reusable shopping bags etc. but most of my contributions stem from the fact that I’m poor. I can’t afford a car and also don’t need one because the public transport system here is good so I use that; can’t afford holidays abroad so I don’t fly or go on cruises; I don’t buy things unless I need them; reuse water bottles; take short showers; use up my clothes until they’re only fit for making cleaning rags etc.
My carbon footprint is already small. I’ve filled out quizzes, and according to their results, there’s three things I could try to do more in my day-to-day life:
1) Recycling even more and more accurately. This depends a lot on my apartment building: we already recycle bio waste, glass, metal, paper, carton (like milk cartons and shipping boxes etc.), and there’s a lot of noise right now about the need to start recycling plastic wrappings and tubs (such as yogurt and butter tubs, plastic cheese wrappings) on national level so I’m sure that will increase in general and our apartment complex will also start to do it at some point. And plastic Coca-Cola etc. bottles and such I return to the shops which all have a collection point for used bottles and you get a 10-40 cents per bottle back when you recycle it. Also clothes that are clean and in good condition can be recycled but collection points aren’t as widely available as the others, so it depends on whether you have one convenient to you. There’s also recycling for and collection points for small electronics, lamp bulbs, big electronics (dishwashers etc.), bed frames etc. I do all of these to varying extent (I don’t go out of my way because I don’t have a car and can’t lug biggish heavy things to collection points further away, but if it’s convenient and I can carry it there, yes) except the clothing one. A lot of these recycling habits I actually learned when I was growing up in the 1980s, and when new ones have popped in the years since, it was just natural to start doing them too!
2) Switching to walking and/or biking in place of public transports. Hard to do because of my chronic illnesses and chronic exhaustion so I’m not doing well with this one.
3) Eating less red meat and more vegetables. I don’t eat much red meat, but I’ve been buying even more fish and chicken the last few years. I have been consciously trying to eat more vegetables and berries also the last few years but that’s more to do with wanting to eat a little bit healthier a diet than with the climate change.
Most of the other usual suggested things are not an helpful for me because I either already do them, or don’t do them at all, or my living conditions (I live in in an apartment building complex with about 80 apartments all in all) won’t allow them because it’s isn’t suitable or possible without things such changing the entire heating system in the all the buildings or something, so I can only suggest them but I don’t have the power to decide to do them because the other home owners obviously also have a say.
One thing other thing I theoretically could do is to get actively political but whatever left-over energy I have for political stuff goes to to furthering the interests of the unemployed, poor and chronically ill.
I’m sure there’s more things I could do, but not easy day-to-day things.
Sometimes I feel guilty about not doing more, but then remind myself that those things that are recommended for people to do/not do? I already follow a lot of them! If there’s a positive side to poverty… this is the one: small carbon footprint. I don’t have to feel climate change guilt. Now, if I suddenly were to come into money and have a choice about things like traveling, then I’d have to completely re-think a lot of this.