Climate change solutions

Climate change solutions are really a misnomer.

Seeking solutions implies that there is a problem to solve, when climate change is really a consequence, part of the way the Earth works. If the climate had remained constant then there would be a much less varied and diverse planet.

A static climate would have seen a very different evolution of life and, most likely, we would not be here to create websites about the latest global challenge.

So climate change is not a problem.

The reason we seek climate change and global warming solutions is that when the climate changes it creates a number of climate change effects that impact upon our way of life.

We know that

are all detrimental to our ongoing use of natural resources. The resources we use to feed, clothe and house an every growing human population, not to mention the fresh water needed to keep it all going.

And, like it or not, we have pushed this use to the limit.

climate change solutions | we need to solve the effects of climate on agriculture

7 billion human souls appropriate nearly half the net primary production on the planet.

This appropriation of plant production alters landscapes everywhere. It disrupts the carbon cycle and changes water and nutrient flows. And the irony is that all this is possible because we have harnessed fossil fuel energy.

Real climate change solutions are about recognizing this reality.

Although our activities may have jolted the climate, we cannot stop it changing. And it is unlikely that we can bend it either because the long-term cycles of warm and cold are outside of our control.

What we can do is be aware of what our economies and social systems do to the environment and what a shift in the environment will do to the economic and social systems.

We can be aware of

  • what we eat
  • where our food and water comes from
  • the advantages of being frugal
  • the benefits of conservation, reuse and recycling
  • the shift from fossil fuels to alternatives

and, above all, that we don’t need to panic.

climate change solutions | climate will affect agricultural produce

We do need to use our considerable adaptive capacity and implement climate change adaptation 

This means that along with attempts at emission reduction — that are really about a necessary transition away from fossil fuel dependence — we need to put in place measures to manage the increased risk to our appropriation of net primary production that is the most drastic climate change effect.

Agriculture has always been risky because the rain must fall when the crop is growing, the nutrients must be available for seed production, and the water to fill out the fruit.

And there mustn't be a frost or a locust outbreak or a visit from flying foxes to the orchard.

the conundrum

Our main risk management options that will form the basis of our climate change solutions are

  • wear it
  • insure against it
  • mitigate for the effects
  • avoid the risky activity altogether

And it is the mix of these three options that will define what adaptation will be in the face of climate change.

We need to be thinking about and implementing ways to mitigate today, to ramp up insurance options and take a hard look at some of our agricultural practices.

We also need to look at where we live and how we plan.

Micro-insurance schemes for small-scale and subsistence farmers who implement soil conservation measures is just the kind of idea that we will need.

And after we have taken time with these things it will be obvious that climate change solutions are not about climate change at all, they are about us.

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