Letter to the Editor: EU is fiddling while Rome burns

Letter to the Editor: EU is fiddling while Rome burns
Representatives of various International Governments at the signing of the Paris Climate Agreement in 2016

The EU is fiddling whilst Rome burns. And soon maybe Berlin will be burning. Northern European Banks can and should invest in climate change mitigation.

Southern European states have warmer climates than Northern European states. To some of us it might seem an idyl. It's actually a harsh working environment, becoming harsher.

We have been shown arid stretches of the South of Spain, often in conjunction with reporting on people attempting to enter Spain illegally from North Africa.

And we will also have seen wildfires raging in Portugal and parts of Spain and some even in France toward its South.

The fires are like those in Alaska and Siberia - climate change.

Quite soon, at most, a few decades, 25-30 years, a generation, where Northern European banks now dwell, heat will affect working conditions.

Air-conditioned glass-towers, could insulate some bankers and their cooling cocooning ilk, maybe, but critical services, transportation, areas of manufacturing, construction, will, throughout the years, be more affected by heat.

There may be less criticism of 'how things were' in Southern European cities in the 2000s, when Northern bankers needed 3-hour, mid-day breaks over fierce summer heat in Frankfurt and stevedores in Rotterdam report heat-stroke.

And by then, there will be notably large depopulated and desertified areas across the south of Europe. That's with plus 1.5c or 50.

Now, with 1 degree centigrade above average globally, largely due to our industrially additional carbon in our atmosphere, since the beginning of the 19th century as industrialisation and populations of industrial workers increased, we are seeing how general conditions are changing.

As populations and industrial processes and matters related grow - to food harvesting and mining - heat is generating and rising exponentially. Accelerating.

The Paris climate Agreement helped put a shape on how we might begin to slow the heating process.

If we stuck closely to the Agreement - a further rise of less than one percent, or another half a percent, centigrade might be where we paused or stopped rising heat.

With uneven, more unusual, application, we might hold heat to 2.5 or maybe under three centigrade above pre-industrial era temperatures. But over a decade now, we have been seriously increasing carbon and heat - not at all reducing overall.

Now is the time to restart economies and societies by funding what works best at keeping our planet cool.

Solar arrays in Southern Europe and across Northern Africa is one area.

North European Bankers should know plus 4C is not a viable option.

Tom Ryan,

2 Forts, Dun Bleisce (Doon),

Co Limerick

- This readers’ opinion will be published in the letters page of the Irish Examiner on May 5, 2020.

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