Stay Cool in a Changing Climate

7th August 2003
news
release

Local environmental organisation Manchester Friends of the Earth (MFoE) [1] today warned that the current heatwave affecting Europe may be the first signs of human-induced climate change (“global warming”).

Although many have been enjoying the hot weather and plentiful sunshine, it may not be all good news, claim the organisation. They believe that we’re basking in an extreme weather condition – it’s the longest period of dry weather in Europe since records began [2] – the flip-side to which were the huge floods in Europe last year.

Dr. Michael K. Bane, Manchester FoE’s climate campaigner, warned,

“Climate change doesn’t just mean nice sunny days. It’s about extremes of the weather, here and internationally, and an overall warming of the planet leading to higher sea levels. Some low laying islands will disappear completely and it’s likely that the ‘North Atlantic Drift’ which is responsible for warming the West coast of the UK will switch off leading to cooler temperatures all year round for us.”

Manchester Friends of the Earth are asking local people to play their part in combating the dangers of climate change. The group point out three simple steps we can take to help reduce emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) which is the main culprit:

1. Walk or cycle instead of driving a car, particularly for short distances such as popping to the shop or taking the kids to school. Not only will this reduce carbon dioxide emissions, it will clean up air quality and the exercise will improve overall health. And who wants to be stuck in a car in such good weather?
2. Think twice before taking to the air. Aviation is a jumbo contributor of climate change gases. At the moment it accounts for about 3.5% of man-made climate change and this could increase to 15% by 2050. Within the UK and Europe there are more efficient methods of travel such as train and ferry.
3. Energise your home. Turn appliances off after use rather than leaving them on standby. Swap your 100W light bulbs for the 12W energy efficient bulbs and save money on your bill. Support clean, renewable energy by switching to green electricity: www.greenprices.com.

Graeme Sherriff, transport campaigner for Manchester FoE, added,

“Global climate change means local problems: bringing high risks of flooding, storms, drought and new diseases to the people of Manchester. The climate change clock is ticking and there’s so much we can each do to stay cool.”

Notes to Editors

1. Manchester Friends of the Earth is a prominent pressure group, raising awareness and lobbying for policy changes at a local, regional, national and international level. The group consists entirely of volunteers, and its campaigns are funded by membership fees and individual donations. Up-to-date information is available on their website: https://www.manchesterfoe.org.uk. Manchester Friends of the Earth is part of a national network of local groups, affiliated to the national organisation (further information can be found at http://www.foe.co.uk).

2. From “The Guardian” (06Aug03):
“We’ve not seen such an extended period of dry weather [in Europe] since records began,” said Michael Knobelsdorf, a meteorologist at the German weather service. “What’s remarkable is that these extremes of weather are happening at such short intervals, which suggests the climate is unbalanced.” … Antonio Navarra, chief climatologist at Italy’s National Geophysics Institute, said the Mediterranean region was 2-3C warmer than usual this summer.