The End Of An Era

So this week brings the end of a huge part of my life, the end of my time as a student! I’ll no doubt be writing about this next week as the realization hits, but for now I’m relishing my last days. It sounds crazy, but god I’ll miss that place, I love being on campus and love study. Research really suits me and I don’t think it will be long before I’m back. I would actually love to be able to teach whilst doing my own study sometime in the near future.

This last research paper I just completed was on the topic of climate change adaptation in the pacific islands, an incredible thing to get your head around. Those beautiful islands are in strife, the rising sea level is slowing but steadily drawing them into the ocean, and don’t think this is a far off phenomenon, it’s happening right now, in fact we have lost one island already.

The interesting part about all this for me though, given climate change is old (predictable) news in my book, is that we have moved from talking about mitigation to adaptation. Governments, communities and individuals all over the world are now looking at climate change modeling, taking the “slightly greater than average, yet not nearly catastrophic” level and seriously thinking about how that level of change will actually affect them.

We are going through this process in Kalamunda, as a local government, looking at how we will need to change the way we operate in the case of a 2 degree temperature rise, a drastic increase in the number of extreme weather events, changing rainfall patterns etc etc etc. How do we keep playing fields green? Or should we try a different angle and let some “brown off” in the summer? How does this affect the community? Will people be inside more often because it will be too hot? How do we keep our community heathy and vital in this circumstance? Should we increase shaded shelters and water fountains in preparation? Plan for more emergency aid centers? I’ve been doing this for months so questions like this, I could go on for days.
But its so interesting!

I can’t wait to see all the creative and wonderful ways humans will adapt to our changing world. The pacific islands example is great because at a regional scale not only does it get a hell of a lot more complicated politically and because of the huge variations in local conditions, it’s becomes a community issue and ideas are huge!
Anyway, the point is; good lord we have come a long way!

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