How will we cope with 50-degree summers?

Perth's long dry spell is on track to be the longest ever recorded.
Perth’s annual dry spells are putting pressure on our fragile ecosystems.

What will it be like living in a hotter, more volatile climate?  How different will our lives, and those of our children, be when manmade climate change pushes our summers up to 50 degrees and beyond, raising minimum temperatures to regular sweaty highs?

How will our most vulnerable – the oldest and youngest – our pets, our gardens, and our schools cope with hotter, longer and more frequent heatwaves? How will thirsty wildlife survive and our tinderbox parks, reserves and forests fare in even drier and more extreme fire risk?

These are some of the questions Australians need to ask themselves now, while scientists tell us there’s still a chance for us to mitigate dangerous global warming. There’ll be no point wishing we could have done something to turn down the heat as even higher records start to be broken, and as extreme weather events create alarming news, tragedies, disasters…

As parents we do everything we can to provide for and protect our precious young children, to give them the best chance of a bright, prosperous and happy future. Yet so few parents are aware of just how much that  rosy future will be at risk if climate action fulls short of necessary global targets, how close we are coming to risking our health, food and water supplies, our economy, our comfortable lifestyles.

It may be difficult to comprehend the sheer scale of what we are facing until you read the new climate science, the warnings from world and community leaders, eminent scientists and authors.  It’s not pleasant to realise just how hard it could be for our children to live comfortably well in the years to come if runaway climate change is allowed to take hold via our continued inaction to create the kind of catastrophic events predicted.

Photos of drying Perth lakes by @TanyiaMaxted
Photos of drying Perth lakes by @TanyiaMaxted

For my own sons’ sake, I’ve divested my finances from the fossil fuels causing climate change, switched to 100% solar power and swapped to driving an electric car charged by sunshine to reduce our carbon emissions. I’ve researched and written submissions on related government policies to call for strong mitigation measures, and shared the scientific references and information I’ve come across via this website – info sadly lacking in much of the media and public domain.

My hope is that if people realise what’s happening by #joiningthedots on climate, if they understand the terrible risks to their own families from continued inaction, they’ll become concerned enough to do everything possible now to call for increased action on climate and reduce emissions to prevent worst case scenarios – before it’s too late to do so.

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Follow @TanyiaMaxted on Twitter and Instagram for #climatechange, #divest and #EV updates. Like 50 degrees? on Facebook.

Based in Perth, Western Australia, Tanyia Maxted writes on the climate crisis, divestment from the fossil fuels causing climate change, and solutions such as solar-charged electric cars.  The mother-of-two previously worked in water science communication for an Australian Government-funded national research centre, and in science communication for two Perth universities. See archived articles for ScienceNetworkWA and her UK-published books via Amazon.