Climate Change

Humans are damaging the planet and climate change is one of the 3 main causes. It is not too late to act but we’ll have to work hard. We all have our part to do, from governments to industry, to you and me. There are billions of people on the planet and we all have a carbon footprint. We can make a difference – Scottish households cause most of Scotland’s carbon emissions – so lots of little changes do add up.

What can I do?

Here’s are a few practical things you can do – most save money too, and REAP can help with a lot of them.

Eat your leftovers
Plan meals
Don’t put food waste in the normal bin

Buy food that hasn’t travelled too far
Grow your own
Take your own bags

Turn your heating down by 1 degree
Switch off lights
Switch off standy

Fly less
Walk or cycle
Car share

Want to find out more?

Keep Scotland Beautiful has lots of information about Climate Change including steps you can take

You can also get more information and advice from Greener Scotland on all aspects of combating climate change – from food to travel and our homes.  We love their “when good food turns baaaad” campaign which explains how to change and enemy into energy.

Sticking with the food theme, Zero Waste Scotland also has loads of tips to turn you into a food waste hero and has resources for schools, Christmas, Burns night and more, as well as loads of recipes.

Here are a few more ideas about things you can do

Working out your carbon footprint can be a useful way to get suggestions that are relevant to you. There are lots of free carbon footprint calculators online – for example here or here.

Carbon Literacy

We all need to become more carbon literate. Being carbon literate means having an awareness of climate change and the climate costs of everyday actions. According to the Carbon Literacy Trust in Manchester ‘Carbon literacy is the underpinning knowledge required to create this vital shift in how we live, work and study. … when we are carbon literate will have an instinctive understanding of the carbon impacts of our activities, and be able to make informed choices about the most energy and resource efficient and lowest carbon options available to us. Carbon Literacy is about understanding what I actually need to do, where I can get help to do it, actually doing it and seeing that I’ve done it.”

The Carbon literacy project website is here and they have collected five of the top TED talks on YouTube about climate change here.

Climate Science, Evidence and Myths

earth-11048_640The Met Office has good resources explaining what earth’s global climate is, what we mean by climate and what climate science tells us. Climate and weather are not the same thing. Have a look here to find out more. There is a comprehensive resource on climate zones and what affects the global climate.

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The Greenhouse Effect and Global Warming

Greenhouse gases do occur naturally in earth’s atmosphere. Without greenhouse gases reflecting back heat, earth’s average temperatures would be about 30 degrees C cooler. However, human activity has increased concentration of these gases. Since start of industrial era levels of main greenhouse gases have increased:

  • Carbon dioxide (CO2): 40%
  • Methane (CH4): 150%
  • Nitrous oxide (N2O): 20%

Climate Change Evidence

It’s possible to track a number of changes in the climate since the industrial revolution. These include:

Higher temperatures
Rising Sea level
Changing Rainfall patterns

Shrinking polar ice cap
Shrinking Antarctic & Greenland Ice sheets
Glacial retreat & loss of a glaciar

We can also ‘time travel’ – in Antarctica ice cores can be drilled that contain air from 800,000 years ago. They show that carbon dioxide started rising significantly at the time of the industrial revolution.

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Common myths and answers

There are not many folk who don’t believe that we are seeing Climate Change but some people are still not sure that it’s man made. There’s an excellent graphic on the Bloomberg Website – What’s Warming the World. Visit the site and scroll down to see how it compares the effects of the earth’s proximity to the sun, aerosol use, volcanoes etc. etc. against global warming.


Man made climate change is here. It’s not too late to act but we all need to act, and do it now, for the sake of ourselves and future generations. If someone you know still isn’t sure about Climate Change then arguing or trying to frighten them into action isn’t the way to go. Find common ground, treat them with respect and see if maybe they’d like to join in with some of the actions that will save them money or improve their physical and mental health. After all, there’s good evidence that actions lead to attitude change, not the other way around…

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