3 minute read time
June 24, 2019
The great majority of Europeans know that climate change is occurring however seem to think that it won’t affect them personally. But climate change is already affecting us — so why don’t people realise that? The reason has to do with a mixture of politics and psychology.

Human beings aren’t great at dealing with situations that are high-risk but don’t happen that often. For example, think of earthquake insurance, for instance. Though there’s a 99 percent chance that there’s going to be a magnitude 6.7 earthquake in the next 30 years in California, the probability that it’s going to happen in the next year and is going to affect me is much lower.

Now apply that kind of thinking to climate change, which is often framed as a catastrophic event. Unfortunately, scare tactics don’t always work to change people’s beliefs and behaviour. For people who do accept that climate change is real, it might feel like an insurmountable problem that’s just too big for any individual to tackle. The reality – we all have a part and responsibility to act for the sake of our own health and wellbeing and for the generations that follow.

Here are five ways the climate crisis will affect all of us in a very personal way
  1. It will take away your coffee

    Over 2.25 billion cups of coffee are consumed every day worldwide. This point would alarm both the consumers and the growers.  According to a new study, climate change will reduce the world’s suitable land for coffee-growing by half by 2050, even as the demand for coffee doubles. Countries like Ethiopia, where 16% of the population make their living through the coffee industry, could see coffee exports drop by three fifths, CNN reported.
  2. It will ground planes and causes more turbulence

    A paper by researchers at Columbia University and a consultancy firm called Logistics Management Institute found that an estimated 30% of planes could be
    grounded during the middle of the day because of extreme heat/weather conditions, the Economist reported.  
    Read More: Climate Change Could Cause Significant Flight Delays: Study
  3. It will cause more natural disasters

    Extreme weather conditions such as heat waves, storms, earthquakes, flooding are on the rise. The World Meterological Organisation reports that “The start of 2019 has been marked by high impact weather in many parts of the world, including record heat, wildfires and rainfall in South America and Australasia, dangerous and extreme cold in North America, and heavy snowfall in the Alps and Himalayas.” It is only going to get worse.
  4. It can prevent you from having a family

    An analysis of male sperm counts in four regions — North America, Europe, Australia and New Zealand — found a 52% decline in sperm concentration, CNN reported. The likely culprit? Pollution… which is a contributor to the climate emergency, according to scientists who organized the study
    “We are exposed to many chemicals we've never been exposed to before,” Dr. Hagai Levine said. “The impact of the modern environment on health of populations and individuals is clearly huge, but remains largely unknown.” 

    While the link between climate change and sperm counts merits further study, scientists said, other negative health impacts on personal health are well-established. For example, increase exposure to chemicals climate change  can lead to the onset of Parkinson’s Disease and Alzheimer’s Disease, according to NIH. People are also dying of skin cancer and heat strokes at a higher rate, on account of depletion of the ozone layer.  There are even proven links between climate change and mental illness. The increased C02 emissions can cause asthma among children and in severe cases death. The list goes on…
  5. It can wash away your home

    Global flooding could triple by 2030. With the higher than normal rainfall which we are encountering across much of Europe we have cause for concern. Flooding of roads, sewage escaping into our sea’s, lakes and rivers which we drink from, erosion of coastal lines - just the beginning. 

    In conclusion, everyone has a role and responsibility in protecting yourselves, our environment and future generations. By introducing ‘simple’ things into our everyday lives such as reducing our carbon emissions and walking or biking to work, video conferencing or taking the train as oppose to traveling via car or plane to meetings, changing to energy saving light bulbs, recycling paper/plastic, reducing waste, growing your own vegetables, going organic – reducing pesticides, using and promoting renewable energy – the list goes on. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to know this can only be a better way of living – use your initiative! 

    From CBRE’s commercial perspective, Commercial buildings, form a large part of the problem with C02 emission’s however through better understanding and action, they can also be part of the solution. Read our previous blog article which tells you how.