Heatwaves happen and they can be particularly dangerous for more vulnerable members of our community. With climate change we expect heatwaves to become increasingly likely so we need to be ready for them.
Shut windows and pull down the shades when it is hotter outside. You can open the windows for ventilation when it is cooler.
Avoid the heat: stay out of the sun and don’t go out between 11am and 3pm (the hottest part of the day) if you’re vulnerable to the effects of heat.
Keep rooms cool by using shades or reflective material outside the windows. If this isn’t possible, use light-coloured curtains and keep them closed (metallic blinds and dark curtains can make the room hotter).
Have cool baths or showers, and splash yourself with cool water.
Drink plenty of fluids and avoid excess alcohol – water, lower-fat milks and tea and coffee are good options. You can also drink fruit juice, smoothies and soft drinks, but they can be high in sugar. Limit fruit juice or smoothies to a combined total of 150ml a day, and choose diet or sugar-free soft drinks.
Listen to alerts on the radio, TV and social media about keeping cool.
Plan ahead to make sure you have enough supplies, such as food, water and any medications you need.
Identify the coolest room in the house so you know where to go to keep cool.
Wear loose, cool clothing, and a hat and sunglasses if you go outdoors.
Check up on friends, relatives and neighbours who may be less able to look after themselves.
This is obviously a huge commitment for the town, with the demand for Zero Carbon by 2030…only 10 years away!
We will need everyone’s help to make this happen: public sector, businesses, national government, and all of us as individuals. We’re starting development of our third Reading Climate Change Strategy (2020-2025) so please do get involved and help us: come along to our Launch Event (13 June). There is a lot to do but together we can make it happen!
Wishing you well.
Chris Beales, RCCP Chair
Original post (8 Feb)
A very exciting news story for Reading: the council are looking to commit us to deliver Zero Carbon Reading by 2030. See the article in the Reading Chronicle (here).
We will update this post with more information over the next few days. There is obviously an enormous amount to do to make this happen…but it has to happen if we want any hope of limiting climate change to 1.5degC!
Over the next few months we will be starting our consultation on the next Reading Climate Change Strategy. This is an opportunity for everybody to get involved and help us get Reading ready for the challenges ahead.
Chris Beales (RCCP Chair) and Ben Burfoot (RBC Sustainability Manager) will present the Reading Climate Change Strategy, and discuss plans to adapt to the changing climate and to reduce our carbon footprint. These are hugely important challenges for our town and will be big factors in shaping the Reading 2050 vision.
190 countries will meet in Katowice, Poland in December for the annual UN Climate Conference, COP24 and it must get results on action towards all countries’ Paris Agreement targets.
Teams of students from six local secondary schools will also meet on 5th December to carry out their own debate on progress towards the Paris Agreement and try to negotiate raising ambition for more action.
They will represent 14 different countries from Fiji to the USA. As in the real COP24, the country teams will have a significant challenge as a summary produced by the organisers, InterClimate Network, shows that progress towards Paris targets has been slower than the world needs.
In the second part of the afternoon, local sustainability leaders and active organisations will work with students in mini-workshops linked directly to RCAN’s themes. We want students to be encouraged to generate their own pledges and inspired to take on their own climate action back at school.
Thanks go to the Mayor of Reading and Reading Borough Council for hosting this event and to Reading Climate Change Partnership and RBC’s Sustainability Team for their active support.
The IPCC SR15 was released on 8 October 2018 with the strong messages that we have only 12 years to limit global warming to 1.5 degC.
“The report highlights a number of climate change impacts that could be avoided by limiting global warming to 1.5ºC compared to 2ºC, or more. For instance, by 2100, global sea level rise would be 10 cm lower with global warming of 1.5°C compared with 2°C. The likelihood of an Arctic Ocean free of sea ice in summer would be once per century with global warming of 1.5°C, compared with at least once per decade with 2°C. Coral reefs would decline by 70-90 percent with global warming of 1.5°C, whereas virtually all (> 99 percent) would be lost with 2ºC.” – IPCC SR15 press release
Particular concerns for us in Reading, from those issues highlighted, include:
Crop yields – with impacts on food availability / cost
Extreme heat – with potential for heat-related deaths
Knock on effects from other parts of the world that are exposed to more of highlighted risks
Notice that global temperatures have already risen by 1 degC, and we are already seeing the extreme weather events associated with this level of warming.
It is sobering to notice that our current trajectory is to hit 1.5 degC by 2040. It doesn’t have to be that way though, and SR15 details how we can reduce emissions to meet the 1.5 degC target.
Reflecting on this graph: there is a massive job that we need to do…not least to fundamentally change the political and economic focus towards tackling this.
Happily we have a start with the Zero Carbon Reading work that Reading Borough Council have done
“Climate Just is an information tool designed to help with the delivery of equitable responses to climate change at the local level. Its main focus is to assist the development of socially just responses to the impacts of extreme events, such as flooding and heatwaves, as well as supporting wider climate change adaptation. It also includes issues related to fuel poverty and carbon emissions.”
There is a lot of useful information on this website, which will be useful for many members of RCAN.