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Arctic Ice Loss and Our Planet

The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) has been able to measure the amount of ice loss caused by the UK for the first time – the outcomes are staggering – last year our emissions resulted in Arctic ice loss in the region of 1,000km2. This equates to the combined size of Birmingham…and Cardiff…and Edinburgh…and even Manchester.


It felt like the whole country tuned in (not caught up on iPlayer, actually watched live) to Blue Planet 2, since when the ‘Attenborough effect’ has taken hold, particularly on the single-use plastics industry (to such a scale that the term ‘single-use’ was voted as the ‘Word of the Year’ by Collins Dictionary in 2018).


Sir David Attenborough’s latest series, Our Planet, is striving to make even more of an impact. The same stunning photography, capturing nature at its finest, strangest, funniest and most powerful and wonderful remains, often leaving us viewers open-mouthed screaming and gasping at the telly.


Episode one finishes with a focus on the glaciers of Greenland. The final 10 minutes or so barely feature any wildlife, which is unusual for an Attenborough series, emphasising how much Sir David and the team want to make sure they drive their point home. At one point, when a massive, 1km-stretch of glacial wall smashes into the sea I muttered ‘good God’ in sheer awe and terror at the scale and the power of what I was witnessing, such as I was transported from being curled up on the sofa with my girlfriend.


Image courtesy of edie.net

The visual was stunning, the message even more so. Ice flows are a natural event, such is climate change. It has always happened and always will do, regardless of our interaction. However, the intensity and acceleration we’re seeing (aided by the global population more than doubling in the last 50 years) is unprecedented.


It doesn’t take much more than a quick Google search of ‘climate change’ to bring up horrifying images; perhaps the most concerning is not that these events are rare and some 100+ years in the future, they’re already here. Millions have already been affected directly or indirectly; a ‘health emergency’ is a term we will, unfortunately, hear more and more.


Perhaps what Our Planet illustrates more than anything is how vulnerable we are, so cut off from our natural ancestry we can’t adapt and evolve as well as we used to. It is our ties to nature and the environment around us, the very things that we are single-handedly destroying, that are essential to our survival as a species.


It sounds dis-heartening, but for the first time in the history of our planet, a species has the potential to save itself and everything around it. We all play a part – whether as energy assessors ensuring businesses don’t waste energy, environmentalists protecting our ecosystems, politicians enforcing environmental law and regulation or every one of us doing the little things – turning off the tap whilst brushing our teeth, switching off lights in empty rooms, unplugging chargers, turning down the washing machine temperature, skipping using the car once a week – that make the biggest differences.


We can, we must, save our planet.


kW Energy Consultants work with businesses to reduce their energy consumption within their buildings and deliver building energy compliance – Display Energy Certificates, Energy Performance Certificates, Energy Savings Opportunities Scheme. To find out more visit www.kwenergyconsultants.com or contact james@kwenergyconsultants.com

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