We can stop burning fossil fuels. That will stop the climate changing as fast as it is changing. If the climate stopped changing then we would have less of these extreme events taking place. If we continue building houses in coastal zones, and we continue building houses on flood planes, then the amount of damage that extreme weather events do will only grow. There are two factors working together, burning fossil fuels which changes the climate, and being unwise in the way that we plan and build things. That makes these events do much more expensive damage. There are a lot of things that we can do right now to mitigate the damage: we can improve our flood defenses by investing in our flood defenses, which we can do right now, we can also improve our ability to forecast these events, there is a real effort underway to make climate related events as predictable as normal weather events. That would allow the emergency services much more time to give people warning of these extreme events occur. There are things that we can do now. But it means spending the money to do them.
I don’t see governments anywhere doing enough to deal with the fact that we are going to have more of these events, and they are going to be more aggressive. Right now, we need to be spending money on improving flood defenses, for instance, and improving the response times for emergency services, and making sure people are better prepared to cope with these events, we can also improve out ability to forecast these very extreme events, which are climate events, with the same accuracy that we forecast weather events. This will allow us to give advance warning to people of what is likely to happen so they can be prepared and they can move out of the way of these very extreme consequences. That will certainly save lives. But if the climate goes on changing we will go on losing lives
These are some excerpts of an discussion I took part in for TRT World News. The full discussion can be seen here: