Current Students and Staff

// University News

6 Jun 2019

Video Q&A: We asked an expert your burning climate change questions

Every wondered where polar bears will live if all the ice melts? Or what is the most impactful policy parliament could pass to combat climate change? Or maybe you’ve thought ‘why is the UK so worried about what’s happening in the Arctic’?

Ponder no more as we asked some of your burning climate change questions to one of our #LboroExperts, Dr Richard Hodgkins, a Senior Lecturer in Physical Geography in the School of Social Sciences.

We’ve included some of our favourite Q&As below and a video of the full interview above – it covers everything from temperatures to tank tops!

It was also World Environment Day yesterday, so what better time to learn something new about our planet.

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Has global warming gone beyond saving?

“We’re not going to be able to stop warming from happening, but we can always stop things from getting worse”, says Dr Hodgkins.

“The future to a very large extent is in our hands, nothing is inevitable, and so it’s really important to remember that.

“We’re not heading for a certain apocalypse, it’s in our hands and we must bear that in mind because if we take actions to de-carbonise then we can have some real impacts.

“Let’s take the example of the UK, if you had a two-degree centigrade warming in the UK that would, due to sea level rise, flood land that’s currently home to 2 million people.

“But if that went up to a four-degree rise, that would flood land that’s home to 4 million people, so it’s always worth doing something. Always.”

What can we, as individuals, realistically do in our daily lives to prevent climate change?

“This is such an important question as it’s a huge global-scale issue and it’s easy to feel helpless and like there’s nothing you can do but I really don’t think this is the case.

“I think the first thing to say is it’s important not to beat yourself up over this.

“You're a person living in the modern world and you didn’t make it the way it is, so don’t be too harsh on yourself but be aware of what you can do.

“One of the best things you can do as an individual, and it’s maybe not so obvious, is wasting as little food as you can.

“Only buying the food you’re going to eat is important as carbon emissions created through food production, processing and travel are a large component of global emissions. So, if we’re wasting food, we’re having a big impact proportionally on the environment.

“Then, looking more widely, I think it’s really important to use your voice as a consumer and as a voter to let people in politics, in corporations and in all branches of Government know what you think and what matters to you.”

Can I or when will I be able to wear a tank top in March?

“Well it was ice-cream weather in February, and we had a record warm Easter Bank Holiday. So, I think we’re more or less there on the tank top front!”

Questions were submitted by students and members of the public via Loughborough University’s Instagram page.