Hoping for a white Christmas

Updated: Jan 11, 2021

Taking this picture of snow on #Dartmoor, #Devon, #SouthWest England, was a particularly special moment now that global heating due to man–made climate change is dramatically reducing the chance for #DifferentViewPhotography to capture classic winter scenes like this.

2020 saw the world hit the joint highest temperature on record as carbon dioxide, released into the atmosphere when fossil fuels are burned, continued to build up. C02 makes up just 0.03% of atmospheric gasses but without it the average temperature of the planet would drop by 40˚C, from the preindustrial norm of 15 ˚C to minus 25˚C. This tiny bit of C02 keeps us nice and warm here on earth but we don’t have to add too much more to cause havoc with the climate: which is what we’ve been doing for too long.

During the last ice age the average temperature of the planet was 12 ˚C – too cold for much life. Until very recently the average temperature was 15 ˚C: 3˚C makes all the difference to sustaining our lives and keeping the climate stable. So it’s understandable that scientists, environmentalist, most of the world’s politicians and broadcasters including #SirDavidAttenborough are calling for immediate action to reduce our use of fossil fuels and, therefore, cut our C02 emissions.

After years of seeing the impending climate crisis ignored by world leaders, the UN Copenhagen Climate Change Conference in 2009 was the first glimmer of hope. But nothing much was achieved due to leaders dragging their feet. In 2015 #COP21 gave rise to renewed hope that the message had finally got through with the signing of the #Parisagreement by 196 countries. Countries agreed to come up with policies to limit heating to well below 2˚C above the pre – industrial levels of 15˚C. Many environmentalists and scientist were delighted that there was a global recognition of the problem and a commitment to tackle it but were equally alarmed that 2˚C was still far too high if the aim was to stabilise the climate in a meaningful way.

But now we have the #UNFCC (the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change) arranged for November 2021 at the #COP26 Climate Change Conference in Glasgow. Although President Trump had withdrawn the USA from the #COP21 Paris Agreement, which threatened the unity of the other signatories, President elect Biden is committed to re-join and attend the #COP26 #UNFCCC. It is intended that governments will set out exactly what policies they have made and exactly by how much these policies will contribute to reducing the temperature of the planet which was 1.25˚C higher in 2020 than in pre – industrial times. Many scientists, environmentalists, broadcasters and politicians hope the target of ‘well below 2˚C’ will also be amended to nearer 1˚C above pre-industrial levels.

For lots of reasons at Different View Photography we are also hoping our world leaders will rise to this challenge. Although not by any means the most important of those reasons, but if our leaders succeed, we’ll have a greater chance of seeing scenes like this one near our base at #Plymouth #Devon, into the future. Meantime we’re grabbing all the chances we get to indulge in #aerialphotography using our #drones (where it’s permitted – not on #Dartmoor unfortunately) and ground cameras to make the most of these evocative snowy scenes.

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