"There is no river nearby that could overflow its banks, only a small stream. Extreme heavy rains are also extremely rare and very small-scale. We won't be affected by that." And heat? "Well, we've had a few hot summers now and then, but it won't be like this every time. Let's hope the next one will be moderate. Other countries, especially in the south, such as Spain, Italy, Greece or Africa, are actually experiencing increasingly serious problems," is what I often hear when I talk to friends, acquaintances and customers about the risks of climate change.
Is that true? Or are we just closing our eyes to the risks?
Yes, we may not be hit by extreme heavy rainfall for years or decades, but it could just as easily happen next year. The trend is that these events will become more frequent and often more severe than in the past. Once a normally leisurely rippling Ahr became a raging river with a depth of 5 meters, as happened in July 2021, it was too late to take preventive measures. And the summer heat is here to stay. What we have experienced so far as an extreme exception will be the new normal. How did we cope last summer? Who didn't sweat at home or at work and felt exhausted. Around 4500 people died in Germany in 2022 as a result of the heat, and it wasn't even the hottest summer in this country. Many companies could not operate its production because the machines were running too hot, the mortar on the construction site would dry too quickly or no suitable cooling water was available for power plants. Coal and other goods could only be transported on the Rhine to a limited extent due to low water, and the required capacity was not available on the roads. The list of risks is long.
Ultimately, climate change affects us all even in places where we still feel relatively safe. When supply and delivery bottlenecks occur because products can no longer be adequately produced in their regions of origin due to flooding or drought, and supply chains and transport routes are blocked, the consequences are long waiting times, production stoppages and high prices.
It is probably time after all to consider how and where we could be affected everywhere and what we can do about it. Or would that be far too expensive? More about that in one of the next blog articles.
- The state and local authorities must protect citizens and businesses from climate change impacts
- Climate change adaptation is expensive. We can’t afford it right now
- We have other priorities at the moment and can still adapt to climate change later on.
- We have created flowering meadows and planted trees. We have taken precautions.
- The consequences of climate change will lead to heavy burdens and restrictions.