Climate change: An opinion piece

Water vapour (img src:
Water vapour (img src:
Water vapour and small water cycles; is this missing from our conversations about climate change?

There is much talk about rising levels of carbon, and rightly so.  Any conversation to do with the plight of the world, whether it is for or against is a good thing, so long it is done with respect.  Without conversation and debate, solutions will always be hidden.

So what about water vapour?  What does this have to do with anything?

We know the use of fossil fuels is going out of control.  I was in China two and a half years ago, touring farms and looking at systems.  I was privileged to be a part of a group presenting to farmers in Beijing about organic production in Australia.  China was beautiful, but sadly what hit me was the significant pollution.  You couldn’t see past 20 meters because of the smog.  The audience who saw our photos that included parts of the sky couldn’t believe the photos were real.  Yes, carbon is a focus; but as a car runs on petrol, it still needs water and oil for the engine to function properly.

Here lies the importance of water and all its various guises.  We know that the climate and weather are the main influencers of landcare in its entirety, especially here in Australia.  When the sea starts to evaporate, some of the water turns to clouds.  Then, with the assistance of the wind, the clouds drift to the land.  When reaching the coast, the clouds turn to rains and this feeds the land.  This is just a very basic example and we know that there are lots of other factors.

However, mist/fog, condensation/dew, evapotranspiration and small rain events are all part of a hydration and management system that we can’t forget or ignore. This interplay with plants helps manage the hydrology within the landscape.  It keeps things in check.  When big rain events come, these little cogs in the landscape help maintain them.  Take these away, we then create an unstable environment e.g. desolate black roads and concrete dwellings of our cities and urban areas.  This can throw the synchronicity of nature.

Trees, plants, soil, animals and humans depend on water.  My point is, that small is also beautiful.  Our little water cycles have a part to play.  If we keep losing these cycles by taking away micro climates, then the overall consequences will be significant.  No matter how large or small your land, garden or field, it matters.

~ Will Elrick

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