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Vicko's Story

Get Thinking

We now invite you to delve a little deeper and explore how your experiences relate to climate change.

The good news is that  our community has all the tools and knowledge we need to avert the worst effects of climate change, so all we need now is for everyone to act!

Climate is Changing

In the UK the effects of climate change are not as obvious as they are in other countries around the world. However, they are happening already. We live on a planet with one continuous atmosphere which means our choices impact on a global level often affecting the poorest and most vulnerable people the worst.

Vicko’s story indicates how climate change has affected Bude already. As the climate gets hotter we are experiencing more chaotic weather such as fiercer storms, extreme heat, extreme cold, flooding, drought and wild fires. Our unique geography means that we are on the sharp edge of climate change for the UK and will feel it sooner than somewhere like Sheffield or Bristol.

  • Storms
    As temperatures increase, the amount of water that evaporates into the atmosphere increases and is released as extreme rain, hail and snowfall. Storms passing over warmer water absorb more energy, increasing wind intensity. In Bude this means an increased risk of storm surges and flooding. Numerous waterways in and around Bude put many of us in river catchments and we therefore need to think seriously about how we can adapt to flood risks. Floods damage not only our homes and livelihoods, but also impact on water safety. Our outdated drainage systems cannot cope with additional water flows, which leads to sewage being discharged into rivers, making its way onto our beaches at Crooklets and Summerleaze.
  • Heat Waves
    In the UK we now experience twice as many warm spells a year, as in the 1990s. In 2020, 2,556 heat-related deaths were recorded, a figure predicted to increase threefold by 2050. What may feel to some like a beautiful summer’s day can put others under extreme stress. People with underlying health conditions or over 65, as well as young children and those on low incomes are particularly vulnerable to heat stress as they are less able to adapt to the heat. But as temperatures continue to rise we are starting to see fit and healthy people being affected too.
  • Extreme Cold
    Weather systems are highly complex, so although it seems strange, climate change also increases the risk of extremely cold weather events, as we saw in March 2018 with the ‘Beast from the East’, which brought icy temperatures and snow even to Cornwall.
  • Droughts and Wildfires
    As the climate changes, we’ll experience more rain falling but less frequently, which means more flash floods and more periods of drought. This combination of factors leaves us susceptible to drought and therefore wildfires, as land and vegetation dry out. Already we’re seeing changes – in 2020, Cornwall Fire and Rescue attended 80% more wildfires than the previous year.
  • Water Shortages
    By 2050 water demand will outstrip supply as the population continues to grow and water availability reduces, according to predictions by the UK Committee on Climate Change. In the UK we use an average of 143 litres per day per person and water conservation is essential for reducing drought and wildfire risk.

Get Inspired

We need governments all over the world need to make big changes in the way our societies live and work in order to transition to a green economy. Sometimes the scale of the challenge can feel overwhelming. It can be tempting to delay thinking about it, especially if it feels like our individual actions are pointless. But the truth is collectively we can all make a big difference. 60% of global emissions are the result of our personal choices.

 

We have compiled some tips on what we can do individually and as a community to make the most impact – changes that not only reduce our contributions to the climate crisis, but also improve the quality of life for everyone in our area.

 

Flooding is an important issue for our community, so we have covered it in depth in Simon’s Story. The following tips relate to what we can do in response to extreme temperatures and droughts and wildfires.

  • Storms
    As temperatures increase, the amount of water that evaporates into the atmosphere increases and is released as extreme rain, hail and snowfall. Storms passing over warmer water absorb more energy, increasing wind intensity. In Bude this means an increased risk of storm surges and flooding. Numerous waterways in and around Bude put many of us in river catchments and we therefore need to think seriously about how we can adapt to flood risks. Floods damage not only our homes and livelihoods, but also impact on water safety. Our outdated drainage systems cannot cope with additional water flows, which leads to sewage being discharged into rivers, making its way onto our beaches at Crooklets and Summerleaze.
  • Heat Waves
    In the UK we now experience twice as many warm spells a year, as in the 1990s. In 2020, 2,556 heat-related deaths were recorded, a figure predicted to increase threefold by 2050. What may feel to some like a beautiful summer’s day can put others under extreme stress. People with underlying health conditions or over 65, as well as young children and those on low incomes are particularly vulnerable to heat stress as they are less able to adapt to the heat. But as temperatures continue to rise we are starting to see fit and healthy people being affected too.
  • Extreme Cold
    Weather systems are highly complex, so although it seems strange, climate change also increases the risk of extremely cold weather events, as we saw in March 2018 with the ‘Beast from the East’, which brought icy temperatures and snow even to Cornwall.
  • Droughts and Wildfires
    As the climate changes, we’ll experience more rain falling but less frequently, which means more flash floods and more periods of drought. This combination of factors leaves us susceptible to drought and therefore wildfires, as land and vegetation dry out. Already we’re seeing changes – in 2020, Cornwall Fire and Rescue attended 80% more wildfires than the previous year.
  • Water Shortages
    By 2050 water demand will outstrip supply as the population continues to grow and water availability reduces, according to predictions by the UK Committee on Climate Change. In the UK we use an average of 143 litres per day per person and water conservation is essential for reducing drought and wildfire risk.

Get Sharing

Stories trigger more stories,

so we hope this has sparked some of your own memories and

provided an opportunity to reflect. 

What changes have you seen to weather patterns over your lifetime?

-

What’s the most extreme weather you’ve experienced locally? How did that feel?

Were you forced to respond in any way?

-

Can you remember a time

when the community pulled together in a crisis?

Did you play a part in this? How did you feel?

-

What areas locally do you feel are important to protect? Why?

-

How do you think Bude will cope

if it experiences greater weather extremes

such as flooding, hotter heat waves and more storms?

Dive Deeper

Below are some useful links

to help you dive deeper into the science we’ve introduced in the ‘Get Thinking’ section.

And if you prefer to watch rather than read,

we highly recommend you check out

BBC One - Earth Shot – staring

David Attenborough and Prince William.

Get Together

If you’re part of a local group and would like to explore this theme more through additional activities, then you might like to use our ‘Hands On’ toolkits. Contact us to find out more.

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Teachers wanting to use these stories in the classroom can download additional resources here.

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Vicko's Story

Get Involved

Bude is already bursting at the seams with enthusiastic environmental groups and great initiatives

if you want to get involved with. Here’s a few:

 

Bude Marine Group

Interested in marine life in the Bude area?

Bude Marine Group can help you understand the marine environment and

the influences on it, so that we can protect and enhance it for the benefit of all.

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Thank You

We hope our suggestions and advice leave you feeling inspired. Climate change can be challenging to think and talk about, so if any of your questions haven’t been answered or you need support or you have an idea you want to pursue, then please get in touch with the Bude Climate Partnership. We’re here to help you.

This Toolkit has been developed by Storylines.

Storylines is a Community Interest Company who use the common language of story to bring people together to share, celebrate, learn and connect.  Storylines supports organisations and communities to unearth and share their own stories through bespoke story projectsdigital storytellingeducation, oral historyworkshopsinterpretation

training and consultancy.

Share your memories and reflections here

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