Forest Wildfires and Climate Crisis

Recent wildfires in Turkey deeply saddened us and made us ponder once again on the climate crisis. We supported fire fighters in Antalya, Manavgat region with food supplies and made a donation to TEMA Foundation; working on forestation for many years. Along with these immediate actions, we are thinking on what we can do better.

The 2021 report by IPCC – founded within United Nations – referring to almost 14 thousand scientific articles, is a major document to examine to better understand the urgency of this issue.  Here are the highlights:

  • Climate change is man-made: For the first time ever this reports underlines that what we go through is a result of human action so all these changes are not part of a natural cycle.
  • Temperatures riding: Our planet is getting warmer. It is no more possible to fully stop however if we cannot limit this to a certain degree, natural disasters like floods, hurricanes, droughts will be increasingly more common. It is vital to keep the increase at maximum 1.5 degree Celsius. The first goal to achieve this is to decrease carbon emission by half till 2030 by green energy, clean technology methods, forestation and such.
  • Greenhouse gas: The report compares today to pre-industrialization period (1750’s) in terms of fossil fuels, coal, petroleum consumptions. The results show that carbon dioxide accumulation in the atmosphere has increased 47%, methane gas 156%. Our atmosphere cannot hold any more greenhouse gases like carbon, methane or ozone.
  • Sea levels rising: Whatever precaution we take, it seems inevitable that sea levels will rise up to 2 metres until the end of the century due to the melting of arctic circle glaciers. This means, countries on sea level will be submerged. Melting of glaciers, warming of oceans, changes in oceanic streams and extraordinary natural occasions will become more frequent.
  • Extreme weather conditions: Even if we manage to hold temperature increases at 1.5 degrees, extreme weather conditions will be more frequent. Extreme events that we saw once in 50 years will be seen on an annual level.  Extreme rain, drought, wildfires, floods, tropical storms will become regular. In case temperature increase is more than 1.5 degrees, we will see more devastating results.

What can we do in our daily lives?

  • We can opt for clean energy options. Solar, Wind, bioenergy options should be examined instead of fossil fuels. Natural materials can be chosen instead of petroleum products. We can use cloth bags instead of nylon bags. We at Hotel Berke Ranch & Nature make use of solar energy most of the year thanks to the wonderful climate of the Mediterranean and increase our investments in this regard.
  • We can help protect seas, oceans and forests that hold carbon. Remember; wildfires are mostly human caused. Cleaning our waste, not making fires in nature, not contaminating seas are some of the basic steps we can take individually. We are observing the pine forests around us carefully in case of any danger and supporting forestation while protecting the current forests in our vicinity.
  • We may consume less. Do not forget that a certain amount of energy is needed for every product produced. And this energy means we are supporting the use of some fossil fuel. Instead of constant consumption, we may transform things. Here at the hotel, we think on how we can reuse materials, goods during annual renovation and strive for a sustainable operation; like the soap holders in your rooms coming from dried trees.
  • We can be aware! We must be aware we are part of the earth not its owner. If we all start thinking on the cost of our daily actions to the planet; switching on the A/C, taking a long shower, going somewhere by car when we could have walked, buying a tropical fruit coming from a long way while we could have bought local fruits from the open market, then change and solutions may follow more easily.
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