We’re on Thin Ice.

If your Twitter feed looks anything like mine, I’m sure you’ll have noticed Donald Trump’s uncanny habit of voicing a very controversial and usually somewhat outrageous thought, normally accompanied by a backlash of equally controversial replies. A few weeks ago, he once more completely disregarded global warming as an issue, saying that New York, which was in the grip of record-low temperatures, could do with some of “that good old Global Warming”.

Despite the President of the USA writing off climate change as “a hoax”, “created by and for the Chinese”, the colder-than-average temperatures the East of America suffered are a direct consequence of global warming – it sounds contradictory since it’s global warming, but the snowstorm intensified because of the increased volume of water in the oceans, mainly due to the melting of ice caps and expansion as the water heats.  In the future if we continue doing exactly what we’re doing now, we can expect a lot more extreme weather – intense snowstorms, killer cyclones – you name it, we’ll get it.

Global warming isn’t exactly a new concept; in 1896, Svante Arrhenius thought that the burning of fossil fuels could increase the earth’s temperature, although it wasn’t until the 1930s that anybody paid much attention to his theory.  Since then, the burning of fossil fuels has increased massively with advancements in technology and manufacturing, meaning that the levels of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases released into the atmosphere have inclined too.  Only now are we feeling the full, furious force of global warming.

2016 was the hottest year recorded since 1880, and since 2001, sixteen out of the 17 hottest years ever have occurred.  By the end of this century, scientists are predicting the earth’s temperature to have risen by another 6˚c.  Whilst it may mean you have to pay less for aeroplane tickets to exotic hot countries to get that perfect tan, this shows the effect human activities are having on the planet and the figure is only going to go up unless we do something drastic about it.

Speaking of aeroplane tickets, the two-million people per year who visit the Great Barrier Reef will now be looking at much more bleached and damaged coral than there used to be – two thirds of the Reef has been damaged by water temperatures becoming too high.  The sea levels are rising too, at the fastest rate for 2000 years due to the thermal expansion of the water and the melting of the ice caps.  Scientists say that, since 1979, the Arctic sea ice coverage has decreased every decade by between 3.5-4.1% – in more accessible figures, in 1980 there were 7 million km² of Arctic sea ice, similar in size to Australia, whereas in 2015 the coverage amounted to just under 4 million km², just slightly bigger than of all the countries in the European Union put together.

Similarly, skiing could be a much shorter luxury holiday for many, as scientists are predicting that by the end of 2100, ski resorts in the Alps could have 70% less snow.  The increase in global temperatures will result in more precipitation and humidity instead of the fine white powder, affecting the economy of many countries who rely upon winter sports for income and species adapted to live in those conditions.

The future sounds pretty bleak, doesn’t it?

Even more so when wealthy and educated countries like the USA intend to pull out of the Paris Agreement, a convention designed to try and limit global warming to 2˚C this century – when I said Trump is controversial, I meant it.  Set up in 2016, the USA was among the first of 195 countries to sign up to the Agreement (being one of the world’s biggest emitters of greenhouse gases) but after Trump’s repeated claims that global warming is a “hoax”, he stated that it was his wish to leave the Agreement.  Although the loss of such a powerful contributor to global warming will make an impact, predictions show that the even meeting the target of 2˚C will only delay the worst consequences, and that as an entire population we need to do much more.

Of course, we can all introduce little things into our daily routine to help combat and mitigate climate change, independent of national and international efforts. As a hot chocolate addict, I know of some schemes that help the environment as well as your pocket.  Global coffee chains such as Costa Coffee and Caffe Nero have introduced reusable cups, discounting the standard price and therefore leading to a decline in the number of disposable paper cups being sent to landfill.  In the longer term, renewable energy resources will undoubtedly become more popular; as the price of fossils fuels rise, using sources such as solar and wind power will be more pocket- and eco-friendly.  Smart Cars are also being gradually introduced, weaning drivers off the tradition diesel or petrol-fuelled cars and increasing the use of biofuels. Carpools are also a viable option – you save the planet and get the chance to socialise, so what’s not to love?!

“Reduce, re-use and recycle” is probably a programme you’ve heard of but if you check your waste, to what extent do you reduce, re-use and recycle?  My guess would be not as much as you could, and this is a really simple way to help mitigate global warming, without straining yourself too much.  Do you really need that bottle of shampoo, when you already have 4 bottles open?  Can you really do nothing else with that empty yoghurt pot than throw it in the bin?  The three Rs are an easy method of contributing to the sustenance of the planet, and it’s one that you should definitely make a conscious effort into maintaining.

Unless we all begin to make changes in our everyday choices, the future looks very bleak indeed.  No matter what Trump says, the earth is increasing in temperature and it’s because of human activity, although with small, subtle, eco-friendly changes we can begin to make a difference.

The book club: January

It’s no lie that January is a bleak and miserable month, but it’s also been a hectic one, hence my lack of reading *cue the tears and sad music*

But this month I have read a few books – Catcher in the Rye and Murder on the Orient Express – and I thought for this week’s post I’d just give a quick review of them.

Murder on the Orient Express – the film has recently come out but I always like to read a book before I see the movie, I’m not sure if that’s just me?! Anyway, I asked for the book for Christmas and I read it within a few days in the holiday; I enjoyed it a lot!! There were some plot twists that I wasn’t expecting and I definitely think I’ll have to see the film now.

Catcher in the Rye – as I finished this book, I was left a little confused: somehow, I’d completely missed that Holden, the narrator, speaks from inside some sort of institution?! I reached the end and I thought it was only then that he was going to this place. I honestly have no idea how I overlooked that fact because after looking at various summaries to see what I’d missed, several said that there were clear hints throughout 😂 however, I’m going to read this again at some point this year and I really enjoyed it as a story.

I’m reading Birdsong currently and it’s a very touching, poignant story. I feel like it’s one of those books that you can’t really like, just because of the subject of it, but it’s sadly very realistic and harrowing to think of what happening during the War.

For English Lit I’m reading Frankenstein too and I was dreading starting it, I won’t lie, simply, because I thought it was going to be very heavy-going. However, now that I’m getting into the plot line a little more, I’m actually excited to carry on reading it, so that’s a plus (and a surprise!)

I need to prioritise reading a more next month and I have the order of the books I’m going to read written down so hopefully, this post in a month’s time will be somewhat more entertaining 😊

Cara x

moi

I feel like I haven’t properly introduced myself to quite a few of my followers – since the start of the year this little community had expanded some, so if you’re new here, hey!! I’m Cara, and so that I don’t bore anybody, here are some facts about myself that I don’t think I’ve shared online.

  • I have always wanted to be an author. As I grew up, my passion for creative writing grew stronger but I repressed it in fear of not looking “cool” – thank goodness I got over that! I suppose though, running a blog is kind of like being my own author, and my ultimate dream is still there.
  • In the future, I want to become fluent in Spanish. I learned Spanish as a GCSE and I try to teach myself it now, and I have a good basis of the language, I truly want to be immersed in a foreign language and culture.
  • Similar to that, I’d also love to experience life in another country. If I could live anywhere, I’d choose either The Netherlands, Belgium, Spain or New York.
  • I really enjoy stretching.
  • Writing and making speeches is a passion of mine although I don’t do it as frequently as I’d like! I love the idea that words can influence a person and I find the feeling of speaking aloud about a topic really exhilarating.
  • I definitely have mentioned this before but Harry Potter is my favourite book and film series. I love reading and as you can probably tell, a lot of my hobbies and subjects at school are language-and-arts-based.
  • I tend to bite off more than I can chew, but I work more productively if I hundreds of deadlines or commitments.
  • Making puns and unfunny jokes are my speciality.
  • I really dislike the fruit banana, but give me anything banana-flavoured!
  • More often that not, I’ll be dressed in a stripey shirt (and other clothes, obviously)
  • As a way of life, veganism inspires me, but so far I haven’t been able to make the jump to it – I’m unfortunately too much of a fan of cheese and chocolate!
  • I’m more confident around people I don’t know at all than with people I kiiind of vaguely know. I could chat for a while very easily with someone I’ve never met before, but I’m much more shy when speaking to a person who may already have an opinion on me. Although, I am growing much more confident and maybe this year I’ll be myself (loud and probably not funny) with everybody.
  • I’m the sort of person who becomes obsessed with something very quickly – be it a YouTuber, a fashion trend or a saying. I started saying “peng” as a joke quite recently, and a few times I’ve noticed it slipping subconsciously into my vocabulary!
  • I have a very motivated work ethic and I think that’s partly due to being a perfectionist. It’s probably controversial but I love learning and I also love school – I can hear the gasps of shock, I said it was controversial!
  • I work on Saturdays in a clothes shop. I actually really enjoy talking to customers, and it’s a lovely shop to work in so to get paid as well – not as much as I’d like, obviously 😉 – is a win win.
  • One day I’d love to be able to work in a magazine company or a broadcasting company.

So there you go! It’s been a while since I’ve written anything on my blog and I’m sorry about that; I’ve broken one of my resolutions already haha 😦 see you later x

Productivity after school

Now, I don’t know about you but my first day back at school is tomorrow, so I thought today would be a good time to write a really short post on how to stay productive after school. It’s hard I know! But the method I use is really simple to create and makes you a lot more likely to do what you need.

I find to-do lists so helpful, and this is what I use every single night! As an example, the one in the photo was from a day in the holidays, and as you can see I had a fair amount to do that day.

The way I create these lists is to just write everything you need to do down on a piece of paper in a bullet point list, then go through the list and colour in the bullet points if I absolutely must get it done today. I also add little lines to make them look like suns, but that’s completely up to you 😜

Although I haven’t done it on the list shown (because I had a full day to complete everything), I normally then also number the order in which I’ll complete the tasks, and I’ll just put this number to left of the bullet point. And that’s it! This is a really simple way to ensure you do everything you need – if you have it all written down in the order you’re going to do it, you’re much more likely to actually do it because you’re trying to meet your targets. That said, be careful to be realistic, because you also need to have some time to relax.

eighteen things to do in 2018

Welcome to 2018! 2017 was one heck of a year and I learnt a lot from it, but I’m kind of hoping this year will be a liiiittle more steady…

As is tradition, I’ve compiled a list of my resolutions for the year and I’m actually going to try really hard to stick to them – I’ve put a fair amount of time into reflecting on last year so I know that if I stick to these resolutions, hopefully 2018 will be a good one.

  • Read more, instead of spending time on devices – something probably a lot of people can relate to! I realised how much time I waste just scrolling down Instagram or Pinterest and how much more productive I could be if I just put my phone down!
  • Complete my reading list – linking on from the previous resolution!!!!
  • Spread more positivity – there can never be enough happiness in the world, and it doesn’t really take much to compliment someone, does it? 💖💖💖
  • Utilise free periods in school – the more work you do at school, the less you have to do at home ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
  • Know when I’m taking too much on.
  • Limit the amount of procrastination – I could really do with a lot of motivation this year, haha.
  • Continue learning French and Spanish.
  • Record the best part of each day – I don’t know yet whether to film a second of each day and then make a video at the end of the year or just write down my favourite part? I could do with your advice!!
  • Exercise more frequently – ok, this must be the most common New Years resolution EVER but it’s so so easy to just sit on the sofa and do nothing. This year I’m going to change that and try to run weekly and do a little exercise routine every night at home (or maaaaybe start going to the gym, although that might be pushing it a bit far 😉)
  • Watch more films!! – contrary to my other resolutions haha, but I’m always that person who’s not seen the latest film yet and that needs to change!
  • Remember I’m stronger than I think.
  • Drink more water – my poor little kidneys are shrivelling up (probably).
  • Blog weekly (I’m sure you’ll all thank me for that haha)
  • Save 75% of the money I earn – because university is ridiculously expensive!!!
  • Start youtube again – my original plan was to film a few videos and get them uploaded so that I could officially start my channel today but I haven’t got around to it… in my defence, I have over 300 clips from my trip to New York so it takes a while!
  • Be more confident within myself.
  • Stop overthinking any decision – the amount of worrying about any possible outcome of any decision I make is extremely unhelpful.
  • Be happy.

Do you have any New Years resolutions? I’d be really interested to hear to be honest, I think people’s reflections on life say so much about them! Wishing you all the best for 2018,

Cara xx