Glastonbury, Britain’s largest and most famous music festival, is a great symbol of the many faces of the global climate change debate. It’s full of people enjoying life and relying on technology, easily available energy and consumer goods, yet it’s also deeply rooted in environmental and social justice concerns. And, of course, it’s also hugely exposed to extreme weather.
If the party is to keep going, can all these be reconciled? And what will it look like in the future – will it need to adapt to survive?
The climate is of course already changing. When Glastonbury’s founder Michael Eavis was born in 1935, the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere was not far above 300 parts per million (ppm). It’s now above 400ppm and rising, due to the emissions of carbon dioxide from human activities. Around the time of Eavis’s first festival in 1970, early efforts at climate modelling were predicting that the world would warm by 0.6°C by the year 2000. The actual observed warming was around 0.5°C, and again this is still rising.
Read the story on The Conversation by the Chair in Climate Impacts at the University of Exeter, Richard Betts - “Glastonbury 2070? How the festival might have to cope with 4℃ of global warming.”