Monday, November 19, 2007

Environmental Crisis

 the cimate march posterRupert Read argues that the terms Climate Change and Global Warming have been deliberately imposed by the vested interests of those in favour of the status quo. He says that these terms do not convey the seriousness of the situation and that we should be using much more graphic language, "Climate Crisis or Climate Emergency".

Ian Dale seems to agree, for different reasons, pointing out that Climate Change is a natural phenomena. We cannot stop the climate changing. But it is foolhardy to even suggest that the human species [or indeed any species] does not have an impact on both the environment and climate and that behaviour modification can also have an impact, negative or positive. That is, there are some choices to be made. Like deforestation in Indonesia and the threat that poses to the indigenous peoples and the wildlife it supports.

Which brings me to the Campaign against Climate Change National Climate March on Saturday, 8th December, “one of scores of demonstrations taking place all around the world during the UN Talks, to urge world leaders to take immediate action against the catastrophic destabilisation of the global climate.”

Meanwhile, over at EarthSave [another term that misses the point, it’s WE that need saving] Noam Mohr argues that CO2 emissions are not the immediate threat. Rather that Methane [21 times more powerful a greenhouse gas than CO2] is the current main driver, and that methane emissions are causing nearly half of the planet’s human-induced warming. The number one source of methane worldwide is animal agriculture and so Noam says the most significant thing any individual can do is to go Vegan. How will the High Street Takeaways cope with that I wonder? Perhaps a better place to start would be the food we waste. The Guardian reports that we in the UK bin a Third of the food we buy. This all goes to landfill and they produce – Methane.

I have asked our MP, Lee Scott, for his views on the Climate Change Bill. He will be “calling for a much stronger bill and will do so when it is fully debated”. If you don’t fancy the March you can always feed in your views to Lee, or your own MP.


  1. I like this new blog, slightly more encompassing that the carbon footprint being the only culprit. Some people seem to clear their conscience by planting a tree (or trees!).Trees are excellent but they are not a cure. Careful use of resources is much more relevant, I would say.
    Plastic bags a plenty, bad!
    Unwanted publicity in paper form, even worse when wrapped up in plastic. Bad!
    By the way, what has happened to the ozone effect?
    One could go on for ever.
    an activist

  2. I may be wrong but I recall reading somewhere that the hole in the ozone layer is repairing itself. This may have something to do with us stopping using CFCs.

    The trouble is that every time a potential disaster is identified and averted it fuels the potential Dodos over on Iain Dale's blog into rants about how predictions of environmental disaster never happen.

  3. Well B21, as you know, I am an old bird and I remember the incredible bad pollution, just after the war, when the fumes of factories were red with nitric acid and we could play hide and seek in the fog in the middle of the day.
    I remember too the lovely ocean in Brittany losing all its shrimps and shells and little crabs. Things are much better now (bar oil tanks catastrophies). And it's nice to know that, having stopped the CFCs, might have allowed the ozone layer to repair itself.
    an activist

  4. Or it may be that the changes in the ozone layer were indeed part of the natural phenomena?

    We Dodos don't say environmental disasters never happen, we just object to hysterical hypothecations and doomsday scenarios that can sometimes be traced back to organisations that have a political or financial agenda.

    Re the plastic bag issue - bio-degradable plastic bags disappear in 18mths, and use a petroleum byproduct that would otherwise be burned and therefore wasted. Making paper bags requires serious chemical use to cleanse recycled paper, causing pollution. So by all means campaign to have all plastic bags bio-degradable, but don't make the facile assumption that paper bags are environmentally-friendly to manufacture.

  5. Blimey, I’ve got a Dodo reading the blog!

    I was very careful with my words. I said “This MAY have something to do with us stopping using CFCs.” BD is quite right, it COULD have been “part of the natural phenomena”.

    It’s all part of the logical impossibility of negative proof and the difficulties in showing causal effects in [very] complex systems. What we are dealing with here is probabilities and Risk Management. Unfortunately we don’t have another planet or two upon which to test our hypotheses.

    And yes, there are “organisations that have a political or financial agenda” but they appear on BOTH sides of the debate.

    On bags, what I object to is the “throwaway” bag which usually ends up in a hedge on the A406. I want them to be re-usable and to be re-used.

  6. Keep going B21, object as well to heavy plastic bags (agricultural use) which litter the countryside and heavy twine used for tying bales of straw and carelessly disposed of. They are a real danger to animals. And also, the now much rarer rings of plastic which link cans of drink and strangle birds foraging on the landfills.
    Life is made easy for us, humans but we only need a few careless people to wreck things for the rest of us and the animals. Not right!
    an activist