08 December 2009

It's not easy being green!

Just in time for the Copenhagen Summit.

Let's start with my carbon footprint. I have no effing idea what exactly the number is! I assume it's low since Ilive an environmntally friendly lifestyle. It was small when I estimated it.

I no longer have a car. I'd love to say it was due to various green reasons. In reality, I did that after it was broken into in an allegedly secure garage. Although, various other green reasons (convenience of public transportation, cost of running the thing, the fact that I usually walk, and so on) did factor in to the decision.

I recycle so much that my house feels a bit like Alice's Restaurant where they "didn't have to take out their garbage for a long time". Well, I have to, but I am recycling all this paper, cardboard, plastic, glass, and whatever else can be recycled.

I haven't flown in ages, preferring trains to planes. High speed trains are the thing anyway!

I am amazed that people can be scammed about Global Warming:
In the climate field, there are a number of issues which are no longer subject to fundamental debate in the community. The existence of the greenhouse effect, the increase in CO2 (and other GHGs) over the last hundred years and its human cause, and the fact the planet warmed significantly over the 20th Century are not much in doubt. IPCC described these factors as ‘virtually certain’ or ‘unequivocal’. The attribution of the warming over the last 50 years to human activity is also pretty well established – that is ‘highly likely’ and the anticipation that further warming will continue as CO2 levels continue to rise is a well supported conclusion. To the extent that anyone has said that the scientific debate is over, this is what they are referring to. In answer to colloquial questions like “Is anthropogenic warming real?”, the answer is yes with high confidence.

Anyway, it seems that James Hansen, who heads the earth sciences division of the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, is critical of so-called "cap and trade" plans that would allow industries to continue burning fossil fuel as long as they offset their excesses by purchasing credits that would go to reducing carbon emissions elsewhere. He says that wouldn't do the trick. What needs to be done is a shift in the sources of energy production from carbon based (coal and petroleum) to renewable sources. "Energy isn't the problem, carbon is the problem."

The science behind climate change isn’t a fad and it isn’t new. You might be surprised that it started back with Joseph Fourier. Of course, some people doubt evolution as well: "It's just a theory".

This video is super, but you need to watch it all the way through.

Hey, I've supported the Centre for Alternative Technology for nearly 30 years! I am sorry thet The Earth Centre in Doncaster is no longer fucntioning as a similar site. The Earth Centre's most famous bit was that it appeared in the remade version of the BBC television series Survivors (2008 & 2009). I wish that alternative and ecology education centres were much more common.

Anyway, it seems that a lot of people are dragging their feet on the environmental movement because they are being conned by a highly charged right wing media machine. Contrarians employ such rhetorical devices such as arguing that the “science is settled” (what science is ever settled?). They are pushing public policy solutions that ignore the unsettled parts of the science namely all the uncertainties around the scope and net impact of AGW and downplay the tremendous costs and risks associated with such policies and the highly debatable long term benefits of keeping the environmental status quo.

Anyway, I haven't been too impressed with the US leadership, in particular, Barack Obama. The British government has been slightly better. For some reason, the right wing fringe elements are not as powerful in the UK as they are in the US (Lord Monckton aside. But the whole world needs to get on board here as the future of the planet is at stake.