Thursday, June 9, 2011

Victoria's Green Matters - 8th June 2011

Deal With IT's Secretary Victoria Nicholls writes a regular column in the East Kent Mercury:
Another depressing report by the International Energy Agency (IEA) on the increase in global greenhouse gas emissions during the last year has focussed attention on the United Nations climate negotiations, due to take place in Bonn next week.

It would seem, from previous experience, that there is little hope of the talks bringing forth an enduring agreement on the problem of climate change. Is it too much to hope that the shock rise in emissions will concentrate minds on the need for urgent action to cut the amount of carbon dioxide being pushed into the atmosphere? Even the worst economic recession for 80 years has had little lasting effect on greenhouse gas emissions. The goal of limiting a global temperature rise to 2°C seems like just a dream.

A world temperature rise of only 2°C would see summer temperatures of 40°C in southern England, greater risk of starvation through drought and failing crops, coastal flooding affecting 10million people and species extinction.

It seems strange that the ordinary person in the street can see the dangers of extreme climate change looming but governments are still focussed on producing energy from our remaining stocks of fossil fuels, even going as far as prospecting for oil under the melting ice of the Arctic. Even if new stocks are found, we cannot safely use them. Surely the solution is to create a new, green energy industrial revolution? This will create more than just limits to climate change with innovations leading to more technologies and hence more jobs.

Local action will have to take the lead here with individual councils moving forward to adopt and advocate a low carbon lifestyle, putting in place new technologies to produce clean energy for the community.

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