Sunday, 9 April 2006

Were all doomed!! Still!

Sorry to continue my environmental theme (albeit my son Jasper has no problems - we talk endlessly about all the things we should be doing) but I have just read this article in the Telegraph and needed to comment. To be honest I am getting as sick of the constant anti-environmental articles in the Telegraph as the Diana stories in the Express, but that is another matter.

The article is all about the perfectly reasonable belief that in fact global warming and cooling is perfectly natural and has been going on for years. All very proper and correct. The author's conclusion is that "global warming" is probably a politically manufactured catastrophe created for some dodgy purpose.

The most peculiar thing about this article is that nowhere does it mention the words "ozone layer". Not once does it examine the impact of the damage CO2 emissions HAVE done to this crucial protection. I'll come back to that.

At this point, I draw comparisons with the Iraq War. There were perfectly good reasons for going to war and toppling Saddam but to the politicians promoting the cause, they just didn't amount to enough. So they manufactured the whole WMD idea to frighten us out of our socks.
I never believed it for a moment, and consequently hate the fact that we went to war on that basis. Odd though it may seem, I would have prefered to have known that UK forces were being used in a raid solely to topple Saddam's regime. After all attacking your own people with mustard gas is good enough reason in my book to exclude you from government. [And if Mugabe kills any more of his countrymen, black or white, I would be happy to see him removed too.]

Anyway, the point is this. Global warming may well be a false argument harnessed by Govenments across the world to galvanise action. But its loss as an argument should do nothing to dampen desire for a green revolution. There are still good enough reasons to do it.

First, the fact that there are now massive holes in the protective ozone screen above us should be as horrifying as any prospect of global warming. Exposure to the damaging aspects of the sun's energy spells a painful death for any who ignore it. How much of an increase in skin cancer deaths do we accept before we take notice? When I was a child, I never bought or wore sun cream unless we were going abroad. Now I burn badly if I fail to wear it whilst mowing the lawn in my own garden.

Then of course there is the real reason we should be doing something green. The black stuff IS GOING TO RUN OUT. Opinions vary over exactly when. Some say we have 30 years supply left at current usage, others say 50. Nowhere can I find a serious prediction of over 60 years. I'm only 35. This means that it is going to happen in my lifetime (that is if the ozone impact doesn't get me first.)

As I said in my last post, just contemplate for a moment the impact to your life if the tap runs dry right this very second. It doesn't bear thinking about. We would effectively return to Victorian times in a trice. Exactly why is it so ridiculous to start preparing for the post oil period? Why should anyone need any more excuse than that to make a start on finding the range of alternatives needed to replace black gold?

Oh and don't just shout Nuclear at me. You may wonder just how violent the world is going to get when we start competing for those last 5 million barrels of oil. How delightful it will be to replace those battles with ones concerning the right to have nuclear energy, such as we are seeing in Iran today.

It will be cheaper by far, in the long run, to invest in becoming energy self sufficient than it will be to pump billions into the military expeditions required to cling on to the supply routes for oil.


Ellee Seymour said...

We take our natural resources for granted. I was talking to the Shadow Environment Minister Greg Barker recently and he told me Cameron was launching a policy about the use of water.
I'm very interested in environemntal issues too and was a local authority press officer promoting recycling. I told them at Central Office last year that we should lead with the environment, but they had made their decision. I believe home ownership is another important issue we should get to grips with.
Did you know we are neighbours? Both from Cambridgeshire. If you check out Geoff Jones' blog, mentioned on my site, he has a wiki of all the local bloggers.

Ellee Seymour said...

You may be interested in a talk I am going to in Cambridge on Sat 22 April called The Global Energy Cruisis with Jeremey Leggett, a former oil company employee who is now chief sicentist at Greenpeace, and Tony Juniper, ex director of Friends of the Earth. see
Can you take a break off campaigning to attend?