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      10.02.2014 22:47
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      A brief overview of what humanity isn't doing to meet its greatest challenge

      Having recently read the latest report* by the Intergovernmental Committee on Climate Change, I am more than ever convinced that the findings will fall on deaf ears, or at least on ears that might as well be deaf for all the action their owners will take as a result of listening. My own ears, in case you're wondering, fall into the latter category. If we as mankind were capable of listening, or, having listened, of taking the requisite action, we would surely already have done so. And we have not.

      This is, after all, the fifth such report from the most authoritative of scientific bodies studying the subject, and the findings broadly confirm those of the previous four, as well as those of countless other studies by reputable researchers. Just in case you're fortunate enough to have been living on another planet and are unaware of them, the salient findings from all those studies are:

      1. That, irrespective of any recent slowing** in the rate of increase, global temperatures have risen at an unprecedented rate in recent decades and look likely to continue to do so.

      2. That, irrespective of the many other factors which influence climate, man's activities have made a decisive contribution to that increase and look likely to continue to do so.

      3. That unless a way can found to restrain that increase and ultimately to stabilise global temperatures, the outlook for the global environment on which we all rely for life and livelihood is dire.

      These findings are presented in the least hysterical possible tone, with due weight being given to all the inevitable uncertainties, and are supported by an exhaustive body of evidence. I am not going to reiterate all that evidence here; the website reference for the report is below for those who want to study it in detail and acquaint themselves with the facts, together with the reference for a synopsis of the main findings.


      * What our leaders are doing to respond *

      The IPCC report made little splash in the serious media in this country, and none at all in the tabloids. Politicians largely forbore to comment. One minister with relevant responsibilities, Owen Paterson, let drop some obtuse observations that suggested he either hadn't read the report or hadn't understood it. Probably both. His is, after all, the same enlightened intellect that, in another sphere, accused badgers of having "moved the goalposts" because official gunmen had failed to find the expected number of the creatures to cull. Or maybe, in the case of climate change, he simply made the miserable pragmatic calculation that trying to take the requisite action is beyond his capabilities, so he'd be better off denying the need to act in the hope that he'd thus avoid looking incapable. Still, his was a dispiriting departure from previous official pronouncements, in which governments have tended to pay lip service to the principle that something must be done, while failing to do anything of substance in practice. This government, which entered office promising to be the greenest ever, should be especially ashamed of its blinkered inaction.

      Much the same applies at international level, where the United Nations Climate Change Conference in November, although acknowledging the severity of the threat, undertook no meaningful new initiatives to combat it. This is in line with established practice, whereby senior politicians from around the world meet up every few years and let off a lot of hot air, committing themselves to pious intentions for the longer term but to no specific programmes. Even such flimsy commitments as they do make are seldom fulfilled. It is worth wondering why not, when their scientific advisors must unquestionably be telling them that the problems are serious, urgent and potentially catastrophic for all humanity.

      There are, I would suggest, several likely explanations for official inertia: -

      1. Politically, taking action is too challenging. In democratic societies politicians don't believe that their voters are far-sighted enough to support the expense of action now to avert the much greater, maybe ruinous, expense later. They know that large numbers of people remain to be convinced, and that powerful industrial interests are more than happy to keep them that way. Often those same interests are contributing to political parties' coffers. Even in non-democratic societies rulers have to take some account of popular opinion, and probably see no benefit to themselves in taking what might be an unpopular lead. They also probably hope that in their privileged position they will individually be insulated from the worst consequences of their negligence. In either case, trying to educate the public to face the ominous facts is probably perceived as a dauntingly uphill struggle.

      2. Technically, it's too challenging. No one quite knows the best way to tackle climate change, whilst huge investments might need to be made with their pay-off uncertain. More focus on alternative energy sources, yes, but deciding which of them to go for is complex and controversial. Can nuclear energy be regarded as environmentally-friendly, when there are arguments both ways? Or bio-fuels, where again there are arguments both ways? What about GM crops, ditto? Carbon trading, ditto? What about the role of population growth, any attempt to discourage which would meet with widespread resistance?

      3. Practically, it's too challenging. Even if statesmen could agree on a unified policy and course of action, enforcing it would present almost insuperable problems, across over 200 national jurisdictions in many of which central government writ does not effectively run. How do you prevent deforestation amid the civil war and chaos of the Congo, or in the remoter parts of Indonesia or the Amazon basin? How do you change agricultural practices that degrade the soil, or patterns of fuel usage that pollute? Regional authorities are often weak, often corrupt. Setting rules, even if rules could be agreed, does not mean that anyone will abide by them, or that they can be forced to do so. Such accords as have been entered into so far have been routinely broken.

      4. Diplomatically, it's too challenging. Many of the environmental threats mankind faces can only be tackled at the international level. Yet all attempts to forge an international consensus for action tend to falter in the face of conflicting perceptions of priorities, conflicting national interests, and the conflicting political imperatives driving the main players. There is always a game-playing, beggar-my-neighbour aspect to such matters. Any action comes at a cost of both financial and political capital, and no country wants to bear more of that cost than they have to. Even if they were prepared to bear their fair share, whatever that might be, they would suspect that others would try to avoid bearing theirs, and be accordingly cautious. No wonder international conferences on climate change are always so inconsequential.

      Given the difficulties, I don't actually blame politicians and statesmen too much for their failure to do anything meaningful. In many ways, they are in any case only reflecting on a national and international scale the contradictions and conflicts of interest that occur among individuals. And within individuals too.


      * What we as people are doing to respond *

      Not a lot, when it comes down to it. Of course, even in developed countries some individuals lead exemplary environmentally-friendly lives, but, however admirable their example, they are far too few to make much difference to the world's overall prospects. There are larger numbers of people in the undeveloped world who also do little to pollute and emit few greenhouse gases simply because they are too poor to do so; however, they mostly want to increase their wealth and consumption (and therefore their pollution and emissions) as quickly as they can. They cannot be blamed for this understandable ambition, but blamelessness will do nothing to change its inconvenient consequences if their ambitions are fulfilled.

      Meanwhile, still vaster numbers of people make little or no effort to restrain their impact on the environment at all. There are all sorts of reasons for this, not many of them good reasons, but very human reasons all the same. Why most people make little effort seems to be because: -

      1. In many cases, they simply don't believe it's necessary. This may be because of ignorance; let us remember that in many parts of the world the environmental message may simply not have been widely heard, either because of poor communications or official censorship. Where it has been heard, some discount it because they have fallen for the 'sceptic' propaganda that seeks to deny the reality and disparage the scientists who report the evidence. Denial sometimes stems from religious conviction; either "god will provide" or "if the lord hadn't intended us to drive gas-guzzlers he wouldn't have given us freeways" or "my faith tells me to have many children" irrespective of the effects of over-population. Or it may be from another kind of faith, faith in the capability of human ingenuity to solve any problem and of human initiative to overcome any obstacle. Whatever their rationale, these people are neither going to take much action themselves nor press for government to take it on their behalf. Indeed, they are likely to resist any official encouragement of that kind.

      2. In many cases, people recognise that it's desirable, but don't know how to go about it. They tend to settle for a bit of token energy-saving and recycling and assume that's a sufficient contribution, though in fact it is likely to make little difference to prospects on a global scale. The more significant steps they might take are all much more disruptive to a developed-world lifestyle: e.g. reducing (or eliminating) air travel, driving a low-emission hybrid car (or none), moving to a smaller more energy-efficient home. Such steps all come at a cost in money, effort or convenience. And at each step you are bound to ask yourself whether it's worth it, either to yourself individually or to humanity as a whole. The answer may well find you numbering yourself in the next category:

      3. In many cases, people recognise that collective action is necessary, but don't believe that their individual actions would make any material difference. I am well-acquainted with the psychology of this group, since I happen to be numbered among them. Like, I suspect, many others, I would gladly tighten my belt and restrain my own ecological footprint if I truly believed that enough of my fellow-humans would do the same. But I do not. On the contrary, for all the reasons stated above, I believe that all too many will continue to be profligate with the world's resources and take little heed of their impact on the world's eco-systems. Which leaves me with scant incentive to take an individual stand, when its effect would be insignificant. I don't offer this as a particularly ethical, let alone admirable, viewpoint. Rather the opposite. But in a world in which others are taking the same view, or worse, many like me are bound to feel it makes sense.

      In aggregate such individual calculations add up to potential disaster, which is precisely why we need governments and international bodies to take a decisive lead, but we have already seen in the previous section of this review why they are unlikely to do so.


      * So what is likely to happen? *

      In the circumstances it seems to me almost certain that nothing of substance will be done in time to head off whatever disaster awaits us. For as long as I can remember, people alert to the dangers have been shouting "the time to act is now" and, although they were right, they have been largely ignored. The time to act was yesterday, by which I do not mean that it is necessarily too late to do anything, but that the fact that we have already missed our best chances to do something suggests that we are likely to miss also the lesser chances still open to us.

      Among the optimists, those who have the best chance of being right are those who put their faith in human ingenuity and human initiative. Some technological solutions will probably be found for some of the problems. But the problems already appear to be too many, too complicated, too intertwined and too intractable for solutions to be found for all of them. And, if mankind runs to form, as soon as one problem is solved complacency will take over and other ones created in its place. We look likely to go on putting higher and higher hurdles in our path until we finally trip over one with fatal consequences.

      Human progress since the industrial revolution two or three centuries ago has been predicated on plundering the earth's resources accumulated over hundreds of millions of years. This plunder has allowed us to multiply to unprecedented numbers, living longer and in more luxury than at any time in history. But now we are, on the one hand, running out of resources to plunder, while on the other the pollution we excrete from the plunder is threatening to make our world unliveable for the billions who already exist, let alone the billions more that will exist if we continue to breed at our current rate (unless, of course, an ecological or other catastrophe intervenes to reduce our numbers).

      In the meantime, the probable outcome is continued global warming, changing weather patterns as exemplified by extreme storms in some places, drought and desertification in others, including some of the world's most productive arable areas, further deforestation and soil erosion, a rise in ocean temperatures and, of course, sea levels - all developments that will make the world a less and less hospitable place for human habitation. Likely repercussions include mass migration from affected areas, widespread famine and wars over dwindling resources. What's more, there are reasons to believe that many of these developments will themselves accelerate the rate of global warming, so the situation could well become unmanageable even more quickly than is currently anticipated.

      It is, of course, a tragedy, a tragedy in the true classical sense that a self-inflicted disaster that should and could be avoided will not be avoided because of the innate character of those inflicting it on themselves. One thing seems certain: future generations will curse ours, which could have done something to avert disaster and did not. I almost couched this piece as a letter of apology to my grand-daughter, but found it too maudlin an exercise; I can't think of any reason for her and her generation to forgive me and mine anyway.

      Let me surprise you. It is customary for tracts like this to conclude with an impassioned plea for the world to wake up and take action while there's still time, if indeed there is still time, but I don't think I'll bother. If the world isn't listening to the IPCC, why would you listen to me, especially when I've already confessed to my own irresponsibility? I could, perhaps, conclude by asking you whether you'd bet on a safe future for humanity in the face of all the damage we're doing to our habitat, but, actually, it doesn't matter whether you, individually, would or not, because we as a species already have. And it's a bet we look likely to lose.

      But, of course, I hope I'm wrong.


      © Also published under the name torr on Ciao UK 2014


      * Climate Change 2013, published by the Intergovernmental Committee on Climate Change, can be found via http://www.ipcc.ch/report/ar5/. A synopsis detailing the main findings can be found at http://www.climatechange2013.org/images/uploads/WG1AR5_Headlines.pdf.

      ** Further research by British and Canadian scientists published since the IPCC report suggests that there has not been a recent slowing in the rate of increase in any case. See:
      http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2013/11/ global-warming-since-1997-underestimated-by-half/

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        25.09.2013 00:57
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        Volcanoes are the lava elephant in the room

        Energy Saving
        ===========
        My position on energy and the surrounding trepidation which orbits 'planet energy' asks the question - 'what energy crisis? 'Planet Energy' has a plethora of energy resources, in real terms there are so much choice the human race are head scratching of what to choose. The analogy is not dissimilar to a young child going into 'Toys R Us' and told there is no budget; however you're allowed to choose only one toy - after an eight hour duration no decision would've been made - it is too much to take in let alone to make a valid decision that'll determine six months of play. Everywhere you look is that 'E' word - even on 'planet energy' you can get energy out of a peanut, release the energy into a capsule and send it to the national grid. Dynamo energy was perfectly illustrated by viewing the bedroom of the Big Brother house - where some poor bloke had to cycle to get electrical appliances to work and another poor mite had to machine pump to get the shower to work; Tip: Exercise indoors.

        Evidence indeed, of demented eco-orientated originality from a team of eco-worrier walnuts buying into political eco-rhetoric. What it did illustrate was power can be generated at a whim. You see on 'Planet Energy' there will always be energy so long Homo sapiens are surviving - yet since the death knell of the cold war rhetoric, along comes another damnation even bigger than the cold war, that human-kind has got to endure - and this is known as: 'Climate Change' - the grandiose threat to human existence since the dawning of our 200 hundred year industrial age. For all that time carbon particles have clogged up our atmosphere which has led to global warming, this year 2013; 400 particles per million in the atmosphere is carbon - the figure of 400 ppm was deemed to be the tipping point figure by the Warmists whose climate prophecies claim the carbon statistic will add a 2 C to the overall global temperature. In turn this'll melt the ice caps at an alarming rate, and cause major natural disasters across the globe.

        From the 1970s a four hundred percent increase of natural 'planet energy' disasters have occurred, 'all of them man made, apparently.' Coincidentally, over 50,000 years ago the cycle of natural disasters was at the same level as it is today - now alarmists would say that was man made too? You see, the global climate has a 'cycle to work scheme' too - scientists from Royal Colleges have stated climate change has systematically occurred on a wide range of timescales; however have admitted to leaning towards political allegiance in other words (bending to the pressure of environment activists) - these eco-worriers are a stubborn breed - many of them are employed in eco-organisations whereby they hand out tips to how to heat your home efficiently, the hook being; 'saving tips,' their credibility is their bread and butter; so they audaciously point their Armageddon finger at realists who dare to ask for proof of energy savings and monetary savings. No-one can predict the level of corruption of energy tariff pricing, especially the alarmists.

        Now trepid prophecies allure to 'saving energy' being 'energy efficient' to the point tax breaks have and will be given to those who buy into such schemes. The dire situation is that individuals have to consider their carbon footprint, their recycling of every known household material possible that has been mass produced for maximum profits- which is then sent to China's landfill whereby young children then scrounge for raw materials used for circuit boards and computer chips etc. Basically, the global recycling system employs child labour and the irony is the UK is a figurehead to the system. The reality is, child labour makes good global eco-sense. Warmists / eco-worriers preach with conviction it is imperative to abode insulate. Lofts, internal walls, cellars, boilers, pipes, storage tanks, the list is endless. After all, insulation will *allegedly* make your energy bill drop by 20% on average; however, on reflection Warmists /eco-worriers cannot actually tell you the coinage you will save annually on the simple equation: they're unlikely to know the particular energy tariff a household is on, decipher the energy giant's wholesale energy prices and predict the energy markets. Eco-worriers didn't predict the astronomical energy bill occurrences in the last six years, no-one made a saving, regardless what they preached! For energy firms, if the wholesale price drops of at 23% executives will vehemently say they passed on 6, 7, or 8% of the price reduction to consumers. In real terms, the percentage is 5% to rub mustard seeds in the eyes of their clientele they add a termination charge if customers move to a cheaper tariff.

        Tip: Don't opt for solar power just yet, even if you hear those who brag that their solar power panels have made them £1,100 per annum - by 2018 they will be in profit, just - after forking out on the solar investment. No-doubt an emerging loophole such as (capping energy tariffs for three years) will disparage any further saving bragging.

        Tip: Purchase a twenty foot flag, so you can see if the wind is coming from the north. Flag watching for wind direction change will save you energy on heating - nipping the chill early saves energy in the long run.

        Eco-worriers also cannot gauge whether you turn off all your standby devices off at night, or would know how many you have. The only way they can preach eco-orientated material is by their own lifestyles which I doubt any sane being could possible endure - that is incessantly wearing (all seasons) a woolly hat with over the ear woolly flaps. Tip: Eat Mountains of thick, sticky Scots Porridge established in 1880 by A Scot, for added stomach wall insulation; not only eat it but also store it for later for added insulation. Their motto is; "We shalt not be without porridge insulation." Another fine trait that an eco-worrier has a tendency of is cutting up eco-oriented rhetoric especially written by eco-doom masters of the likes of Hell Gore. The gory headlines get intravenously absorbed; this is their narcotic hit, a justification of their hatred for carbon junkies - the Clarksons' of this planet - naturally forgetting the eco-worriers also exhale CO2, and excrete eco-unfriendly odours into the atmosphere due to cycling to every destination, powered by Scot's Porridge Oats - a double whammy of environment unfriendliness - CO2 and BO.

        The most ludicrous energy saving concept has to be the abundance of digital energy saving gadgetries on the market which apparently uses energy all day and night to tell you how much energy you are saving, or not! How ironic. Tip: Refrain from purchasing energy saving devices - Energy Monitors are set at a retail price of 30 - 50 pounds per device. In practice, the device is a fad of eco-marketing - and the market is gargantuan: Oxfam; nearly three years ago had a team of four thousand eco-orientated activists 'campaigning for climate change,' the given budget was 318 million pounds. Now this was during a time of economic unease, and you can be certain the figure above is the tip of the melting iceberg.

        What the eco-worriers don't like to acknowledge is that there are 1,500 *active* volcanoes on 'planet energy;' a hell of a lot of energy. The energy is dispersed into the atmosphere in the form of methane - a methane particle is a thousand times more potent than CO2. On the planet of an eco-worrier, volcanoes and natural decay don't exist.©1st2thebar 2013

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          11.08.2010 15:40
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          more could be done to save the planet!

          Over the past few years in the 21st century, on the news they have always mentioned something about climate change. But however, do we think that people have taken this note on board? Or is there still more to do how we can prevent climate change?

          I personally think that people have taken this on board a bit and have found ways to help to avoid climate change, but I still think there is more to do.
          Over the past few years, news reports have mentioned about what in could happen on the planet in like:

          - some cities like Miami could be wiped out for good by 2015
          - London could be underwater by 2080
          - famine could happen around 2050 - as there is only enough food to feed the - whole planet for another 70 years, which could lead to starvation especially in third world countries.
          - More Tsunamis could happen around 2035-2050 - this effecting bigger cities like New York.
          - Dangerous gases to come onto the planet - this causing more effect on global warming.
          - Summer will turn into winter, so you'll be spending your summer holidays in snow and coldness rather than being outside or going on holiday, and winter will be very hot, so you'll be spending Christmas outdoors and outside, rather gathering round a fire with family, food and TV.

          But do we have to actually believe this? Where's the evidence that proves this? whether it will happen or not?!

          But People have started to recycle more, but more can be done as we throw away so much rubbish in one day that it almost fills up The Royal Albert Hall in London. So less people! less! This is a major problem for people all over the UK.

          This can cause problems money wise cause the goverment are spending millions even billions on this, but could end up being as waste of money!

          However we don't have much time, but as a nation, as a country we can do something together as a team to prevent this!

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            06.12.2008 12:31
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            Action on Climate Change

            Today is the global day of action on climate change. Demonstrations on climate change have been organised to coincide with the United Nations Climate Talks (COP14/MOP4) in Poznan, Poland that are taking place between December 1st to 12th 2008.

            Global greenhouse gas emissions have grown since pre-industrial times, but there has been an increase of 70% between 1970 and 2004. I believe that climate change is the most important issue facing humanity. We are close to the tipping point of no return.

            Some might argue that now is the wrong time to push the green agenda - instead we should concentrate on preventing a serious recession. This is dangerous and false argument that ignores the fact that climate change and our carbon reliance is part of the same problem. Probably the biggest threat to our future economy is climate change and energy insecurity. One thing's for sure, free markets will never tackle climate change effectively. We need bold political innovations and interventions.


            In the UK I believe we need to:

            Increase investment and development of renewable energy, home insulation and electric and hybrid cars and vans.

            Outlaw the sale of all incandescent lightbulbs.

            Stop all opencast coal mining and impose higher taxes on the extraction of all fossil fuels.

            Reduce all domestic flights.

            Increase vehicle excise duty for the most polluting cars to £3,000 a year (from the current £400). Use the money raised to start closing key urban streets to private cars and dedicating them to public transport and cycling; increase the public subsidy for bus and train journeys; create a truly integrated low-carbon transport system whereby buses are scheduled to meet trains, buses and trains carry bicycles, and safe cycle lanes connect with each other across entire cities; scrap the airport expansion programme.


            As well as cutting their own carbon emissions, rich countries must help developing nations fight climate change. Inaction on climate change will have a serious impact worldwide.


            It's to easy to moan about the short term financial costs of changing our lifestyles and changing the structure of our economies and ignore both the short term and long term benefits.

            If global mean temperature increase is to stabilize between 2.0-2.4°C, then CO2 emissions must peak by 2015. As the IPCC state: "the cost of such a stringent path of stabilization of the earth's climate would be very modest, if at all a cost would be incurred. For instance, for this trajectory the cost to the global economy would at most be less than 3% of the global GDP in 2030. In fact there are so many co-benefits from such action that if these were to be fully accounted for then these might actually result in a negative cost, or a net increase in economic output and economic welfare."

            There would also be benefits due to lower air pollution, higher energy security, higher yields in agriculture, and greater employment opportunities. This is already evident in countries that have independently made greater use of renewable energy and major improvements in energy efficiency have been able to increase employment in the economy.



            Today is the global day of action on climate change. People in countries all over the world will be taking part. Last year more than seventy countries were involved. This year in the UK there is a march on parliament for the climate. (see www.globalclimatecampaign.org). The march goes to Parliament to demand that the government act now on climate. It begins at midday at the US Embassy, Grosvenor Square.

            There may well be an event near you. If you can't make it to one then you can participate online by watching these videos on YouTube and leaving a comment:

            http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=56fvtM-Df6k (FoE)

            http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=Dr-zV5-YHms (Woodland Trust)

            http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=cvCoWh77w1s (Compassion in world farming) - I completely agree with the message of this video. Meat is murder and now we're murdering the planet.

            If thousands of people comment on a handful of these climate videos in the next few hours, they will appear on YouTube's "most commented videos" page where many more people will see them, and the climate message will spread.


            Today is the global day of action on climate change, but it is important to remember that everyday from now on is a day of action. If you're not part of the solution, you're part of the problem. Don't listen to those with their heads still stuck up their own backsides.

            People in the industrialised nations need to radically and rapidly change the way they live.

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              16.07.2008 08:20
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              We should be more sceptical about what we are being told

              I personally think we should not fall for all the scaremongering about 'global-warming' and 'climate chage' without finding out more and having a healthy debate in which everyone's point of view is given a fair hearing; 'global-warming' and 'climate change' (which is just 'the weather') seem to have been turned into a money-making industry by the powers that be to extract even more cash from hard-working taxpayers.

              Let's face it, if the powers that be truly believed in 'global-warming' they would not have approved a third runway at Heathrow Airport, they would instead be encouraging people to take fewer flights and they would certainly stop all these summits and conferences like the recent G8 summit in Japan which cost £280 million and pumped heaven knows how many CO2 emissions into the atmosphere; they would take positive steps to get people out of their cars and on to public transport but no effort is being made to, say, run a nationwide school bus service as they do in the United States of America, France and other countries; public transport in the UK is denied proper investment - many people cannot rely on it to get their children to school and themselves to work and they certainly do not make it more economical to use.

              The authorities would bring in legislation to encourage manufacturers and suppliers to cut down on the wasteful packaging that seems to surround everything we buy and they would ensure that the packaging that remains is universal so that everyone can tell straightaway whether or not something is recyclable. How often do we prise something from its wrapper and wonder which bin to put the wrapping in? One of the things that most convinces me that the authorities themselves do not believe in global-warming is that they continually nag us to turn off every appliance we own when not in use, yet we can go into any store that sells, say, television sets, and see every single one in the store switched on and left on all day. This would be illegal if 'global-warming' was a real threat.

              The burden we place on our youngsters, making them feel the earth is doomed because they might leave their bedroom light on, is totally unfair. Without definite proof, how dare we make them anxious about the future of the planet?

              There is no definite proof that man is responsible for changes in the weather. We have had freak weather since time began and, if the planet was actually warming up, how does that explain the fact that one winter will be freezing cold and dry, and the next, mild and wet?

              I do, however, believe that man is responsible for the worst effects of the weather. We continue to alter the landscape when we knowingly build huge housing estates on flood plains, stand by while whole swathes of rainforest are demolished, divert waterways to make room for development, make it difficult for our own farmers and manufacturers to keep going so that we end up depending on supplies from abroad, with all the expense of transporting them, do not build adequate storage facilities for our fuel - the UK has storage capacity for 13 days of fuel, yet France and Germany have storage for over 100 days. We produce our own North Sea oil yet end up selling it abroad because we can't store it for our own use, but, in turn, we then have to buy the fuel we need. They think the answer is wind farms but these destroy the landscape because they need access roads and massive foundations on which to place the turbines and, as soon as the wind stops, the national grid is fired up using even more energy. The authorities do nothing about junk mail which wastes reams and reams of paper and ends up in recycling facilties which cost a fortune to run, and they could also outlaw disposable nappies which are as bad as the plastic carrier bags they are trying to discourage.

              These are all things that Governments could legislate to change but they don't because they themselves do not seriously believe in 'global-warming' or 'climate change' - if they did, we would see massive changes in how we go about our daily lives. As it is, they have simply found another way of taxing us.

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                31.05.2008 12:14
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                Think before you believe...

                Did you know that 2,056 nukes have been let off on Earth since 1948. Yep, 2,056! We are told that just 50 were enough for a nuclear winter and the end of life as we know it. Two were tested last year alone in China and N.Korea. So do you really believe if the Earth warms up a tad by a couple of degrees in the next 90 years in places where its rather warm anyway will make a whole lot of diferance to you and me? No, me niether. Im rather enjoying this unseasonably warm summer and so here's to more of them!

                So what is going on with the weather, if anything at all? Melbourne, Australia had its hottest night ever with midnight temps well over 35 degrees. But in the same January, South Australia had its first snow on the Adelaide Hills in its known weather history. Waether has always been capricious and always will be and so with modern day technology we can record it on film and so use that to claim global warming. Moscow had its hottest week for 100 years and Paksitan its worst floods for 80 years. Surely, then, the weather was pretty bad back then and maybe we have just had 80 years of natural cooling in those countries? It will always be at its hottest or coldest somewhere on the planet. Dont be scared to question global warming guys. In fact celebrate it as your using your brain and seeing things how they really are. Dont forget it was the fear of a nuclear holocaust that drove American consumerism to most of the world as we were told it was a cure for the Cold War. Now we know that wasnt exactly true. We rage wars for oil and resources and that is the ideal cover to hype the global warming threat, suggesting we are not invading Iraq for oil as we are all going green, right?

                After six official wet summers in the U.K, two, some of the wettest on record, we are back to normal with a cracker. The met office, who seem to have taken sides on man made global warming (in favor of because it's good for their new commercial side, even offering 'text' weather updates for 15p!), have said the last few bad summer were 'freak events' and so nothing to do with global warming I dont think this year will be written off asa freak year and so straight on the pro global warming numbers.

                In the 80s and 90s lots of egghead scientists and special interest groups, funded by both oil companies and their opposites, came up with contrary computer models to what would happen to the world's weather in the new millennium...today. Twenty years on and no one wants to release those grainy printouts from the old Vic 20s and ZX81s. But data is now seeping out that the doomsayers were nowhere near the numbers and the guys funding by oil companies were more accurate, disaster for the eco religion. Incredibly, the earths mean temperature has actually FALLEN in the last ten years. Admittedly the statistic that produced that fall is based on starting the ten year trend from a cool and wet year. In fact the biggest argument against this science of theory (which, of course, isn't science) is the way readings are taken in gaps between decades and centuries when it suits either side's statistics to prove it either way. For instance, between 1940 and 1970 temps fell slightly around the world. But between 1988 and 1990s they rose. But the Earth was much warmer in the 12th century when there was no polluting carbon industry.

                The new millennium has seen a fall in world temps. It may be only slight but it's a fall. Is the unthinkable happening here? Could all this crap we are pumping into the atmosphere (the fumes not the science) actually be making the temp fall? Or could the earth have taken a few antacid tablets and learned how to deal with humans exhaust fumes? As the CO2 smog comes from the planet then maybe it can return to the planet, acting as a sponge?

                Now don't get me wrong, we need to cut our carbon emissions, but I don't think we are going about it the right way. Scare stories of the end of the world scenario make everything too frantic and the big economies are alienated from what's needed. The recent petrol price crisis is an example of what we are heading for if we let the green lobby make too many decisions. Road pricing and tariffs on flying to Spain isn't going to keep people in employment and so the economy in the black. Putting huge green taxes on our lifestyles will just mean huge job losses and fuel bills. At five quid a gallon-the price Friends of the Earth were talking about in the 1990s as suitable - hauilers and the types of companies that have reps on the road and skilled staff that have to drive in to work are making big job cuts every day now. When you start taxing people to go to work and then tax them when they get there, then tax them on the way home with speed cameras and parking tickets then why bother working? Five million have already decided not to work under New Labor and if the minimum wage becomes irrelevant because of high taxation and immigration then you make that 7 million by 2012 under the Tories, not quite the green future we envisaged but certainly deflationary and greener. If no ones working then non ones polluting!

                But, of course, however green and clean Britain is it can't make any difference in planet emissions. The only ones interested in green policies are governments looking to raise taxes through that usual end of the world fear tactic. Notice how quiet all parties have gone on green policy during this tough economical period?

                Green policies damage world economies, so obviously bringing down emissions. The US is the worst offender for not trying to cut pollution, but for any American President that does try to tackle it, it will mean huge job losses in his country. Human nature is to want things and that wont change soon.

                Like I said, I think the recent green hype here was really all about masking the fact that we went to war in Iraq for oil, the proletariat never contemplating the unthinkable that we are indeed running low on oil, but believing the war was really about terrorism. Currently the world has just a 6% reserve in oil, the gap between drilled and known supplies able to get to the pump. Iraq has the biggest untapped reserves on the planet and the lies were the only way the west could get at it to feed our vulgar energy greed. Governments want us to think there will be and end of the world scenario through global warming but the reality is it will be catastrophic war over those finite resources that will be the disaster, and by making us believe there's no shortage of oil, the war in Iraq couldn't possibly be about oil... right? But now we know the truth and it's scary. The BP leak was a British company risking lives to feed Americas greed for oil chasing hard to get oil, not so much a greedy oil company cutting corners.

                Although half of all energy pollution comes from coal burning its fair to say we wont be using that much 20 years from now, alternate fuels long since increased, therefore a global meltdown from carbon fuels unlikely to happen. It's paradoxical to think business and world economies would destroy themselves by still using coal in 2040.

                It's the middle-class green lobby that annoys me. I think they see 'green' as a way of off-loading their guilt over this pollution and so inadvertently pass the eventual green tax burden on to the working man, as we are seeing now with those petrol and energy prices. The Greenies are the first to moan about the war in Iraq yet refuse to encourage nuclear, the only real alternate to coal. Perish the thought if they have to have a wind farm near them to spoil the views! Where do these nimbi's think power will come from if we don't make some sort of collective sacrifice....like the ones our forces are making in Iraq for that oil.

                I had to chuckle last week because those same righteous eco types were causing huge traffic jams in Somerset to see a big "eco festival", their four-wheel-drive gas guzzlers backing up the only main road in there. Even more ironic was the 'Sunrise' event was cancelled due to 'unseasonable' rain, which they no doubt moaned about, but not part of the apparent global warning Armageddon. 'We want three days of hot sun to suit us man'.

                Why didn't they hold it in the winter!!!

                There is a proviso in the green ten commandments that man-made global warming can mean it gets wetter, although they don't explain how lots of clouds blocking out the sun can make it warmer. Lets be honest guys, if global warming eventually means warmer English summers then who's going to vote against that here? Why dont we just crash on and accept we live the way we do and so work around it.

                To be honest a lot of the current world food shortage is probably to do with third world governments trying to gear up to the western worlds hype and science on seismic 'projected' global warming disaster. These poor countries are repeatedly told terrible droughts are coming and so try to make provisions, storing up their own rice and grain for their own people, which, inevitably, causes shortages and price rises on the world markets, and when the drought doesn't materialize ( hard rain knackering the extra crops planted) it leave shortages worldwide. Rather ironically, its fair-trade and organic foods, the last supper of the eco disciples, that are seeing the biggest price rises here. Now that the economy has arrived that the green lobby always wanted-high fuel prices and low waste crop yields-you just watch them desert sustainable products now we are in recession and the price is rocketing on hippy foods. Its shops like Aldi and Netto that have seen increase profits this year and so a dramatic fall in those sticking to their green product base. If they can't afford it they won't buy it, hardly amoral sacrifice. The green middle-class are no longer prepared to pay a little bit extra for fair-trade products to make them feel a little bit better than the lower orders now that the very policies they wanted are biting their asses.

                The local councils, of course, are more than willing to cash in on the erroneous green agenda, bin taxes and congestion cons always on the agenda and having us rattling our fists in their direction. We have all seen these poor old boys with Alzheimer's on the news being fined £60 quid for putting the wrong piece of paper in the wrong tray or leaving their bin lids up , or those naughty borough councils deliberately putting down illegal road marking that's will generate fine revenue to feed their pension black hole. But what we are not seeing is common sense and convergence with the public to cut down on waste. I live in a nice middle-class street and the blue and green trays are lined up neatly like those coffins draped in American flags coming back from Iraq on the marked collection day. Around the corner in the council estate there is little enrollment in recycling, the tray and bins flung around amongst the soiled mattresses and old washing machines like their less revered and dead Iraqis in the war torn Baghdad streets. But we alll know who is going to be fined-those who can pay. You and me. In Peterborough the council employs private litter finers, freelance guys and girls paid £35 quid for every litter fine they hand out, the council keeping the other £20 quid from the £60 levy. How is that saving the world?

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                  15.05.2008 15:40
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                  Wating food damages the environment and causes climate change

                  Everyday on TV and in the press we are fed more information on global warming and climate change and the evidence is there for all to see. Floods, drought, rises in sea level, warming of our seas and changes in wind patterns.

                  It is certainly happening at quite a speed.

                  We are all aware of the needs to reduce the use of fossil fuels and to cut carbon emissions. Our glass, paper and plastic is recycled, but there is one enormous contributor to all this that has not received as much publicity.

                  The developed world throws away vast quantities of food each year and the disposal of this adds significantly to the greenhouse effect and so contributes to climate change. This climate change brings drought and flooding which causes crop failure in less developed countries.

                  So, we throw away food and this affects populations in Africa, parts of China and other parts of the world where starvation is common place.

                  According to figures released by the University of Arizona we, in the UK, throw away 35% of edible food. In US the figure is even higher, with up to 50% being wasted. The food we throw away rots and produces methane and other greenhouse gases which add to the greenhouse effect and climate change.

                  The main reason that the figures for food wastage is so high is because we buy more food than we can eat. All these buy one, get one free offers in supermarkets are great if you actually use the food, but when it comes to perishables most of us find that we have more than we can eat before the sell by date expires.

                  Millions of unopened plastic yoghurt pots are thrown into landfill sites every week because their contents went out of date before they could be eaten.

                  So, buying only the food you can eat could have a dramatic effect on the environment on a global basis, as well as saving you money.

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                    14.05.2008 14:17
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                    LET'S ALL DO OUR BIT

                    Climate change or 'global warming' as it is more commonly known is caused by our day to day activities. We are emitting large amounts of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere and this causes our planet to become hotter.

                    The most important greenhouse gas is carbon dioxide (co2) which is produced when we burn coal, oil and natural gas. These are brought from the earth's crust and are used to create petrol, diesel,electricity and gas. When these are used they release carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.

                    The hotter the earth becomes the warmer our temperatures become. This in turn causes more extreme weather:-

                    storms
                    hurricanes
                    hotter weather
                    long dry spells
                    droughts
                    forrest fires

                    Warmer seas and melting ice causes the sea levels to rise which in turn causes flooding.

                    Unless we do our bit by using less energy, climate change will continue to accelerate.

                    Here are a few simple things we can all do:-

                    Insulate your hot water tank
                    Don't leave electrical appliances on standby
                    Ensure your loft is insulated
                    Only boil the amount of water you need
                    If possible air dry your washing instead of tumble drying
                    Car share to work if possible
                    Turn your thermostat down by one degree
                    Ensure your water is set at the correct temperature
                    Use energy saving lightbulbs

                    All of the above will also save us all some money which cannot be a bad thing.

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                      07.08.2007 13:41
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                      This is a global problem and needs everybody to take it seriously CO2 emissions can be lowered !

                      Let me start of from basics. Climate refers to the temperature over a long period of time, and climate change in general (this topic) refers to changes in the earth's climate - (over decades/millions of years) Climate includes the average temperature, amount of precipitation, days of sunlight, and other variables that might be measured at any given site. Weather is different as its the day to day state of the atmosphere and changes and varies all the time. (whereas climate can be predictable)

                      ----external causes of climate change-----
                      Variations in solar radiation, the Earth's orbit, deforestation, ozone depletion (decrease in amount of earth's ozone) and greenhouse gas concentrations

                      ---The Greenhouse Effect-----
                      (This was actually a question is the June 2007 A2 biology paper so I should be able to discuss this!)
                      The greenhouse effect is caused by a blanket of chemicals that surround the earth's atmosphere and prevent heat rays escaping. - The Sun's heat rays will enter and reflect of the earths surface and escape the earths atmosphere (some bouncing back - keeping the earth warm) however this cloud of gasses cause an insulation (like that of a greenhouse) so the overall temperature of the earth increases due to heat being trapped in the earth.
                      Greenhouse gasses are thought to be the primary cause of global warming (overall increase in the earths temperature (climate change))
                      the atmospheric concentration of CO2 in 2005 was 379ppm3 compared to pre-industrial levels of 280ppm3 (so theres an obvious increase due to man's intervention)
                      ---the science behind Co2 in the oceans-----
                      Le Chatelier's principle explain the characteristics of the dynamic equilibrium of a gas in solution such as the vast amount of C02 held in solution in the world's oceans moving into and returning from the atmosphere. These principals can be observed as bubbles which rise in a pot of water heated on a stove

                      ---The sun-----
                      The sun has its own cycles such as the solar cylce, which could be causes of climate change, however solar cycles are not yet fully understood as the changes that are occurring in the sun are over very long periods of time (Slow)
                      Changes in the earth's orbit change sun light intensities on the earth. The 'orbit changes' are known as Milankovitch cycles, these orbital cycles are predictable (mutual interactions of the Earth, its moon, and the other planets) - the milankovitch cycles are thought to be causing glacial changes.

                      ---Volcanoes---
                      Volcanoes are more influential then you might think, a single eruption causes climate change - causes cooling for a period of a few years. So a much larger volcano eruption (occur only a few times every hundred million years,) but can reshape climate for millions of years and cause mass extinctions!
                      How the volcanoes cause cooling - its thought that the dust thrown from eruptions cause a cooling blanket by blocking the sun's rays, however dust usually settles within six months!
                      Volcanoes and Co2
                      Volcanoes release massive amounts of CO2 from the earth (that are usually stored (sedimentary rocks)etc). However The US Geological Survey estimates that human activities generate more than 130 times the amount of carbon dioxide emitted by volcanoes!

                      The biggest cause of climate change is the increase in CO2 levels due to emissions from fossil fuel combustion, followed by aerosols (particulate matter in the atmosphere) which exerts a cooling effect and cement manufacture. Other factors, including land use, ozone depletion, animal agriculture and deforestation also impact climate.

                      Fossil fuels have caused increases in CO2 levels from a concentration of ~280 ppm to more than 380 ppm today. These increases are projected to reach more than 560 ppm before the end of the 21st century. It is known that carbon dioxide levels are substantially higher now than at any time in the last 800,000 years!!

                      Like with all theories there are arguments, people believe that global warming is due to nature more than man's intervention, blaming solar activity, ocean currents, cosmic rays and unknown natural causes (e.g. Leroux)

                      ---so what can we do about it-----

                      --Kyoto Protocol----

                      The Kyoto protocol is the most prominent international agreement on climate change, and is also highly controversial. Some argue that it goes too far or not nearly far enough in restricting emissions of greenhouse gases. Another area of controversy is the fact that India and China, the world's two most populous countries, both ratified the protocol but are not required to reduce carbon emissions under the present agreement. Furthermore, it has also been argued that it would cause more damage to the economy of the U.S. than to those of other countries, thus providing an unfair economic advantage to some countries. (people believe that production would move to those countries (as they have the major energy sources) however India and China are probably the least energy efficient countries!.

                      -----Explaining renewable and non renewable sources of energy----

                      Renewable sources of energy include the sun, the wind, ocean currents, biofuel etc.
                      They are renewable because they dont run out, they can be re-used again and again and are not 'wasted once'.

                      So why dont we use these sources to produce energy? why do we use non renewable energy sources like fossil fuels (coal, oil & gas) which cannot be replenished and cause environmental damage and have limited supply?
                      Its because:
                      1) equipment - like wind farms and solar panels cost too much - the setup costs are too great to benefit.
                      2) less energy produced by these renewable methods and they take more time to be produced. Fossil fuels cause a great amount of energy to be produced quickly.

                      Nuclear Power - provides great amount of energy and is thought to be environmentally clean, - France used nuclear power and reported the cleanest air of any industrialised country (2007 programme 60 minutes)

                      Why not nuclear then?
                      Its Uneconomical and is a potentially dangerous energy source with a limited fuel supply, especially compared to renewable energy
                      Also a problem of storing radioactive waste, the potential for possibly severe radioactive contamination by accident or sabotage, and the possibility of nuclear proliferation. (however new technologies claim they can safely store the radioactive waste)

                      So here is a summary of the causes-----------------

                      Man Made: Carbon dioxide · Climate sensitivity · Deforestation · Global dimming · Global warming potential · Greenhouse effect · Greenhouse gases · Keeling Curve · Urban heat island

                      Natural: Cloud forcing · Glaciation · Global cooling · Ocean variability · Orbital variations · Plate tectonics · Radiative forcing · Solar variation · Volcanism

                      The effects-------------

                      Sea level rise · Glacier retreat · Climate change and agriculture · National Assessment on Climate Change · Economics of global warming · Shutdown of thermohaline circulation

                      Mitigation's------

                      Individual and political action on climate change
                      Kyoto Protocol: Clean Development Mechanism
                      Schemes: Emissions trading · Personal carbon trading · Carbon tax · Carbon offsets · Carbon dioxide sink (Carbon sequestration)
                      Energy conservation: Efficient energy use · Renewable energy · Renewable energy development · Soft energy path

                      ----What Can We Do Now----
                      We leave the politics to the politicians and we go for individual action, we can make a big difference if ALL of us take small steps and change our lifestyles
                      There are so many ways for example:
                      - in shopping ; buy energy efficient products
                      - use public transport instead of cars
                      - protecting forests, and plant new trees
                      - Use appliances with energy stars
                      - have a car with high petrol milage
                      - Use less animal products (rearing livestock contributes more greenhouse gases than all fossil fuel burning combined according to The United Nations' Food and Agriculture Organization )


                      Want more info visit http://www.campaign-green.co.uk/

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                        20.07.2007 20:49
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                        bad weather all round

                        Climate change is bad for everyone. Last week was summer. This week it is bloody wet summer. In most of Berkshire and Hampshire people are having problems with getting rid of the water. Roads were blocked, houses flooded. This strange pattern will repeat itself again and again over the course of next decade and it will get worse.

                        Who is to blame for this? I think it is the consumer lifestyle which we all like.

                        For future generations it will be far worse. We have to get used to this way of life.

                        In the past people had to leave some places because of winds and bad weather and no doubt this will continue to happen in the future.

                        It is a shame really because we can do very little to reverse the change in climate.

                        No matter how green we all get the weather is not going to change and more flooding is likely every few months.

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                          19.07.2007 00:10
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                          no scientifict proof

                          there is no scientific proof that the climate change is caused by man the climate has always changed and evolved i dont think there is anything much we can really do to slow down the process we shold alll live for the moment and should not always be told by the government that every thing we do is wrong they see it as a way of making money like the new car tax charges and reduced refuse colection

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                            07.07.2007 23:34
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                            dk

                            Some of the headlines.

                            Flooding in Yorkshire!!!!

                            Lake disappears in two months!!!!

                            Both of these headlines are blamed on climate change.

                            UK has seen wettest June since records began.

                            Global warming is happening, Glaciers are melting, temperatures are slowly increasing. These are all facts that nearly everyone agrees on but, BUT why is it that 56% of survey respondents by Mori in June doubted the big hoo-hah about climate change?

                            People don’t trust the government. Taxes in the name of turning green are latest way to claim money from the government. There is less danger of this country being flooded by the sea than people going hungry because of taxes to cover for green issues.

                            This is not the first time Earth has warmed up to an extent that glaciers are melting and glacier water is raising sea levels. Earth was warmer than this 150,000 years ago and it was warmer than today 500,000 years ago when Greenland was lush and green. Today it is covered in ice and in some places the ice is getting thicker. Does that mean climate change is not affecting this wasteland?

                            Climate change is a complex issue and it is not all caused by industrialisation. Earth goes through cycles of hot and cold. Ice age is due, it could start in next thousand years.

                            Bigger issue is desertification, loss of forests, lack of fresh water and increasing population which is using up all the resources.

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                              07.07.2007 18:41
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                              Whether you believe or not, if you make the wrong decision you may doom us all?

                              So live earth has arrived and is telling us all to get out of ours cars and take public transport, or, if you can, don't travel at all. Now it is very true that climate change will cause a huge problem for us. Epecially if you live in Holland, as you will eventually end up under several feet of water. However many people still believe that climate change is not man's fault. The atmosphere has been changing for millions of years, long before humans even existed. Which leads to the biggest question. Is it all our fault?

                              - Problems -

                              - The Green House Effect -
                              If you don't already no the greenhouse effect is as follows. The sun brings heat energy into our atmosphere, which then when it gets dark is mainly dispelled back out again. However The gases, from both natural and human sources, blocks the path of the leaving, gas trapping the heat. Then of course the next day this process reoccurs and the world slowly begins to heat up. This seems at first to be an obvious point to blame us on. We produce the gas so we are causing the process, but it isn't quite that simple. You see it's true man does create these gases, from cars, powerplants, ect, but we only actually create around 2-3%. So the obvious question is is this enough to ruin the atmosphere? Well the truth is despite what many people may tell you we aren't exactly sure. It's true it might be enough, but then, equally, it might not.

                              - Deforestation -
                              This one i'm afraid is definately our fault. We are cutting down far too many trees in the rainforests (at a rate of about 3 football pitches of rainforest a minute). This causes many problems. The most obvious of which is that the trees die. This in turn kills the animals that rely on them, due to lack of food or shelter. Another major problem is these plants absorb the gases that we release into the atmosphere, which then may destroy it. To add insult to injury many of the rainforest trees destroyed are burnt. During this the gases the tree has absorbed over its life are released creating a bigger problem still. These gases that aren't removed from the atmosphere also make the air less "clean" so it can cause breathing difficulties such as asthma.

                              - Global Darkening -
                              This is far less well known than the other problems I have pointed out. This comes under several different names : Global Dimming, Global Blackout and others. What this is though is once again related to gases. As I mentioned earlier gases are released into the atmosphere, by us and natural sources. Another effect of this though is it makes the world darker. This is a fairly new theory, but the basic idea is these gases the filter the sunlight making the world a darker place. This is also thought by some scientists to be reducing some of the effects of the greenhouse effect as it keeps the world cooler. Some have pointed out if we were to stop releasing greenhouse gases the effects of global darkening may be reduced, releasing the full effects of the greenhouse effect on the earth.

                              - Solutions -

                              - The Green House Effect -
                              The solution to this is fairly obvious. Stop releasing the gases. This, of course, is unlikely to happen as it world be political and economical suicide for any government trying to implement it. So it seems the only way we can reduce our emmisions is to make our technoligy more eco-freindly. This could mean using alternative fuels, or making cars and machinery more efficient.

                              - Deforestation -
                              It would be easy to say stop cutting down the trees, but unfortunately this is unlikely to happen. Many developing countries rely on cutting down their forests, to develop their economies. They cut down trees, which are then sold to more economically developed countries, to use for goods production. This helps them develop into wealthier countries. We can't blame them either we cut down all the major forests in Britain hundreds of years ago, for wood and to clear land for farming. The solution seems to be a half way house. Cut down only certain trees and when they are cut down, plant new ones in their place.

                              - Global Darkening -
                              This is the hardest one to resolve. Although the solution is the same as the green house effect, it is more complicated than that. As I mentioned earlier it may actually be keeping our climate cool. This in no way means we should keep emmiting gases, as eventually it will be dark all the time. So maybea gradual approach is necerssary. Caution must be taken to make sure its not too gradual though.

                              - Overall -

                              The main problem is political. Any country that follows the solutions advise given here would have a severe disadvantage over all others. So unless all countries go into this together it won't work. The big question is: What if all the countries in the world follow all these plans and the temperature keeps on rising? What if all the countries in the world spend all their money on putting all the emmisions down to zero and it makes no difference? That is the fundamental problem. All of this is just theory. In the end we all have to make up our own minds and act appropriately. I can suggest one thing though. Even if you are not convinced about it, try and reduce your emmisions anyway, because if you're wrong you may doom us all.

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                                17.01.2007 21:30
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                                future is bleak

                                Global variations in Earth's temperature and weather system is called climate change. In the past Earth has gone through cycles of climate change.

                                Early successful human history is linked to massive lakes which covered much of East Africa (origin of man). Apparently early man flourished around these lakes and as the lakes dried up resourceful humans spread to the other parts of the world. These lakes were created by climate change.

                                This suggests to me that contribution of human activity, particularly industrialisation of the world and materialism enjoyed by men and women may have created hotter Earth due to all the gases trapped in the atmosphere. However, I am beginning to think that human part in this story maybe overplayed as million years ago population of the world was less than population of this country and yet Earth was blowing hot. Water lakes in East Africa were result of peculiar climate that created a wet spot in that part of the world while the rest of Africa was dry.

                                The climate change is here. I am not complaining for the moment though because temperature in this country is increasing. The cold winters are no more, I don't like wet winters much, although given the choice I would prefer wet to cold.

                                My enthusiasm for hotter climate is tempered by bleak prognosis for next century as much of the world will be affected by dry climate. Lack of rains will be big problem for densely populated world. Whereas million years ago population of the world was in thousands now it is in billions and whereas before people could migrate to areas that suited them this time around that luxury eludes them.

                                I conclude by suggesting that the climate change is irreversible. It may be natural, it may have been caused by human activity. Nonetheless it is too late.

                                Millions will suffer in the later part of this century and obviously scarce resources will lead to numerous wars.

                                Taking everything into account I conclude that we are two minutes away from midnight of human history on this planet. Some one is going to use those nuclear weapons when there is little fresh water left.

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                                  17.01.2007 21:25
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                                  We ruined everything we might have had

                                  Being that apparently the trees, birds and other seasonal British wildlife have or are having problems with seasonal adjustment it seems to me that there is obviously something happening with regards to climate change.

                                  When I was young we were almost guarenteed a decent summer and the winters were far worse than we have had in recent years. My memory isn't perfect and in fact i might be having some kind of selective recall, but it does appear to me that we are not having as severe winters as we have had in the past, nor are the summer's anything to write home about. In fact it's pretty much the same all year with the exception of slightly higher temperatures in the summer and colder temperatures in the winter. The rain seems to be more even spread over the seasons as does the wind with the noted exception perhaps of the last few weeks.

                                  We may well have had the last of the grim winters we were used to encountering and we may well be looking at very hot summers, but the damage has been done and it is going to take some seriously serious changes to rectify the damage we have done. It's all seems so simple with hindsight, we shouldn't have done this and we should have done that, the fact still remains we made a big mistake and it is us and our animal friends that will have to face the consequences. Well maybe not so much us as perhaps a generation or two in front.

                                  I cannot see any easy quick fix solving the problem nor do I see any real effort being made by any government to serious attack the issue. They seem to be pussyfooting around the problem and trying all manner of quick fixes even talking about increases taxes in an effort to reduce CO2 emissions, all too little too late.

                                  The fate oof this glorious planet was in our hands and as per usual we jumped in with both feet and got well and truly burned, it's sad that only after something serious happens do we stand up and take notice, it is also such a pity we never look deep enough into anything before we stamp it as approved.

                                  Such is life I suppose

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                                  Global average air temperature near the Earth's surface rose 0.74 ± 0.18 °C (1.33 ± 0.32 °F) during the past century. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) concludes, "most of the observed increase in globally averaged temperatures since the mid-20th century is very likely due to the observed increase in anthropogenic greenhouse gas concentrations," which leads to warming of the surface and lower atmosphere by increasing the greenhouse effect.