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Showing posts from April, 2021

Time to wake up

  In preparation for this week I had a look through my notes file and found this paragraph: "Some people simply don't believe climate change is an important issue; they cite 'natural climate cycles' and point out that it has happened before and will again - no problem.   These people clearly cannot comprehend the variety of the timescales involved."   I read that and thought: "Yup - that should do it". It is true that there are many people who do not accept humanity's role in the current warming of the globe, some of whom, no doubt, are reaching for their email device of choice right now. My view on this is that while the planet undoubtedly goes through natural cycles of warming and cooling due to such effects as Milankovitch Cycles, the current warming is happening at such a rate as to place it well outside the scope of any hitherto observed natural cycles. How is it that there can be such disparate opinions on a subject which is apparently so well

It's tough being responsible

  At the dinner table last night the conversation turned to the pandemic and the observation was made that this time last year we were in Level 4 lockdown. There was a little bit of nostalgia for the family time that we enjoyed for that month, and we talked of the 'dinner wars' that we had. Each member of the family picked a recipe and, perhaps with a little help, produced the whole dining experience themselves, including table setting, decor, and dress code. The evenings were given a score out of ten by each person and my wife was the eventual winner with her three course French extravaganza.   Naturally the suggestion was made that we should do it again and so the recipe cards came out and there was debate over who should do what. Our family has increased by two in the last year so this time round will be a larger and more diverse affair, as we now have two meat eaters in the family - for whom we attempt to cater as respectfully as possible. My daughter suggested that she wou

How about an aviation tax?

  A study published last year concluded that half of the CO2 emitted by the global aviation industry is caused by flights taken by just 1% of the population. In the UK 70% of flights are taken by 15% of the population. And there are plenty of other statistics where those came from - all pointing to the conclusion that the wealthy few are responsible for the majority of aviation emissions, especially since it seems that private jet travel has quietly jumped in popularity since the decline of commercial international services due to Covid-19. A few rich people are subjecting all of the rest of the people to the climatic consequences of their jetset lifestyle. Of course whether or not we would happily enjoy that lifestyle if we could is another subject. What to do about this clearly inequitable situation? A popular opinion on this is that a flight tax would be a good idea: User pays. At first glance this would appear to be a fair solution. Well, if not a solution - an approach. But where

You don't convince me

  Oh dear. I appear to be stirring things up a bit. I'm guessing that there are are some people who accept mankind's role in the current degradation of the natural environment. They are just not writing to me as often as those who do not. What I find strange is that a few of these people appear to be labouring under the misapprehension that a few words, and not so few exclamation marks from them, will precipitate a 'Damascus moment' and I will begin immediately to write a column espousing the opposite view to the one I have presented here for some time. In fact one gentleman even expressed his eager anticipation to read my offering this week in which he fully expects that, having read his letter, I will declare that there is no such thing as human-induced climate change and all is well. This man said that if I have any 'conclusive proof' of man's involvement in climate change I was either to present it or stand aside and allow the truth to come forward. Two