Climate clock ticking and time is running out

By Mid-Devon Advertiser in

JOAN HAVEMANN, of

Palk Close, Shaldon, writes:

I share Cllr Gordon

Hook’s dismay at President

Trump’s withdrawal from

the Paris Accord.

I’m truly sorry, John

Moore (letters, June 16), but

much as we might not like it,

these are not alternative facts

or wild theories – climate

change is real and is happening

now and the role of fossil

fuel use in changing our

climate is beyond dispute.

The response to climate

change, from national governments,

local authorities,

and multinational companies

heavily invested in fossil

fuels and/or promoting

industrial agriculture with

massive inputs of fossil fuels

and petrochemicals, has

been woefully inadequate.

Costing the planet valuable

time, big business has

suppressed information and

funded disinformation

instead.

Shell, for example,

ignored its own Climate of

Concern film of 1991 for 26

years, and continued to

lobby against climate action

while investing in highly

polluting tar sands).

Many people (and companies)

who are aware of climate

change either don’t

want to think about it or

want to deny that it’s happening,

because the problem

seems so overwhelming,

insoluble or too costly to

solve.

That’s understandable.

However, massive recent

progress in clean technologies,

including solar, wind

and new technologies for

storing energy, has completely

changed what was

until recently a total ‘doom

and gloom’ scenario

(www.theguardian.com/envi

ronment/2017 /jan/19/reasons-

to-be-cheerful-fullswitch-

low-carbon-energyin-

sight and Chris Goodall’s

weekly blog, Carbon Commentary

newsletter).

Let’s look at the glimmers

of hope coming from China

and India. China – motivated

as much by health-destroying

air pollution in its cities

as by the need to avert climate

catastrophe – has not

only scrapped plans for

another 100 coal power

plants but also made huge

investments in renewables,

committing in January this

year to investing another 2.5

trillion yuan, and creating 13

million jobs in the renewables

sector, by 2020

(http://uk.reuters.com/ artic

l e / u s - c h i n a - e n e r g y -

r e n e w a b l e s - i d

UKKBN14P06P).

India is also making huge

strides in reducing its

dependence on fossil fuels (

h t t p s : / / w w w. n y t i m e s .

com/2017/05/22/opinion/par

is-agreement-climate-chinaindia.

html).

Yet, it’s true, the climate

change clock is ticking, and

time is fast running out.

So what can we do here,

as individuals or together?

We can insulate our

homes; cut down on unnecessary

consumption (of

everything!); buy locally;

grow some of our own food

if possible; invest in community

energy schemes and the

like; participate in the Transition

Town movement; and

encourage our banks and

pension funds to divest from

fossil fuels.

Also, as citizens living in

a democracy, we can lobby,

lobby, lobby for the removal

of Government subsidies to

fossil fuels ( www.independent.

co.uk/ environment/fossil-

fuel-firms-billion-pounduk-

state-subsidies-oil-gasfirms-

leak-climate-changee

n v i r o n m e n t -

a7690966.html).

We can also lobby for

onshore wind power, which

is for very good reasons

popular with 73 per cent of

the population

(https://1010uk.org/articles/b

lown-away-polling).

We are in this together,

and together we can help

create a brighter, healthier

and safer future for our –

and all – children, but only if

we take action now.

And if anyone out there

still thinks climate change is

a hoax, isn’t it worth investing

in clean technologies

purely for the sake of ‘clean’

job creation and healthier

air, water, soil and people?

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