Saturday, 29 March 2008

Some thoughts on Climate Change

If you have seen Al Gore's film, An Inconvenient Truth - as 40 or so of us did last night in the Old Wesleyan Chapel on St Mary's, then you may well be feeling overwhelmed by the whole issue of Climate Change. The scale of the problem is huge and, if we carry on as we are at the moment, the consequences could be very severe for us and for the planet we rely on for life.

The most worrying part of Climate Change for Scilly are potential sea level rises. Ice melt in polar regions is happening much faster than previously predicted and this could result in huge sea level rises globally. Can you imagine how a 2 metre rise in sea levels would affect these islands in as little as 20 years time?

What matters is our personal and collective response to a changing climate. Al Gore talks about the mental shift that occurs often in people, from denial to despair. There is however a middle ground, a way forward that offers hope for the future and for humanity.

Everyone is responsible for varying amounts of greenhouse gas emissions, and therefore we can all do something about it. It may or it may not be too late to prevent the worst effects of Climate Change, but we have received a wake-up call and it is simply immoral not to react. Perhaps you don't want to do anything because some other people aren't doing anything either.

Moral issues should be upheld as a responsible way of living and a social standard. The vast majority of the population abide by the law, despite the fact that a very small minority break the law. Action on Climate Change should be taken in the same light.

So, here's how to start. Work out your carbon footprint here.

Then work out the easiest and cheapest ways to reduce your carbon footprint, as quickly as possible, here. After a few weeks of your lower-carbon lifestyle, re-measure your carbon footprint and see how well you've done.

Simple. Shouldn't be too painful - and certainly a lot less painful than seeing houses and public spaces go under feet of sea water in the not-too-distant future...

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