SusKes on Climate Change 4 - SO WHAT CAN WE DO?
Severe climate change is NOT inevitable if mankind works together to secure its future. We need to:
Reducing Fossil Fuels: The main problem is that, if we stopped using fossil fuels without enough alternative sources of energy, we could find ourselves returning to the standards of living centuries ago. So we need to use some fossil fuels – the minimum possible –while other energy sources grow and take over.
The fossil fuel that is least bad is gas. Coal should no longer be used. So gas is probably the least bad choice if fossil fuels have to be used to bridge the gap while alternatives are being developed.
Alternative energy sources: We must get our energy from technology that doesn’t produce carbon dioxide. Examples are: wind, solar, hydroelectric, nuclear (thorium produces less waste but needs to be developed), fusion, wave. Carbon capture removes CO2. Most of these depend on Government support.
Use Energy more carefully: More energy efficiency. Examples are vehicles with lower fuel consumption, sharing journeys, using buses and trains, buying locally. Electric cars will become more common. Energy efficient homes and places of work with really effective overall insulation and efficient heating and appliances will minimise energy consumption.
Each of us needs to reduce our ‘carbon footprint’, the amount of carbon dioxide we cause to be released.
Worldwide: Climate change is a problem which affects us all. There appears to be general agreement that a solution on the lines described above is the way to proceed.
The last worldwide climate change conference (Copenhagen) agreed a target maximum increase in overall world temperature but sadly failed to agree on how this should be achieved or policed. The next big conference will be in Paris in 2015. The recent UN Warsaw climate conference is reported to have ended with a foundation for global agreement.
Governments must stimulate energy production that doesn't produce carbon dioxide. Politicians and governments tend to think and act short term. They should be encouraged to think longer term. We need to support them in doing what is needed to protect our world. We can do this by contacting our members of parliament or Members of European Parliament directly. Or we can join local sustainability groups, or contact online pressure groups (examples are 350. org at www.350.org, also 10:10 at www.10:10.global/uk or the Centre for Alternative Technology, www.cat.org.uk).
Clyde Mitchell, Chairman, SusKes
Main source: "The Burning Question' by Mike Burners-Lee & Duncan Clark