Global Warming/ Global Warning

  realist 10:54 15 Sep 2006

Global warming is back in the headlines.

So what will you be doing to reduce your carbon emissions?

In truth, is there really anything the UK can do by itself that will effectively reduce global emissions? After all, if UK reduces by "x" amount and China, India or wherever increase by "x" amount or more that equals nil effect.

I have just bought a low emission car, but mainly to take advantage of the cheap car tax.

  Al94 11:09 15 Sep 2006

Anything we do in UK is pretty meaningless although worthwhile. It's the likes of USA and China where the focus needs to be.

  Legolas 12:55 15 Sep 2006

Al94 as you say if the US and China do nothing about their carbon emissions then anything we do will make little difference also many people when they see the way the US ignores the problem feel it gives them the right to do the same.

  DrScott 13:13 15 Sep 2006

what you need to do is a put a big lid on all the volcanoes, and stop the siberian permafrost from melting - the carbon emissions from the permafrost alone is 2 - 3 times that of the total global emissions per year!

  DieSse 13:28 15 Sep 2006

With China planning to build some 130 new coal-fired power stations, and Indias population slated to be bigger than Chinas by the middle of the century (and wanting their own increase in power generation capacity) - anything the UK does is the equivalent of spitting into the wind and committing economic suicide at the same time.

Technology is what will solve the problem of running out of oil. Fusion Power will (eventually) make carbon based power stations obsolete. Global warming we'll have to adapt to, because it's going to happen like it or not.

Investing in inventing, producing and selling technologies and products to solve the fuel/power problems is the best bet for any sensible country, who will likely then enhance their economies rather than killing them by utterly pointless restrictions.

  ade.h 15:07 15 Sep 2006

"Global warming we'll have to adapt to, because it's going to happen like it or not."

What a negative, defeatist attitude.

  DieSse 15:24 15 Sep 2006

You're assuming there is something that humans could do to change things in the current situation. Even if we could all transition back to the stone age, there's going to be global warming - it's a process that happens to the Earth - happened before and will happen again.

Even if humans have exacerbated or accelerated the process this time around, I don't think it's defeatist to think there's anything at all reasonable we could do to stop it. We'd be better off being realistic and putting money into coping with the effects.

Northern Europe has been virtually uninhabitable before - it's sheer hubris to expect it never to happen again. It'll take pots of money and effort to cope with such climate changes - it would be sheer madness to wreck economies with ill-thought out and ineffectual measures when we're going to need massive investment in new technologies to cope with both climate change and running short of current fuel sources.

  ade.h 15:34 15 Sep 2006

You don't need to tell me about the planet's enviromental cycle, DieSse, but mankind is currently doing a lot of damage over and above the natural changes. We all know and accept that, even that Bush numpty. It is this that needs to be changed over the next ten years if we are to avoid making the problem much worse. Mankind has survived through many millenia of cycles, but this is the first time in this planet's history that a significant artificial influence has been brought to bear on it. Ultimately, wealth and economic prosperity is not the only, or even the primary, consideration if we do too much damage as a consequence.

  DieSse 16:14 15 Sep 2006

OK - I volunteer you to convince the Chinese and Indians not to build any more power stations, and the South Americans not to chop down any more forests!

I think you've missed my points -

nothing the UK does will affect things one jot.

the developing nations are vanishingly unlikly to sign up to not developing any more.

the world will need the economic and inventive powers that the industrialised world can bring to bear on the issues.

King Canute readily demonstrated to his nobles that he couldn't control the tide - let's not fall into the trap of emulating his nobles by calling for tide control when it isn't going to happen.

  ade.h 16:17 15 Sep 2006

Tides are inanimate objects, and cannot therefor be persuaded. Humans can be persuaded, DieSse. Except, perhaps, for your good self, so I will leave it there and we will agree to disagree, before I suffer the same headache that Kate B and the FE have no doubt previously experienced.

  oresome 18:06 15 Sep 2006

I agree with a lot of what DieSse writes.

The world at present revolves around expanding economies.

I don't expect developing nations to curtail their economic progress for one minute and the developed nations won't saddle themselves with such restrictions that they fall behind economically.

Perhaps when the climate changes create some really large displacements of people and we have a war or two as a consequence, attitudes may change.

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