Hard not to feel that we're doomed......

  tammer 11:56 14 Nov 2009

click here

I'm sorry to be so pessimistic and I'm sure this forum will have covered this issue before, but I was saddened by this article on the front page of The Times this fine morning.

It's been argued to death, but how can anyone believe that humans are not having a detrimental effect on the planet? Just read "Return to Jupiter" to see what I mean.

If there were 6 billion whales on the planet, would there be adverse consequences? 6 billion tigers or elephants? Well why not us?

  john bunyan 12:22 14 Nov 2009

Yes , the "elephant in the room" in hunger, global warming, extinction of species, destruction of rain forest etc is the huge increase in the world population. In many countries the population growth exceeds the capacity to increase food production. I read somewhere that the UK , to be self sufficient, should have a population on no more than 30 million. Of the big countries only China (with much criticism on human rights) has a realistic population control. Until this issue is put at the top of every country's agenda, however unpopular it may be with church leaders, etc.,I see no chance of the situation improving. How this could be done is a huge and maybe impossible question.

  peter99co 12:24 14 Nov 2009

The high level of scepticism underlines the difficulty the Government will have in persuading the public to accept higher green taxes to help to meet Britain’s legally binding targets.

Probably because of all the other taxes introduced by this government. By stealth, smoke and mirror etc.

  PalaeoBill 01:16 15 Nov 2009

Science has been twisted for political and financial ends over recent years on various subjects. There have been numerous deliberate acts of misinformation, particularly with respect to climate change and we have reached the point where the general public distrust the government, science and scientists. The subject isn't helped by the media who seem incapable of distinguishing between 'Climate Change' and 'Global Warming', no matter how many times scientists complain. The former is what is happening (measured fact), the latter is one of the theories that attempts to explain it (a theory that says humans are the cause). The headline from the Times article is thus asinine.
A good site for information on the misinformation is: click here

It is no wonder the general public have become sceptics. Perhaps the government should play devils advocate and become deniers, tell us we have nothing to worry about. Then perhaps people would disbelieve them; then the Earth might stand a chance.

  bremner 08:52 15 Nov 2009

Climate change is a naturally occurring event - fact.

Man is polluting the planet - fact.

Is mans pollution of the planet enhancing climate change - debatable.

  Forum Editor 09:05 15 Nov 2009

they can successfully get the human race to do the right thing without personal benefit is living in a dream world."

That's the whole problem in a nutshell.

I feel pretty certain that most of us have, at some point done something which goes against the ethos of 'saving the planet', and have justified it to ourselves by saying 'The planet can survive without my tiny bit of help'. We all tend to set ourselves up as judges of what is necessary in terms of personal sacrifice, and we act accordingly. When we talk of saving the planet we have a vague idea of what's going on, but the truth is that nobody fully understands the complex causes of changes to the environment, or the effects of such changes down the line.

What we do know is that we are polluters on a grand scale, and we know that isn't good as far as all living organisms are concerned. Wealthy western nations like ours feel quite justified in criticising expanding economies like China for being serious polluters, conveniently overlooking the fact that when we were expanding our empire the industrial revolution in this country was responsible for appalling pollution.

My son's girlfriend is a delegate at the forthcoming Copenhagen Climate Conference. She attends such conferences all over the world, and says the problems are always the same - entrenched attitudes, conflicting theories, and an almost maniacal adherence to conflicting beliefs on the part of many scientists get in the way of constructive discussion.

  Snec 09:19 15 Nov 2009

And your son's girlfriend travels to these conferences all over the world by plane. Does she sometimes wonder if her net contribution to the planet is positive or negative?

Of course, here I go assuming again.
She may swim, I don't know.

  bri-an 09:35 15 Nov 2009

It seems ridiculous in this era that these 'conferences' on climate change cannot take place via communication links.
Why do all these 'leaders' (and their numerous advisors etc) have to travel the world to speak to each other?
Surely defeating the purpose.

  Forum Editor 10:44 15 Nov 2009

A bit silly that, but if it makes you happy....

Of course she flies, how else would she get to these places?

As for net contributions to the planet, that's impossible to quantify. She's personally involved in an initiative that's shortly going to make a very considerable contribution as far as the UK food industry is concerned, but I'm not able to explain about that here. She does think about the carbon footprint as far as the flights are concerned, but she has no choice if she's going to attend. The organisation she represents is very active in the environmental protection business, and they obviously feel that the gain is worth the pain, or presumably they wouldn't send her.

  Forum Editor 10:50 15 Nov 2009

You're not alone in wondering about the huge cost of transporting and accommodating world leaders and teams of advisers to these conferences, but it would be impossible to conduct such events via satellite links.

At a major conference there may be dozens of discussions taking place between various delegates and government officials from many countries, and people need to be able to work spontaneously, sometimes moving from one meeting to another, and then another in the same day.

Setting all that up remotely would be a logistical nightmare, and when people are away from their everyday working environment they are more likely to be able to focus on the issues being discussed - no distractions.

  Kevscar1 12:15 15 Nov 2009

The world has been through massive climate changes before. No one has yet proved that this is not what is happening again.
Man maybe hastening it but if it is an act of nature their is nothing we can do to stop it.

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