Saturday, 12 December 2009

What Are You Doing To Save The Planet?

I was watching the news the other day and the Copenhagen conference came up. Seems to me we need drastic measures to be taken soon if the world isn't going to be come a pretty grim place in a generation or two. Now if it the weather patterns change to the point being suggested and people begin to starve or their homes get washed away some time after 2050 then it really doesn’t concern me as I probably wont be around then. But future generations are going to say some nasty things about me, like why didn’t I do something to stop emitting all the greenhouses gases entering the atmosphere and making life more or less intolerable for those who manage to be born any time after 2050. I mean it isn’t as if I didn’t know it was going to happen, back in 1347 no one knew the Black Death was about to enter Europe and kill half the people living there and even if the did there was not much they could have done about other than pray. But I can do something about the present problem. And I do, I switch the TV off at night, no stand by for me. I only fill the kettle up with just enough water, saves on the fuel bill as well as saves the planet. I take a bag with me to the shops, no free plastic bag for me. I don’t drive a car 2 miles to the shops and back when I could walk, I haven’t got a car that‘s why.

Thinking about cars I remember something suggested in the 70s when we all believed petrol was about to run out. Each car would have a number, between 1 and 5, displayed prominently front and back. Monday would be Day 1 Tuesday Day 2 through to Friday Day 5 Saturday would be Day 1 Sunday Day 2 Monday Day 3 and so on for ever. If you had 3 on your car you couldn’t drive it on any Day 3. If you did it would go in the crusher. Your driving licence would be stamped with the same Day number as your car and if you bought an other car it would have the same Day number. This would reduce the greenhouse gases produced by the car by 20%. That sounds pretty good to me. But there is a snag. There always is. Can you see Gordon Brown or Berack Obarma or that nice Mr Rudd or any other world leader going on their National TV and explaining this to the car driving public? And wining the next election.

Now there was an other TV program later on that evening dealing with the same subject which mention that car emissions only amounted to 15% of all greenhouse gases. So the drastic measure I have outlined here, that of giving up the use of your car for 2 days a week would only reduce the total carbon dioxide going into the atmosphere by 5%. It would do nothing to actually reduce the CO2 that is already there. Now I know there is new technology on it’s way that will produce cars that don’t have internal combustion engines. How long will it take until every internal combustion engine in the world is switch off for ever? Ten years?

But that isn’t the point, if a draconian measure like the one I suggested with the disruption to the western world’s life style would have such a negligible effect then what sort of effect would any conceivable effective measure have on us? And would we be prepared to put up with it to save a world that many of us wont be around to see?

There has been talk of emails that have been passed between scientists that global warming sceptics are saying prove that it's all big a lie. I hope it is but some how I doubt it.


Lord Hutton said...

I hate the Sky blurb that says put in on Stand-by. Ridiculous rubbish.
I also dont have a car and all my lightbulbs are low energy. As an individual there is a limited amount we can do. It really is up to governments to make the big cuts.

Barmy Fred said...

It's all very honourable, saving energy for future generations and saving money now. We all benefit from this, now and in the future, and it is a valid cause.

Time will tell what the cause of changing Carbon Dioxide levels in the atmosphere is, and what the effect of these changes are - but 'man made climate change' isn't a certainty by any means, despite what we are 'told'.

Sniff around the internet, consider your own experience of the weather over the last decade or so (for example, how do you think the summer weather has been recently compared to 20 years or 10 years ago?), bear in mind that there is an awful lot of government income rising on 'green taxes' and decide for yourself.

Don't just fall for the "we're doomed" line without serious thought, whatever you do.

Dave said...

Its good that you are concerned and trying to do your bit Dave but I agree with Barmy Fred on this topic. - Dave

David said...

I'm 66 years old and most of my childhood winters were spent either hudled round a fire or having snowball fights. Now it must be 25 years since there has been enought snow to make a snowball never mind a snowman. In my life time it has got warmer even if last summer was wetter than I would have liked it was also warmer than most of the fifties and sixties.

Time will tell.

Taxi Driver said...

Barmey Fred, a good name if you still think Global Warming is a gimmick to collect more taxes. Time will tell but if we wait until time does tell it will tell us in a such violent manner what will be left of the human race will be to busy just surviving to be able to do much about it. Personally I agree with David, we're screwed.

Dave said...

This winter in NZ was very cold and wet and lasted about 8 months. A friend of ours who lives in Manchester say they haven't had a decent summer for many years. Global warming - yeah right! - Dave