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Climate Change

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default Climate Change

Post by polgara on 20th December 2009, 4:32 pm

As someone who tries to be at least a bit green I wanted to make a comment about Climate Change, but not in the other section.
We all know that the worlds climate has changed many times over the years with ice ages and warming. This has caused civilisation to move around from one place to another & the surface of the world to change.
I accept that global warming WILL happen again as will another Ice Age at some time.
I believe that man has contributed to this, but NOT caused it. However we could certainly help to contain it by cutting down on electricty, carbon emmissions etc.
Governments need to look things in a slightly different way.
How many walk down a High Street & find 90% of doors open, how many lights are left on 24/7. these may seem small ways to start but surely every little helps.
I hope I don`t seem stupid, but it is just how I feel when hear all the claptrap & money talk that comes out of places like Copenhagen. We are too materialistic in this world at the moment. bigthink
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Post by kennyr on 21st August 2010, 12:26 pm

Plenty of common sense here. It's all very fashionable to throw solar panels up and wind turbines all over the place but simple reduction could do just as much good.
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Post by Dandelion on 21st August 2010, 2:12 pm

Many of the young people I work with believe that what you own, or how much your parents earn, defines who you are. Talking to them you have a sense that they feel very vulnerable, and possessions are a kind of armour or protection. I wonder if money will become the new taboo subject eventually, or at least poverty will - not being able to admit that you haven't got enough. I think there's a direct link between this and living a more sustainable lifestyle, because you have to be prepared to live differently (not having a new car each year - not buying unneccessary clothes, for instance) and for some this will demand a complete change.
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Post by Compostwoman on 21st August 2010, 3:23 pm

I think there are many strands to this and yes reducing waste in its many forms has to be a major part of any attempt to reduce our energy consumption in the western world.

It appalls me to see shops with doors open and heaters blasting hot air over the open doorway, or offices ablaze with lights at night, when no one is working there.

I also think, if possible, that as much attention should be given, as we can, to our own personal energy consuption, by using less of it and using a renewable energy supplier, and/or a cost effective level of home generation .

Sadly, for it to actually be economic and worthwhile, one needs quite a large array of PV's, or a large turbine ( tiddly little ones on the end of houses in the suburbs don't really do much)

BUT solar thermal tubes are a very good way of reducing fossil fueled energy consumption and minimising Carbon Dioxide emissions.

I take the view that we have all made a huge difference to the climate by our collective conspicuous consumption of fossil fuels and anything we can do to try to mitigate CO2 emissions should be done.

Governments should, IMO be putting up arrays of PVs on "state owned" buildings and making it obligatory for large new buildings to have a renewable generation of electricity and hot water on the roof. just phasing out incandecant light bulbs isn't going to be enough,

But that is just my view.

I agree about the ownership of "stuff" somehow being linked to a person's status, nowadays.

I never bought into that, so I don't understand it...


Last edited by Compostwoman on 21st August 2010, 4:13 pm; edited 2 times in total

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Post by Dandelion on 21st August 2010, 4:07 pm

The problem with the whole money/status thing is that it gets in the way of major change. For instance, if it becomes 'trendy'/acceptable to have a wind turbine, then people will do it because it 'says' something about who they are rather than being a change made because it's helpful to the environment.
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Post by Compostwoman on 21st August 2010, 4:11 pm

Oh dear, does us having PVs and Solar make us trendy, then?

That will be a first, for me! Very Happy

Seriously, does it really matter, though , WHY people do it?

if it reduces carbon emisions I don't really care why they do it, a bit like composting, I would rather people did it because they realise it is a "good thing" but if I can only get them to do it by pointing out how much money they could save, and that is the only reason they do it...well the end result is the same...

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Post by Adrian on 21st August 2010, 4:14 pm

I've done a lot of thinking about consumerism of late and I have come to the conclusion that, as an entity, western civilisation is now a zombie culture. It is blundering blindly on, consuming everything in its path with no thought or ability to think or care about the consequences of its actions or the future.

I'm not sure that I have any remedy for this, as a species we have managed to become both supremely amazing and pants wettingly stupid.
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Post by Compostwoman on 21st August 2010, 4:18 pm

I also worry that so much of an emphasis is on buying stuff to make life greener...IMO what we should be aiming for is using less stuff and using renewable energy ( non nuclear) to power what we do use.


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Post by Dandelion on 21st August 2010, 8:34 pm

Compostwoman wrote:Oh dear, does us having PVs and Solar make us trendy, then?

That will be a first, for me! Very Happy

Seriously, does it really matter, though , WHY people do it?


I was really thinking that some people like the aspects of sustainability which look good (for instance the rash of MPs who have wind turbines) rather than being ready to make changes in their lives which are deeper and more radical.
But I do agree that if people make changes at all, even for what I might regard as the wrong reason, it's still better than not doing it

CW - you are really committed to what you believe; it's far more than skin deep! (But I'm on a knife edge here - if I say you're NOT trendy you might hit me!!)
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Post by Compostwoman on 21st August 2010, 11:36 pm

I actually quite like being NOT trendy..in a sort of "being so uncool, that I become cool" way?

I was actually trying to make a Joke about it. Rolling Eyes

perhaps I should just give up!

and I would never hit you Dandelion, I might stick you head first into a compost bin, but hit? Never.

Very Happy

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Post by Hairyloon on 22nd August 2010, 12:49 am

The thing is though, it does not matter that much whether or not the anthropogenic contribution to climate change is significant.
The undeniable facts are that there are over 6 billion people in the world, and the population is growing near exponentially; and the rate of energy consumption is growing very much exponentially, and already at a rate that vastly exceeds the global rate of energy sequestering.

Or put more simply, we are running off a finite amount of energy reserves.

If the climate change doomsayers are right, and we don't pull our fingers out, then we'll have catastrophic climate within a decade or two, and we are all doomed.

If the climate change doomsayers are wrong, and we don't pull our fingers out, then maybe it'll be another decade or so before we run out of fuel, and are unable to feed the population.

Rock or hard place? Makes not that much odds, but the solution to both problems is the same.
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Post by Adrian on 22nd August 2010, 1:19 am

Apparently, yesterday was Earth Overshoot Day, the day in the calendar when "humanity will has demanded an amount of ecological resources equivalent to what it takes nature 12 months to produce".

In other words, we collectively went overdrawn in terms of our environmental resources for this year on 21 August.
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Post by Guest on 22nd August 2010, 6:40 am

When cells in the body go exponential in their reproduction and forget how to die they call it cancer ...

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Post by Dandelion on 23rd August 2010, 9:35 pm

This is just a small, probably inconsequetial example, but I heard on Gardener's Question Time on Sunday that there is a current trend for buying artificial grass to lay instead of lawns. The reason for this is because the dry weather this year means that lawns are not so green. So people are willing to lay plastic fabric in their garden which has used up fuel and plastic to produce and transport, will not be recycled at the end of its life, will not take its place in any of nature's cycles, but will LOOK good. I began to wonder who writes the rules we are supposed to follow - who says that all grass has to be green, and you're less of a human being if its not?
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Post by Compostwoman on 23rd August 2010, 11:09 pm

They have done that at CG's school...that, for me ( and the retirement of my eco friendly teacher) was the beginning of the end...

PLASTIC GRASS! I mean, at a would be eco school? Rolling Eyes

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Post by Guest on 24th August 2010, 7:51 am

arrrggghhh !!! Roll on 2012 !!!

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default Re: Climate Change

Post by kennyr on 25th August 2010, 3:45 pm

Badger wrote:I've done a lot of thinking about consumerism of late and I have come to the conclusion that, as an entity, western civilisation is now a zombie culture. It is blundering blindly on, consuming everything in its path with no thought or ability to think or care about the consequences of its actions or the future.

I'm not sure that I have any remedy for this, as a species we have managed to become both supremely amazing and pants wettingly stupid.

A greater problem is that many other emerging countries with much larger populations China and Brazil for example are following similar patterns as ours at a much faster rate with potentially much greater impact on the already damaged ecology of our planet.
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Post by Wilhelm Von Rhomboid on 25th August 2010, 4:36 pm

Although people I know who live in China tell me that it is much more energy and sustainability conscious environment than over here.
A very good friend of mine sets up factories over there and says that the emissions controls and pollution controls are far tighter than in Europe.
I wonder how much of this 'China is building 3 coal fired power stations every hour' business is in fact just a smokescreen (hah! pun not intended till i wrote it) to cover our very poor performance here and in the US.
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Post by Compostwoman on 25th August 2010, 5:15 pm

Yes. I had wondered if the reason so much solar and PV kit was "made in china" was not JUST due to them wanting to sell us stuff, but also because they actually use a lot of the stuff, themselves.

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Post by Wilhelm Von Rhomboid on 25th August 2010, 6:14 pm

You think (not you, CW, but the generic 'you') that they have cornered the global market in manufacturing this stuff but don't twig the potential benefit for their own use?
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Post by Hairyloon on 25th August 2010, 7:03 pm

Wilhelm Von Rhomboid wrote:You think (not you, CW, but the generic 'you') that they have cornered the global market in manufacturing this stuff but don't twig the potential benefit for their own use?
It may be wishful thinking, but I think they are looking forward and know exactly what they are doing.
One of the advantages I suppose, of not having to mess about with all that tedious democracy stuff.
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Post by budburst12 on 25th August 2010, 7:05 pm

Yeah, I've heard similar about China - that yes, they are building coal fired power stations, but that the rate of their renewable installations is much more impressive than ours here and that on balance, they're streets ahead of us when it comes to being industrialised while cutting CO2 emissions.

But also - we don't hear all that much about the rest of europe here and compared to a lot of EU countries, the UK is pretty pants. Germany, Denmark, Sweden... much more ambitious stuff going on there and I just get the impression that taking big steps to make big changes is much more acceptable there than it is here.

The press has a lot to answer for in my opinion - the science is pretty rock solid to show that current climate trends are extremely worrying and definitely human caused, but with all the confusion that's been spread about by the press picking up on some cranky sun spot stories and all that rubbish, it's easy to see how that message isn't getting across. Grrrr Evil or Very Mad

But like you say HL - if we don't change because of climate change, we need to change because of other fuels running out (including nuclear) or because of other resources running short. Or simply because the simple life has so much more to offer than one filled with material wealth but with no space left for the things that really matter - friends, family, belly laughs, home made music, creativity... That's what I think anyhow.
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Post by Adrian on 25th August 2010, 7:20 pm

budburst12 wrote:

But like you say HL - if we don't change because of climate change, we need to change because of other fuels running out (including nuclear) or because of other resources running short.

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Post by kennyr on 25th August 2010, 8:46 pm

No one see an irony in transporting cheaper mass produced PV accross the globe when there are suitable solutions based on local climates being built in Northern Europe for the Northern European climate and conditions.

Globalisation will have to give way to some sort of localisation in the not to distant future.
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Post by Compostwoman on 25th August 2010, 9:03 pm

Wilhelm Von Rhomboid wrote:You think (not you, CW, but the generic 'you') that they have cornered the global market in manufacturing this stuff but don't twig the potential benefit for their own use?

No, lol!

I am actually impressed by the quality opf the stuff, it used to be that semiconductors from China were a bit carp, back in my day, but now....good stuff.

Good thing too, as most German stuff is used by their home market. Hence the "irony" kennyr refers to, that we can't get the good European stuff as it is kept for their home market, so if you want it, you tend to get forced to buy China.

I refuse to get into an argument about "renewable energy miles" from China , though...better to do SOMETHING renewable, in my book, than sit and bewail the fact that the German panals are not available until 2015 or whatever! (I also view the Chinese situation as vastly btter than it was and their embracing selling to the west, if from carefully checked out factories, may be a better thing than total communist isolation...but thats for another thread)

WE used to be really good at semiconductors (sigh) I know, I was in it... Mad I constantly feel "what a wasted opportunity"

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