Cruise to the North Pole!
Three cheers for Extinction Rebellion even if, as I believe, their impact will be less than they would hope for. Bringing London to a halt when MPs are in Recess won’t inconvenience those whose votes matter when it comes to radicalising our climate change agenda. For most MPs climate change is just another policy matter, to be jumbled in with whatever else is going on. At the moment, the only thing they’re wound up about is Brexit – which compared to climate change is little more than a fleabite (with climate change of course that flea in the future may well deliver something very nasty, beyond the control of the ‘take back control’ mob and their border police). Climate change is still something which will only appear important when it bashes you on the head, by which time it really will be too late. It is already, in my view too late to stop climate change, it has after all, already started. On this subject I am little more than a cracked record. There are some good news stories out there, there is more awareness, the cost of producing renewable energy is falling dramatically and even Trump can’t stop U.S. city mayors and others signing up to the Paris agreement (which sadly, in itself is fairly useless). The trouble – as I see it – is the feedback mechanisms which nature has kindly set in train, which is to say that, e.g. the disappearing Arctic ice cap, with its white reflective surface can no longer prevent the heating of the water below, which absorbs more heat because it is dark. It is to say that the melting permafrost is already (not maybe sometime in the future) releasing huge quantities of methane, a more potent greenhouse gas than CO2. It is to say that the oceans, because of their excessive absorption of CO2 will lead to their acidification, leading to a large scale reduction as a consequence of much of the human species source of protein. It is to say that despite our best (ha!) efforts since Kyoto, global human CO2 emissions rose again last year.
I’ve often thought that hubris is the politician’s worst enemy. But politicians are only human. We’re all guilty. If Extinction Rebellion punctures that protective ring of hubris, good for them. They’re fighting massive, if not insuperable odds. To keep up to speed with what's happening in the climate changing world, keep an eye on the Daily Climate. It's the Book of Revelation.
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