We are no longer talking about “leaving something for our grandchildren” – we are talking about leaving anything at all for anybody! It should be clear by now that the Earth cannot support our lifestyle – either the lifestyle goes – or we do!
We will not receive any support from our governments. They are too busy falling in with the wishes of the business community, and are also afraid of not being reelected if they cause something very unpleasant. At the same time, they are busy chipping away at the last few freedoms we have left, with the intention of making control easier should things become “difficult”.
Governments also seem to have this bad habit of giving with one hand, and taking as much or more back with the other. They talk about meeting Carbon Dioxide reduction objectives, for example, and then sanction open-cast coal mining. See the article “The New Coal Age” at George Monbiot. This item was particularly bad, for it appears that local goverment was also part of the collusion!
We could blame our governments for all of the problems, but we should also blame ourselves for letting it get that far and saying nothing. If we are now unable to persuade our government to act in the interests of our continued survival, then the government has to go!
No, I am not preaching insurrection or anarchy, but I am suggesting that we ourselves are at fault for prolonging the agony in voting for them. Govenment derives its mandate from the electorate via the ballot, which is held every 5 years or so. If there is no vote for the goverment, there is no mandate. In some countries, voting is a legal requirement. In this case, it should be simple enough to write “No Suitable Candidate” on the ballot paper, and honour is satisfied.
So, if you can’t persuade your government of the error of its ways, refuse to vote at all – en masse! By all means go to the polling booth, and take grandma too, but don’t go inside. Hold your own meeting nextdoor, and issue a suitable statement, together with a certified record of all persons attending. This will prevent anyone from saying “low voter turnout” and ignoring the fact that they have no mandate. This must break the hold of the business community on our throats, and allow some sanity into the process. For there should be no mistaking the fact that
- “Business as usual will kill us all”
Next, go into “Scrooge Mode”. Don’t spend a penny when a halfpenny will do. Reduce your demands on the environment. Eat less, and simpler – its healthier for you anyway.
- Is your journey really necessary?
- Can you make one trip instead of two if you plan things properly?
- Can you share a vehicle with a friend, or group of colleagues?
- Can you go at a different time to avoid traffic holdups?
- Can you find a job closer to home?
- Better still, can you work from home?
- Can you manage with a more efficient car?
- Could you manage without a car at all?
- Do you have a bicycle?
If not, get one and use it whenever possible. In short, it is time to reevaluate our lives to see where we are being wasteful in terms of energy, and do something positive about it.
And remember, if you are spending an hour each day to get to work, and the same to get home again, that equates to about 6 weeks per year that you are not being paid for!
And now, a quick word about flying – Don’t!
Smoking may be bad for your health – that is your personal problem – flying is very bad for ours!
If you walk into a store to buy something, pick up an article and see “Made in China/Taiwan/Singapore/Korea on the packaging, reconsider your choice. If you purchase one of these articles, you are fuelling demand, and hence growth, in one of these countries. In all probability, this adds to the world’s pollution burden, and must be classified as negative. Instead of that, find out if you can buy the same article second-hand, or locally made. At least it doesn’t have to be transported halfway around the world – its there already.
The same with food. Find out what possibilities you have to buy from a local supplier. If you can, eat organic. It is not only healthier, but is also less load on the environment. And anything that reduces the power of the supermarket chains has got to be good. Don’t forget, the supermarket won’t be there forever, and you will be dependent on local suppliers of food anyway. Better support them now, and make sure they don’t go out of business before you need them.
Dig for victory! Grow your own food if at all possible. You don’t need a lot of land – go to Journey to Forever , and see what they have on square-foot and container gardening.
Paint all roofs brilliant white! This will in some small measure help to replace the loss of the reflecting surface from ice that has melted. The Earth’s albedo plays a critical part in its temperature balance, see George Monbiot’s article “A Sudden Change of State”, and if you can, look up also the reference to James Hansen, and read the document “Climate Change and Trace Gases”. Note:- Better make sure you are securely seated before you start reading this – it really is a shocker!
You may notice a few slogans from World War II creeping in here, (and yes, I am that old), but we are in fact at war at the moment, and they don’t seem at all out of place. The war is against our collective selves, and in particular our collective attitude that we can do whatever we like with our own planet. Well, let me enlighten you a little. It is not “our” planet – we only live here. If we are bad tenants, we will most certainly be evicted, and the manner will not be of our choosing!
Get active! Look around you and see what is happening in your own community/town. If there is something not to your liking, do something about it. Talk to a few friends and form a pressure group. If this isn’t enough, talk to a few more friends, go public on it, and swell the numbers. Sooner or later, people will have to start listening to you. They want to privatise your kids school? Don’t let it happen! Talk to other parents, teachers, other schools, get an opposition movement going, and block it. The government is not interested in your child’s education, but in perfecting their privatisation technique so they can wreak havoc more effectively in other countries. All this will come to an end soon anyway, so why should your child suffer for something that is ultimately meaningless?
Something bigger? Lobby your MP! Join a national movement. Start your own blog. Make it all public. Too long have governments perpetrated major coups against their own citizens with the shield of secrecy held before. National security is the usual excuse. Once the truth comes out, often years later, it is easy to see that the public has been successfully hoodwinked yet again by their own elected representatives.
Evaluate every proposal critically with the near future in mind. It is not very useful to extend Heathrow airport with a third runway, for example, when all three will be under water in about 20 years from now. The money would be far better invested in reclaiming land in say Yorkshire for growing crops, or for investment into alternative energy sources such as wind-power.
A tidal barrage in the Severn Estuary? Does it still work when totally submerged to a depth of 150 ft? I think that we can forget that one, and find somewhere better to use the money! Improving London’s flood defences will also prove to be about 140 ft short of the requirement – another exercise in futility. Be practical, and cut your losses.
Ultimately, when all acess to fossil fuels has been closed off, we will be left with only the daily energy received from the sun. It has to be enough! Our task is to make the best use of it that we can, either in its direct form as radiation, or in an indirect form such as wind and wave-power. And we need to do this while we still have the resources available.
It must be emphasised that anything we can do now, immediately, will have far more benefit than doing the same thing in twenty years time. For the last 200 or so years we have been pumping Carbon Dioxide into the atmosphere, and stripping the Earth of its resources. We have a lot of catching up to do, and only a little time to do it!
On a global scale, it wll be necessary to implement Carbon Sequestration to replace the loss of our Carbon Sinks, for although our polluting days will be over, there is no other visible mechanism to return the panet to its normal state. This process must be powered exclusively from solar energy to have any value at all.