No more doom and gloom please Paul

November 27th, 2009

Paul Kingsworth, writing in the Guardian, Wed 25th November 09, is dispondent about the prospects of the Copenhagen Summit. He speaks of false hope, comparing the potential Copenhagen Treaty to that of Chamberlain’s Munich Agreement (that heralded peace in ’38).

I must admit that the pitiful 17% reduction in emissions by 2020 mooted by Obama made my heart sink, and did not instil great faith in me that there is any real political will to implement measures that are significant enough to slow climate change.

However, if we agree with Kingsmith, that our human society is about to experience ‘a painful decline after a period of over-expansion’ then we almost give carte blanche to the lack of political action by our leaders….

We need to have some faith that our own concerted efforts to prevent our world getting hotter than mojave will have an impact, because if we dont we may as well give up now, build plastic houses, heat them with coal, drive diesel fuelled 4x4s and live on palm oil and blue fin tuna.

We need to have hope if we are to be motivated to act. Shouting ‘we are all doomed’ achieves worse than nothing.

Big Brands with a carbon conscience

November 27th, 2009

Dear Barclays, Sky, RBS and British Gas,
Why are you failing to reduce carbon emissions at a time when planet Earth is fragile and needs the concerted efforts of all those with money, power and influence?

Dear Google, Amazon, eBay and facebook,
Just because you operate in the immaterial, existing only on our screens, doesnt mean that you are exempt from reducing your carbon emissions; You who, encourage our daily energy use and consumption…

Dear Harvey Nichols, Chanel,
Your higher quality brand status does not elevate you above the very real and gritty issues of climate change.

Dear Tesco, T-Mobile, Dell and BMW,
Well done for appearing to recognise the importance of the issue, for reducing your emissions. But please done get complacent, and PLEASE make sure that real targets are set and met (as we know how easily big companies can manipulate data now, dont we?).

If companies want to have resources to trade and consumers to buy goods in future, then they will have to commit to long-term environmental measures, in place of short term profit.

Source: Brand Emissions, 2009, University of Edinburgh, ENDS, Carbon Brand Republic.

Planes and climate change

September 9th, 2009

aeroplaneHaving a brother who lives in New Zealand, I battle regularly with the impact of flying to visit my sibling. Price and distance means that a visit is unlikely more than every four years, and in the interim we tend to take staycations. Flying by the Good Green Gifts household is a rare event (deliberately may I add). Nonetheless, even as an infrequent flyer, I do fear the consequences of the impact that my family visits will have…

BUT today we learn that the Climate Change Committee is suggesting that we make domestic emission CO2 cuts of 90% in the overall economy by 2050 in order to enable us to continue to fly in the somewhat excessive way that we do…

This seems ridiculous. Surely we simply need to fly less? How can the volume of flying undertaken currently be in any way acceptable if we are to avoid catastrophic climate change?

We need a brave Government who is prepared to think about the future of planet Earth, rather than imanent election or re-election, to make policy that encourages us to do this…

Surely we cannot keep on kidding ourselves that making cuts in emissions in some areas earns us the right to continue to pollute in others?