“Flash, I love you but we only have fourteen hours left to save the earth”.
What has this unforgeable quote from “Flash Gordon” , the 1980 film, to do with CC? Everything, as in a peculiar way it presaged the present climate change crisis and, further, its extravagant hyperbole has a depressingly large element of the truth for our modern world.
people, with noticeable exceptions, recognise that the world’s
climate change is accelerating dramatically, which will impact
catastrophically on all living creatures. “Yes I know this”, I
hear you say, “but what can I do on my own when global action is
required?” Despite the gloom of not enough global action and the
usual political approach to difficult problems of “kicking the can
down the road” and leaving the mess for future generations things
are beginning to move, so don’t be too despondent you can do more
than you might think and help to save help the world.
blog sets out briefly the problem, some of what’s going on, simple
actions you can undertake, as an individual, to reduce pour impact on
an a bit about carbon
offsetting. For more detailed information on CC
blog item June 2019, “Can
I reduce my carbon footprint?
Impact of Climate Change
is altering the fundamental fabric of the earth itself, the
composition of the atmosphere and the oceans. Although we’ve have
know about this for some time with the early science dating back over
a century, it is the knowledge of the extent and speed of these
changes which is new and frightening. Svante
Arrhenius, the pioneering Swedish scientist in 1896, first estimated
the scope of climate warming from widespread coal burning: the
Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change was established by WHO in
late 1988, after when the “greenhouse effect” enter the
international spotlight. The first International Panel on Climate
Change was established in 1990, and climate assessments was published
every five or six years. The major reports of the last two years has
had massive influence – (Wikipedia).
is and will continue to affect all living creatures, animals, insects
plants and other organisms from the large to the minute: –
climate belts: temperatures and rainfall; up, down, less and more,
and more frequent major events;
the amounts of CO2,
greenhouse gases and atmospheric pollution;
extreme weather: hurricanes, tornadoes, typhoons and thunder storms;
of ice in the Arctic and Antarctic, Greenland (more ice mass has
been lost this year since records began), and glaciers world-wide;
sea levels, altering of salinity;
habitats for all living creatures, animals and plants.
blog item June 2019
2016 Paris Agreement’s
long-term goal is to hold the increase in global average temperature
to below 2 °C above pre-industrial levels; and to limit the increase
to 1.5°C, which would substantially reduce the risks and effects of
climate change. Also included were: –
limit the amount of greenhouse gases emitted by human activity to
the same levels that trees, soil and oceans can absorb naturally,
beginning at some point between 2050 and 2100.
review each country’s contribution to cutting emissions every five
years so they scale up to the challenge.
rich countries to help poorer nations by providing “climate
finance to adapt to climate change and switch to renewable energy.
The UK’s Committee on Climate Change 2018 seeks progress in the reduction of UK emissions of greenhouse gases within 7 main areas: Economy-wide progress, Power, Buildings, Industry, Transport, Agriculture and land use, land-use change and forestry, Waste, and Fluorinated gases – (F-gases). It has 4 clear messages: –
- Support the simple, low-cost options;
- Commit to effective regulation and strict enforcement;
- End the chopping and changing of policy
- Act now to keep long-term options open
Greta Thunberg the 16 year old climate activist has spend two-weeks crossing the Atlantic on a solar-powered yacht attend “Climate Week NYC”, which will take place from September 23 to 29. The event is run in coordination with the United Nations and the City of New York, and seeks to continue to grow as the time and place for the world to showcase climate action and discuss how to do more. The number of events at this years Climate Week run by The Climate Change Group,  the international non-profit organisation focused on accelerating climate action, are growing and are set to far exceed the 150 events of 2018.
April, activists around the world took to the streets to demand that
global leadership take climate change seriously. Protesters near
Manhattan’s City Hall; traffic blocked in Germany; streets in the
Hague’s ’doused with fake blood. In London, Extermination
Rebellion activists have glued themselves to trains, attached
themselves to fences, and blocked the city’s busiest traffic routes
and in Bristol and Manchester. This disruption aims to get the U.K.
government to declare a climate emergency, reach net-zero greenhouse
gas emissions by 2025, and form a Citizen’s Assembly on Climate and
Ecological Justice. On May 1 2019, the House of Commons declared the
world’s first ever “climate emergency.” The
Government has since launched its Strategy to cut emissions to zero
by 2050, but nothing on the policies and funding to achieve this
footprint and carbon offsetting
carbon footprint is defined by the total amount of CO2
and greenhouse gases that you produced, directly and indirectly, by
your activities. It is usually expressed in equivalent tonnes of CO2
generated by your lifestyle, heating, travelling by plane or car
particularly using fossil fuels, the food you eat, the clothes you
ware, the water you use and how you dispose of your waste.
is a way to compensate for your emissions of
or other greenhouse gases, measured in tonnes, by
funding a saving elsewhere.
tree is estimated to remove about 7 tonnes of CO2
therefore, about 5 billion trees per year need to be planted to meet
current emission levels.
are two markets for carbon offsets. In the larger, international
compliance market, companies, governments, or other entities buy
carbon offsets to comply with caps
the total amount of CO2
emitted. In the much smaller, voluntary market, individuals,
companies, or governments purchase carbon offsets to mitigate their
greenhouse gas emissions from transportation, electricity use, and
other sources. For example, an individual might purchase carbon
offsets to compensate for emissions caused by personal air travel.
Carbon offset vendors offer direct purchase of offsets, often
offering other services such as designating a carbon offset project
to support or measuring a purchaser’s carbon footprint – (Wikipedia).
Each offset, equal to one tonne of CO2, sells for about £9 to £11 per credit, depending on market rates. According to the Guardian Newspaper, a typical British family would pay around £45 to neutralise a year’s worth of gas and electricity use, while a return flight from London to San Francisco would clock in at around £20 per ticket. Drive 15,000 miles per year, fly 50,000 miles and stay in hotels four weeks a year, your carbon emissions, according to the Mercy Corps (a global team of humanitarians), come to more than 16 tonnes, which could be offset with a donation of £80, enough to purchase 32 trees.
simple ways to reduce your carbon footprint
- Eat less meat (the single most effective action you can take to combat climate change is to stop eating meat);
- Reduce food waste and compost if possible;
- Reduce the temperature of your heating;
- Drive less;
- Fly less;
- Use sustainable transport – walk and cycle more;
- Don’t buy “Fast Fashion”;
- Plant a garden / trees;
- Eat local (and organic).
- More sustainable use and charging of your devices.
best way to reduce your carbon footprint permanently is perhaps to
adopt the Mike
Berners-Lee “10-tonne lifestyle” as set out on Ecopush’s
blog “Can I Reduce My Carbon Footprint?”, June 2019.
one’s lifestyle is not easy, but it is now essential that we give
it a go, and you don’t have to do everything at once. Try flying or
driving a little less and compensate against these by reducing your
carbon footprint more in other areas. Flash Gordon did save the earth
and liberated the Universe from the clutches of the evil Emperor
Ming. By taking small, individual steps getting bigger, we can do the
make a real difference.
The film Flash Gordon (1980) released by Universal Studios.
The Climate Change Group.
Ecopush’s next blog will discuss the interrelated topic of sustainable development which combined with climate change mitigation seeks to “save the earth” and its environment. At Ecopush ecopush blog, we really value your views and ideas on climate change and reducing peoples’ carbon footprint: so contact us and let us know what you think.
Photo by Ivandrei Pretorius from Pexels