“Climate change” is all over the news everywhere, with the Copenhagen Summit in full swing.
I put it in inverted comments not because I am a “sceptic” or, like the Reverend gentleman of the cloth [sorry, I forget his name because his letter made me so angry] who wrote in to Private Eye to proudly proclaim himself, a climate change “denier”, but just to highlight the contentiousness of the phrase.
My position is that for a species to grow from approximately one billion in number to nearly over six billion in number in the space of 100 years to think it is NOT going to have an effect on the environment, its surrounds, that happy mix of gas, liquids and solids that stops us all perishing in the cold vacuum of space, takes a very special kind of solipsism.
There is a large, country-sized mass of plastic and debris in the middle of the Pacific that I might with some confidence suggest was not left there by ocelots.
Anyway, thousands of representatives, delegates and so on are discussing the issues. Others are nearby to report on the events from specific perspectives, such as the recently converted to environmental activism Andy Cato of Groove Armada.
I’m not a huge fan of Groove Armada, although they put on a good festival (Lovebox, where I met the love of my life) and the odd decent tune, etc, but I get a mailing list email from them, and it was in this that I discovered his adoption of the cause. Well done to Mr Cato for trying to say something about the issue in a forward-looking manner. It perhaps almost begins to make up for allowing his music to be used to advertise cars.
Anyway, anyway… “I’d rather you think I’m a hypocrite than be a zombie forever”, as one of the Beastie Boys once said. Cato’s downloadable pamphlet has some interesting points in it, many of which I agree with. The section about what human ingenuity can achieve refers to the ramp-up in technology (and spending) between 1939 and 1945 that led to jet planes and radars, from a chocks away start. I heard a speaker at a thinktank called the Westminster Energy Forum use the same analogy.
It’s pointless denying that the climate, our “fault” or not, is changing, periodic inevitability that it may be or not; it will impact us, given the regrettably still-unescapable fact that we live on the planet, so perhaps the analogy of ingenuity in times of duress might be extended… instead of wars against each other we might encourage some sort of war on our imminent warm soggy demise. Or at least give it a go, rather than pretend some god will swoop down and save us because we’re special cases.
Hilariously, the next email I got was from business flight company bmi, telling me ‘More rewards the more you fly’. Environment and grammar be damned.