Thursday, 2 August 2007

Government policy on climate change lacking

The Commons Environmental Audit Committee has urged the government to take more effective and co-ordinated action to reduce the emissions that are causing climate change. The cross-party group of MP’s on the committee believe that government policy is becoming incoherent and the measures put in place do not go far enough.

The government has set the UK a target of reducing carbon emissions by 60% of 1990 levels by 2050 in a legally binding plan under the draft Climate Change Bill. The government believes that this will be sufficient to keep global temperature rises to 2 degrees Celsius. The most recent research however suggests that this level of reduction will not be enough to achieve the 2 degree Celsius rise the government wants. Even if this was enough, the UK’s carbon emissions have risen rather than fallen, making it highly unlikely that the government’s own target will be met.

The committee points to series of failings on the government’s policy towards meeting not just its own targets, but also its Kyoto commitments. The problem is, people are not prepared to take the necessary steps as individuals, and the government is wary of introducing regulation for fear of becoming even less popular. It is a strange situation really, most people agree that something needs to be done to stop the rise in global temperature, but no one really wants to do much about it, other than easy token gestures.
[Via The Independent]

2 comments:

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rgpman said...

I read this article in Newsweek a couple of days ago about major corporations and their plans to derail the efforts to fight global warming. I got pretty bent out of shape.

My anger turned into a desire to do something. This morning I was checking out Google's new "Google base" and came across this article:

http://base.google.com/base/a/2560087/D6726493050951623104

The thing I found interesting was not so much the article itself, but the website it was referring to. I wanted to share my thoughts and experiences, with regards to that site, in a way that might move others to action. (BTW: The article in Google base is actually amusing and is worth a read)

I spent my lunch break going through the entire website and, let me just say, these guys seem to have something here. They have a pretty extensive FAQ page that I found very informative.

At first, I thought that it was a joke or maybe even a scam, however, I was persuaded otherwise. In their F.A.Q. page they addressed the fact that there are scam artist that prey on the naive. They actually gave links to the authorities, the FBI and their state's Attorney General's office, to use if participants feel they have been defrauded!

I want it to be understood that I am a skeptic and pretty tight with my financial resources. I am also EXTREMELY environmentally conscious. That being said, I really felt that this might amount to something. Other green skeptics should browse though the F.A.Q. page as well as the rest of the site and see if they come to the same conclusions.

I showed the site to several of my co-workers and they all searched through the site, as well. At last count, myself and about 30 of my co-workers have taken part in their program.

What this organization, the Adopt the Atmosphere Foundation or ATAF, offers is sponsorship or what they call "Adoption" of the Earth's atmosphere. They have divided the atmosphere up into "columns" that are each 400 Kilometers high with a 100 square Kilometer base. People can adopt or sponsor an atmosphere column and become a member of their organization for a nominal, and 100% refundable fee.

There are several graphs on their site that clearly explain what the fee is spent on. About 85% will go towards environmental charities, environmental lobbying, and environmental issue awareness campaigns . The rest is divided up in administrative office expenses.

The thing I thought was so intriguing about ATAF was that they are hoping to eventually register the adoption/sponsorship of the entire atmosphere! I guess they plan to use the registry of adopters as a platform to be heard in the international community.

That's kind of interesting! If the entire atmosphere is divided up and sponsored by environmentally concerned individuals and the concise, detailed records of these designated sponsored columns are kept by an organization in a database registry, the members of that organization would have some real clout.

Even if the only outcome of a massive registry of adopters is a raised level of environmental awareness, than I say, "Good on ya!" to those who've orchestrated such a thing.

FYI: The ATAF website is www.adoptatmosphere.com