Wednesday, 4 July 2007

Trees cut down in Australia by angry farmers

In a conflict growing in bitterness, farmers across Australia each cut down one tree on their land. The farmers are threatening to raise the number of trees they fell each day, so that by the end of the week more than 128,00 trees could be cut down in one day. The cause of their anger is the government’s refusal to review the land-clearing laws that prevent farmers from felling trees on their land. The problem according to the farmers is that by banning them from clearing trees from their land, they are losing acres of usable farmland, making many farms unviable. The government response is that the trees are needed to soak up CO2 and without the law, huge areas would be cleared to make arable land.

This is a sensitive and difficult issue, with no obvious possible resolution. On the one hand, the trees are vital to help combat rising levels of CO2 and on the other the farmers’ livelihoods are on the line. The farmers claim that the destruction of their farming capacity will cause food shortages in Australia.

Even with the law protecting the environment, illegal land clearing is a big problem in some Australian states. A WWF study in New South Wales estimated that in 2006 alone, 80 million reptiles and 13 million birds were wiped out because their habitat was destroyed. Again this highlights the problem that is being faced by politicians everywhere, how to balance the needs of the planet with the needs of ever growing populations. This is an issue that will not go away and will need to be resolved at some point.

[Via The Times]

Many people are still sceptical of climate change

Strange as it sounds, many people still do not believe global warming is a serious issue that they need to deal with. A poll by Ipsos Mori on the BBC News website shows that many Britons still believe the problem of climate change is being overstated by politicians and scientists. Even more worrying is that 56% believe that scientists are still questioning the human impact on climate change. The situation is being exacerbated by people’s belief that politicians are using the issue of climate change as a means of increasing revenue through new and extended taxes.

Such cynicism is to be expected after so many years of political spin on any number of issues. We live in a period where politicians are viewed with mistrust and pretty much everything they say has to be taken with a ‘pinch of salt’, nothing coming from government is ever as clear-cut or simple or as wholly truthful as they would have us believe. I do not think that this is the real problem though.

The real problem I think is that many people want to carry on living their lives in the same way as they have always done. Making lifestyle changes is difficult for most people. People are used to having electronic gadgets to make their lives easier and more pleasant, having cars to allow them the freedom to get around, taking holidays anywhere in the world, along with everything else that is contributing to global warming. So for many people, any excuse they can find to doubt global warming will help them to justify their lifestyle. I think it is more a way of avoiding having to do anything rather than a genuine belief that global warming is not real and is not a threat.

Somehow though, the general population needs to be made aware of the reality of global warming. Time is fast running out for us to be able to reverse the changes to the climate.

Junky Styling wardrobe re-style

Junky Styling are an amazing and innovative fashion company based in London’s Brick Lane. Started by Annika Sanders and Kerry Seager, it is an outlet for their unique style of clothing. Taking second-hand clothes and remaking them into trendy and cutting-edge fashion items is their fortÄ—. I have been trying to source ethical clothing for my self via the internet without a great deal of success recently. I mean, if I want ethnic or hippy style clothes, there are plenty of suppliers, but trying to find something a little more fashionable is proving virtually impossible.

The answer could be Junky Styling’s Wardrobe Surgery, a service that takes your existing, or bought second hand clothes and remakes them into something fashionable. You can give your design input and the clothes are cut to suit your body type and size. You get to work with the designers and unleash your own creative genius too, which sounds like great fun.