Climate change - we need to act now

IN 1769 James Watt patented his design of the steam engine. This opened the way for water to be pumped out of mines. Consequently the coal industry took a great leap forward and powered our Industrial Revolution. Since then the UK has put more CO2 into th

IN 1769 James Watt patented his design of the steam engine. This opened the way for water to be pumped out of mines. Consequently the coal industry took a great leap forward and powered our Industrial Revolution. Since then the UK has put more CO2 into the atmosphere than any other nation except America.

Don't we owe it to the world and our children to take a lead again in doing something about climate change and a lifestyle that one planet can provide?

If you want to ignore climate change science, fine, but ask yourself how long we can go on depleting global resources by increasing prosperity and population growth.

We in the UK are set to grow to a population of 77million by 2050.


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The current recession is protecting us from power cuts over the short term because economic growth is at a standstill. But we confidently expect that to change in the next year or two.

That means more energy for transport, heating and electrical power. We will need all the clean energy we can get - solar, wind, tide and nuclear fission, with the hope of nuclear fusion materialising not too far behind.

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Governments will not act decisively until populations demand change and action: the Copenhagen summit failure is a good indicator of that.

What could individuals do? The answers are easy, and they are very similar if you are setting out to combat climate change or to promote sustainability.

Application may be more difficult. But we in the UK, particularly the professional classes, could show a lead.

Here are some ideas: drive less. Walk or get on your bike. A litre of fuel weighing a little under a kilogram produces over two kilograms of CO2. This may not be easy to understand, but Google up the chemical equations, and that will give you the explanation. Eat less beef and dairy foods, fly less, keep fewer pets, build better houses, stay cool. Common sense can provide the remedies.

Do we have the will to bite the bullet and adopt at least some of these suggestions? The really hard thing will be to accept that social irresponsibility is not just drink-driving.

When public attitudes move in this direction, politicians will inevitably follow.

BRIAN WALLIS

Burlington Way

Hemingford Grey

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