Man-made climate change is one of the UK's biggest threats

Man-made climate change is one of the UK's biggest threats: British Prime Minister

by Michael Smith (Veshengro)

climate-change-floodsPrime Minister David Cameron has said that man-made climate change is one of the greatest threats to Britain and, indeed, the rest of the world. And while the Prime Minister seems to acknowledge this fact little has been done as to mitigate it under the “greenest government ever” in Britain.

David Cameron was responding to a question made by Labour Party leader Ed Miliband at Prime Minister's Question Time at the end of February of this year where he asked the Prime Minister to set out his views on man- made climate change.

The Prime Minister replied: "I believe man-made climate change is one of the most serious threats that this country and this world faces. That is why we have the world's first green investment bank here in Britain.

"That is why, unlike 13 wasted years of Labour, we are building the first nuclear power station for 30 years in our country. That is why we have cut carbon emissions emitted by the Government by 14% since we came to office."

David Cameron also noted that the UK was on track to meet its renewable targets.

To this the leader of the Labour Party said that the Prime Minister's remarks were “excellent” but named a number of his ministers who had questioned the need to tackle environmental change.

Ed Milliband quoted the Environment Secretary Owen Paterson, as saying: “People get very emotional about this. People should just accept the climate's been changing for centuries.”

He also quoted the energy minister Michael Fallon answering a question about climate change: “You are not going to draw me on that. I haven't had time to get into the climate change debate.”

And he then asked the Prime Minister as to whether he is happy to have climate-change deniers in his Government.

The Prime Minister replied saying: “The most serious form of denial we have today in Britain's politics is the reality deniers of the party opposite.

“What is their plan for long-term investment because that is what climate change requires? Long-term investment like high-speed rail, long-term investment like nuclear power, long-term investment like fixing our economy. That is what this government is doing. All he does is get up and deliver a lot of hot air.”

Elsewhere, the Prime Minister's record on climate change has come under fire by some environmental groups. Greenpeace executive director John Sauven said: “Thousands of people mopping out their homes know it, the vast majority of scientists have proved it and mainstream public opinion agrees – extreme weather events will become more frequent as the climate changes. Yet David Cameron is hanging on to his Environment Secretary who is in denial about the impacts of global warming.

“It is time that David Cameron replaced Owen Paterson with someone who will be tough on flooding and tough on the causes of flooding.”

Avaaz campaign director Alex Wilks added: “The majority of Britons think that without action to slow it, climate change will pose a threat to their way of life, and scientists warn we need to cut carbon pollution in half by 2030. Cameron's mandate is clear – it's time to face down the deniers and commit to strong action, now.”

What the Prime Minister also does not seem to realize, and many other politicians here and abroad that nuclear is not an option as it leaves a legacy to be tackled later and one that will be with us and our children and their children for thousands of years.

High-speed rail is not going to be tackling climate change but is going to be destroying important areas of land and ancient woodlands. But, no problem there, as Owen Patterson is reported as saying, “we just move the woodlands”.

The Environment Secretary, I am afraid to say, knows less about the environment than does the proverbial female bovine about the milk and is not and never has been fit to hold that office, an office that is to be about care for the environment. When someone believes that he can simply “move” ancient woodlands that are in the way of HS2 then he is more deluded than someone high on drugs believing to see angels.

We do not need investment in nuclear power stations but investment in real and true alternatives on the renewable energy front. And the most important step would be to change the approach and turn from large-scale wind farms and solar farms, etc. to an approach that would make every roof in this country a power station.

Fixing the economy to continue in the way it has before the crash also is not going to tackle the issue of climate change. Far from it. It will just be business as usual if and when the fix has happened.

The strong action that is being asked for by the Avaaz campaign director, who so clearly states that people are concerned about the impacts of climate change on their way of life, is not going to happen either for that would also impact on people's way of life and people who are concerned are, unfortunately, not prepared to make the changes required either, as that would mean making real changes, such as giving up the car for most journeys, for starters.

Man-made climate change is not just one of the biggest threats to the UK and indeed the world but it is by far greater a threat than any conflicts and terrorism threats combines, short of an all out thermonuclear war. And playing around with nuclear power to tackle climate change adds to the dangers we face and does not bring about a solution.

Only the other day I saw the power that was generated by the solar panels on the roof of the Vauxhall Interchange being 3.4 Kwh during almost thick fog at about 9am and this alone should tell us how much energy could be generated if we mandated that every roof was covered with photovoltaic panels. Add to that one or two small wind turbines at every home and larger turbines on the roofs of commercial buildings, especially well designed vertical axis ones which can handle almost all wind speeds, and a change in the way we use electricity and we would have energy security and some.

We would also create an economy that would create jobs, more than any fracking operation or what-have-you. However, this is not about to happen unless the people are prepared to make changes to the way this country is being run for if every building would generate power where would the profits come from for the energy companies and that is what the governments of this country are concerned with more than energy security and climate change.

As far as the high-speed rail thing is concerned it is not going to benefit anyone bar the developers. No one wants it, not even the frequent travelers, as many an opinion poll conducted has shown. It is going to be a white elephant that the tax payer will pay dearly for and the environment even more so.

We need a total change in the approach to things and the government certainly does not seem to have a clue. Neither Cameron nor Patterson nor Fallon. But for any change to come about, I am afraid, the people of the country and the world themselves have to properly wake up first and take matters into their own hands. Only then and only then will we see real change.

For that, however, the people need to stop believing the lies that are being peddled by the likes of Fox News in the USA and other outlets elsewhere, as well as by many of the so-called leaders and understand that unless they, the people, make changes in their way of life we are all going to hell in a handcart. It is as simple as that.

And many of the answers are, in fact, very simple, and the changes, while they will be drastically affect the way people do things will benefit the Planet and the people themselves.

Climate change is a greater threat to Britain and the world than any threat of (Islamist) terrorism, much of the latter which does not even really exist but is only something that we are being led to believe. Therefore things must be done to mitigate climate change or otherwise we are all facing a very bleak future.

It is, however, possible that changes will come upon us that will halt the way we do things right now as already the UN has announced that the industrial age is coming to an end. That means that in the very near future we will be facing a post-industrial time and that will have to be combine with a post-carbon or better a post-fossil fuel one but also one without nuclear.

Yes, it will mean changes to the way we live, work and do things but it will be a change for the better. For a better environment and for a better, other than material things, way of life. Let's welcome this new future.

© 2014