For the last few months, carbon dioxide concentrations in the atmosphere have been at record levels unseen in over 800,000 years. The chairman of the IPCC, an international panel of the world’s top climate scientists, warned earlier this year that “nobody on this planet is going to be untouched by the impacts of climate change”.
Future generations will no doubt wonder at our response, given the scale of the threat. It’s known that death, poverty and suffering await millions, and yet governments still vacillate.
But solutions are available. Here are ten reasons to be hopeful that humans will rise to the challenge of climate change.
Eco audit verdict from 24th April, 2014 – Full story here
There seems to be little doubt that this policy will eventually sink the onshore wind industry in this country. The potential for the technology to compete without subsidies is poor and the handing over of power to local authorities will likely be the final nail in the industry’s coffin.
Tories and many industry leaders are loath to admit that this will put an end to onshore wind, saying that current capacity will be maintained and even grow for a time as projects granted permission before 2015 come online. But what industry survives without long-term growth? For onshore wind to continue to generate investment in research and development (and therefore to stay competitive) it will need to have the potential for new growth and projects. As Jennifer Webber, from RenewableUK says, this policy “will kill the industry dead”.
That is their prerogative, especially if the EU fails to introduce a 2030 renewable energy target as some observers are suggesting they will. But the Committee on Climate Change says the level of onshore wind will need to more than triple by 2030 if the UK is to meet its own emissions reduction commitments.
David Cameron said the policy was a removal of unnecessary subsidies. But this argument washes away quickly when you consider that onshore wind is less expensive than other renewable alternatives, which will continue to attract public funding.
What this is really about is votes in rural areas and an appeal to the NIMBYism that sways the Tory right towards Ukip. In the end, windfarms, like migrant workers and the EU, are seen as alien edifices being imposed on the British way of life. Renewable energy creates jobs, but it fails to create them in the areas where it changes the skyline. Thus locals feel the costs outweigh the benefits. The majority of Brits are for windfarms, but the Tories have decided that the votes they need are not only opposed, but they are so strongly opposed they will decide their vote on it.
The Guardian Eco Audit
21 October, 2013
The UK government has hailed its nuclear power agreement with French and Chinese companies as a big win for Britain. But with a strike price at almost twice the current energy costs, is it really a good deal for consumers? With your help, Karl Mathiesen investigates. Read more here.