Tuesday 31 July 2012

The climate is warming fast around the World due principly to human industrial development that has caused a new loop to be added to the carbon cycle; one of our planet's major mineral and energy cycles. The new loop, which was absent until fossil fuels started to be burnt, causes reserves of carbon held deep underground to be released into the atmosphere. The burning of these fuels, starting with coal and ending with gas, has raised atmospheric carbon-dioxide concentrations which has effected the insulation and thickness of the atmosphere that traps heat energy which enters it; just like how a thicker duvet will trap more body heat. Heat gets into the atmosphere from two sources - not only from the sun (as has always been the case) but also from burning of fuels in the industrial era. The question is what can be done about it. This is the subject of much debate internationally within the IPCC, UN and within environmental organisaitons and universities. Mitigation and adaptation are both required. Sea level rise is occurring. Mean Pacific sea temperature is rising and species are going extinct 1000 times faster than the background rate of extinction without human impacts. Meanwhile political interests with multinational corporations are creating unhelpful system of alliances which include the media - which seek to confuse, delay and derail those measures so urgently needed and desired by international civil society. Meanwhile local weather patterns across the World, species migration patterns and species reproductive cycles have become often drastically interrupted and disrupted - contributing further to the rapid decline in global biodiversity. Other unhelpful aspects of the current situation remain ongoing wars over the control of oil fields, explored or to be discovered. Since 2001 the most positive political agendas of the late 1990's have nearly all been dropped from the international political agenda, kept alive now within NGO and UN bodies. This includes aspects of keeping to UN deadlines on halting losses to biodiversity, reducing cost of medication in developing countries and keeping to UN climate treaties e.g. Paris accord, Kyoto protocol and targets to introduce renewable energy and substitute fossil fuels for biologically derived and ecologically sustainable energy sources. The ongoing "war on terror" which itself is an infinite oxymoron, will eventually yield to a movement of people of the world who yearn to put their nationalities behind them in the humanitarian mission to find sustainable ways to live with their families in democracies linked through the UN. What is interesting about the "national interest" (so long confused with an industrial corporate agenda) is that it often blocks the pathways by which citizens of the world can learn to exist sustainably in just and peaceful societies.