Posted 18 January 2007 - 12:16 PM
We can't put the issue of the world warming up firmly at the feet of humans. There are many, many variables that contribute to the problem we are facing today. It is not a new problem by any means, it is just the way we are reacting to it that has changed. 18,000 years ago the whole of Northern Europe including Britain, Ireland and halfway down France was covered in a massive ice sheet. This has been retreating ever since, not due to us pumping out carbon but by the Earth's natural cycles of getting warmer for a while then getting colder.
It is widely believed that the dinosaurs were wiped out by climate change, surely not down to their penchant for V8 SUV's for doing the school run. We are technically still coming out of the last ice age since the Earth is still warming up, but how much of this is down to Homo S Apien is of course open for debate, and there are wildly differing views depending which side of the fence you are sitting on.
The 'solution' to Global warming has got to be just that. Global.
We are getting taxed to the hilt for our vehicles, our air travel (I saw a figure quoting the contribution that air travel makes to overall carbon emmision is 1.4% of the total, but I'm sorry I cannot find that source at present, will include it when I can), and everything else. Meanwhile our gas-guzzling buddy's across the pond continue to refuse to sign up to Kyoto, still contribute far more per head of population to the overall worldwide pollution (America has 5% of the worlds population but use 20% of total oil output(OPEC)) and China, in it's current economic growth are planning to open a coal-fired power station at the rate of ONE A WEEK for the next SEVEN YEARS (BBC report, 2 Nov 2006). Makes your lower tax 1.1L car pale into insignificance a bit doesn't it. I know every little helps and all, but the phrase farting against thunder does spring to mind.
Whatever happens we are going to have to come up with new energy sources, as oil will run out in this century at our current rate of usage, and probably in the first half of it.
Nuclear power is an option as quoted above, but the words 'nuclear power' and 'temporary' don't sit very well together unfortunately.
The politicians will have to weigh up whether the evironmental argument against it is stronger than the need for a dependable non-carbon based energy source.
Better get the whale oil lamps dusted off...........