The kid-effect on climate deniers

1 Million Women

Could kids be the secret weapon in challenging the attitudes of climate deniers?

In a typically American style of humour, satiric new online video “Science Fair Nightmare” produced by LCV and SHFT brings attention to the kid-effect on climate deniers. That is, the power of children to change the mind of older generations about important issues like climate change.

The short film is narrated by SHFT co-founder and actor (of Entourage fame) Adrian Grenier, with the help of Nasa scientist Dr. Joshua Willis. In particular it addresses the 100 Members of Congress in America who deny the basic science of climate change. Perhaps their kids are the only ones capable of transforming their attitudes.

The kid-effect has already been hard-at-work in real life, for example the transformation of Former Republican Congressman Bob Inglis who said his son encouraged him to change his views on climate change, or Retired Republican Senator…

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By beingsustainablenow

Climate Change Denial in the lead-up to the IPCC 2013 meeting in Stockholm

Image

This week the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) meeting in Stockholm will release their latest report on the catastrophic dangers of climate change. More important will be the likely public reaction: large-scale denial.

Being told by 95 % of astronomers that the earth will be hit by a massive, life-destroying asteroid in 2030 would probably  garner more interest and alarm than the almost certain massive and life-destroying storms that will hit in 2030.

This article (and others linked in it) looks again at the complex, logic-defying phenomenon of climate change denial:

http://biodiversityrevolution.wordpress.com/2013/09/17/dealing-with-climate-change-denial/

Photo credit: Flickr.com_Mamanuel

 

By beingsustainablenow

Methane: be afraid…be very afraid (and that’s putting it mildly)

Small Epiphanies

The failure to understand the consequences of methane release in the Arctic remind me a lot of payday loans. Here in the UK, we’re suffering a rash of usury. Venal lenders, taking advantage of those poor souls who can never make their wages last until the next payday, offer short term loans the interest rates of which are nothing short of criminal. Rates of 5000% APR (yes, you read that right) are not uncommon, yet damn fools queue up to borrow from these exploitative money-lenders, ignoring the consequences, just as others (or perhaps the same people) ignore their ever-growing credit card debt, and the way their repayment problems escalate in direct proportion to the amount they owe.

If this seems strikingly irresponsible, then bear in mind that the borrowers are emulating other sections of society. While the economic costs of climate change are perhaps the most contentious of all projections, there are no credible analyses that suggest the…

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By beingsustainablenow

REPOST: Sustainability must be at core of development, says EU

In Support of Sustainable Development

European Union commissioner Andris Piebalgs stressed that “if we don’t deal with environmental sustainability, if we don’t deal with climate change, it will be impossible to eliminate poverty, and it will be the poorest countries which will suffer the most.” The article below from The Guardian discusses further why and how EU commissioners like Piebalgs are rallying to revise Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

Two EU commissioners put strong emphasis on environmental issues at a Brussels round-table discussion on proposed measures to replace the millennium development goals (MDGs). The event, held at the European commission on 9 July with the participation of NGO representatives and MEPs, took stock of the recently published report of the UN high-level panel on the post-2015 development agenda.

Development commissioner Andris Piebalgs, who opened the event and is one of the 27 “eminent personalities” who authored the report, said the high-level panel took a more ambitious…

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By beingsustainablenow

The melting Arctic in July 2013

Most climate scientists predicted that the North Pole would melt by the end of the century, but here’s the webcam pic of the North Pole from 22 July 2013. A few days ago I thought it was a hoax, but sadly, it appears to be true. There’s still ice there, but it’s rapidly melting.

Even the most rudimentary knowledge of climate change theory will tell you that the methane being released from the permafrost thaw will mark a landmark in human history.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2013/jul/24/arctic-thawing-permafrost-climate-change

http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/earth-insight/2013/may/02/white-house-arctic-ice-death-spiral

http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/earth-insight/2013/jul/24/arctic-ice-free-methane-economy-catastrophe

http://science.howstuffworks.com/environmental/earth/geophysics/arctic-ice.htm

http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v499/n7459/full/499401a.html

http://www.takepart.com/article/2013/06/13/climate-change-melting-polar-ice

Facing the Carbon Footprint Calculator – Yikes!

The main culprits of our high carbon footprint? Apparently our wood-burner didn’t fare so well. Eating take-aways even occasionally doesn’t cut it if we are throwing away four to eight plastic containers at the same time. And driving a petrol-driven car for two hours each week makes us bigger carbon gluttons than the average person in the UK. Yikes.

I did try tweaking the results by re-doing the calculations about eight times, changing my answers to drive for only twenty minutes a week and only fly in an aeroplane for two hours, but to no avail. One earth won’t do for us.

So here’s what we are trying for starters:

  • To scoot home from school on scooters instead of driving. That’s up to
    25 km of exercise per week sorted.
  • To use the train to visit the city.
  • Turning off plugs at the wall, for all appliances.
  • Using cold water washes in the washing machine.
  • Absolutely, absolutely stick to our policy of only buying second-hand
    for all household items and clothing.


The best Carbon Footprint calculators:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/interactive/2009/oct/20/guardian-quick-carbon-calculator

http://www.mnn.com/earth-matters/climate-weather/stories/the-15-best-carbon-calculators

http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2008/feb/19/carbon.web