Re:Global climate change is more than an evironmental issue
- --- In email@example.com, Karl Zehr <karlzehr@y...>
I think there needs to be some sort of cultural change. In studying
ecosystems, you see all things are connected. It is not merely that
many people in industrialized countries are hedonistic. It is that
they do not associate consequences to their individual action, and
they are right to a large extent. There is also what in their own
society that creates the need to go elsewhere and what they are
replacing in their life by going somewhere else. It does make sense.
I'm sure you could even create a mathematical formula out of it if you
quantified all the factors.
External costs also need to be internalized. Practices like recycling
need to be mandatory.
A Feb 2000 GAO report warns that the damage to the environment from
the emissions from aviation is particularly high because it is emitted
into the upper atmosphere and that increased damage due to increases
in travel can not be offset by technological advances. A report by the
Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), a group of experts
affiliated with the UN warned that the share of global warming caused
by air traffic could increase from 3.5% in 1992 to 17% in 2050.
Aviation fuel is untaxed under a worldwide treaty. Why not use Davos
to persuade one major country to withdraw from that clause of the
treaty? This should create a domino effect as governments discover a
new source of revenue that's also very green.
Further note: it was the International Civil Aviation Organization
(ICAO) treaty of 1944. As the war ended, a lot of people thought that
international harmony would be promoted by cheaper international
transport. I think it's time we accepted that this fine sentiment has
on balance done more harm than good.
But while Cole and millions of fellow Britons are thrilled with the
cut-price fares from budget carriers, environmentalists are not so
happy. They say cheap tickets encourage people to fly instead of using
more eco-friendly rail transport.
Aviation is the world's fastest growing man-made source of carbon
dioxide in the atmosphere - seen by many as a major contributor to
global warming. Some 16,000 commercial aircraft pump out 600 million
tonnes of carbon dioxide every year.
Never has the world seemed smaller or air fares lower.
A study by the eco-group Friends of the Earth found that one return
London-Miami flight generates as much carbon dioxide as the average
British motorist produces in a year. Jet fuel use is set to triple in
the next half century.
Experts say flying is more damaging than driving, because carbon
dioxide, water vapour, and nitrogen oxide spewed high in the air enter
the ozone layer straightaway. When emitted at ground level most of the
last two elements evaporates.
A strong reason why airlines can offer extremely cheap flights is that
aviation fuel, unlike motor fuels, is tax-free on international
flights. This is because of a 1944 agreement to promote the then
fledgling aviation industry.
The International Air Transport Association (IATA) which groups most
of the world's airlines, says the sector is already addressing the
issue through better fuel efficiency, which it says has increased by
17 percent in the past decade.
"We want to encourage people not to take flights unnecessarily, to
take trains when possible. And people's holidays are getting shorter
and shorter...Is it fair to fly right across Europe just for a
"Carbon offset" provides a solution. To make up for the carbon dioxide
your trip creates, you can support programs for planting trees, which
consume CO2, or energy-saving projects that reduce CO2 emissions
Two years ago Susan Peterson, for instance, began purchasing wind
energy certificates through the local utility provider for her
Boulder, Colorado, home. Each certificate represents a unit of
electricity added to the regional power grid by a wind farm instead of
by burning fossil fuels.
In addition to mitigating her domestic energy use, she also now buys
U.S. $20 worth of wind certificates monthly to counterbalance the
carbon dioxide produced by her frequent air travel.
Still, offsetting greenhouse gases from jet travel remains purely
Air travel is expected to double in 15 years and already accounts for
3.5 percent of human-generated greenhouse gas. Nor will better
engineering be likely to help.
According to Jamie Sweeting of the Center for Environmental Leadership
in Business, airliners (unlike cars) seem to be about as
fuel-efficient as the state of the art allows. Offset looks like the
best solution for long-distance travel.
But industry and government can't expect conscientious passengers
alone to bear the burden of taking countermeasures. By agreement, they
should build the small cost of offset into all airfares. It's worth
With carbon offset, we can fly guilt free. Except when it's a short
trip and there's a good train available.
patneuman2000 <npat1@j...> wrote:
Global climate change includes major changes to Earth's water and life
systems. Global climate change may mean life or death on the planet.
As such, it encompasses all other issues.
Many people are loosing sight of what's important to them, and to
their families. Many people have no clue about what's really happening
to the global climate. People have a responsibility to learn what's
going on. They should know where to go to for advice. But where?
Managers of government agencies that have the responsibility to inform
the public on safety and the environment are failing in their duties.
There is no doubt that global climate is changing much too rapidly to
sustain life. There is no doubt that the accumulation of greenhouse
gases in the atmosphere from fuel burning is driving rapid global
climate change. The time scale for rapid global climate change is now,
and in the future.
It makes no sense to me that that some people think that they have to
travel to Europe, Asia, Australia, even Africa, etc. in order for them
to have meaninful lives. At what cost?
--- End forwarded message ---
- Forwarded message, with permission from Mike Wood.
--- In firstname.lastname@example.org, <npat1@j...> wrote:
I think your note is bothersome, that:
> It is also worthy of note that it is now being said
> that the warnings of tsunami were not given by some
> governments "in deference to the tourism industry".
If the government had known of the magnitude of the devastation that
was about to happen it likely would have sounded the warming.... but
not knowing is NO excuse for not acting... it was irresponsible to
downplay the danger and do nothing, which is what the U.S. government
continues doing in regards to global warming.
My hope is that the Dec 26, 2004 tsunami in the Indian ocean has
jarred the U.S. enough to stir the people and government in the U.S.
into action on global warming. Then at least some good might come from
the horrible devastation caused by the tsunami.
I think your post is informative. I would like to forward this to the
P&C groups if that's ok with you. Also, I hope you will consider
--- In email@example.com, "Michael Wood, Cincinnati"
Good point Pat.
When we look at the fall of previous civilizations, environmental
changes seem to be much more important factors than internal decay or
external threats. Of course environmental changes engender mass
movements of populations, as they head for "better" locales, and in
turn, the massive influx of refugees would tend to stress existing
civilizations or create the conditions that would lead to war. It
always amazes me just how a slim difference in temperature, rainfall
or sunlight has such a great impact on the growth of traditional
From relatively recent history (1884, "the year with no summer") we
might look at how the ejection of material and energy from a volcanic
explosion caused 120 foot high tsunamis, two full days of darkness, a
drop in temperature for more than a year, and widespread starvation
and misery throughout the world.
This type of activity, although unusual, is repeated in many histories
around the world. It is worth noting that the explosion of Thera, in
the Aegean, and Mt. Vesuvius, in Italy were much more intense than the
activity at Krakatoa! If the last two thousand years is any guide,
such events as these happen on a 500 year or lower frequency.
It is now being proposed (by David Keys, Ken Wohletz and others) that
a large volcanic event in Indonesia precipitated the fall of the Roman
Empire and the creation of the so-called "dark ages" in Europe. In the
light of the past weeks tragic events, where a large earthquake in the
same area killed more than a hundred thousand and destroyed structures
in such a wide area, by a mere 20 foot tsunami. these theories might
well be re-examined.
It is also worthy of note that it is now being said that the warnings
of tsunami were not given by some governments "in deference to the
tourism industry". There are other industries with much more intimate
relationships with governments around the world. Who can you trust?
Now I don't raise these issues to negate or belittle the effects that
man has on the environment, but to examine the results of
geographically remote environmental events on the entire globe. A rise
or fall of a few degrees, no matter what the cause, can mean the
difference between success or failure, between comfort and starvation,
between civilization and barbarism.
Mike Wood, Cincinnati
>Global climate change includes major changes to Earth's water and
life systems. Global climate change may mean life or death on the
planet. As such, it encompasses all other issues.
>Many people are loosing sight of what's important to them, and to
>their families. Many people have no clue about what's really
happening to the global climate. People have a responsibility to learn
what's going on. They should know where to go to for advice. But
>Managers of government agencies that have the responsibility to
inform the public on safety and the environment are failing in their
duties. There is no doubt that global climate is changing much too
rapidly to sustain life. There is no doubt that the accumulation of
greenhouse gases in the atmosphere from fuel burning is driving rapid
global climate change. The time scale for rapid global climate change
is now, and in the future.
>It makes no sense to me that that some people think that they have to
>travel to Europe, Asia, Australia, even Africa, etc. in order for
them to have meaninful lives. At what cost?
>Upward trend in atmospheric CO2 concentrations
>Upward trend in global temperatures
>For more information...
--- End forwarded message ---