Sunday, 2 November 2014

Today is Tomorrow

The video below is about Canada and focuses on its failure, unlike over 110 other countries, to declare the right to live in  a healthy environment as a legally binding human right. But the issues it covers - environmental degradation, resource depletion and both the threats and the possibilities for the future - sit everywhere on our planet.

Above all, it speaks to today's generation: both for our own futures and those who come after us. What we do now, shapes tomorrow. Global warming has a lag effect of between 30 and 40 years - so in other words, what we do now, good or bad, will make a difference to the world around 2045 to 2055. With the IPCC report this week showing that carbon emissions are rising faster than ever, breaking ever more records for pollution, climate change, a phenomenon that knows no borders, the need for us to act has never been greater. Not only Canada, but Britain as it plunges headlong down the route already taken by the USA to frack our countryside; or India as it commits to burning more coal that ever.

As the IPCC acknowledges, the alternatives are there and affordable - and, contrary to all the myths, China is leading the way as it now installs more renewable energy each year than any other country in the world and more than all of Europe put together. We must follow the lead from Beijing and, closer to home, Germany (which on a good day can now get as much as three quarters of its energy needs from renewables - compared to less than a tenth in the UK). As these economic powerhouses turn to clean energy for a sustainable future, the British, American and other large economies need to purge ourselves of the oil and gas lobbies and turn to the clean, renewable energies of the future - the only way, indeed, to ensure that there is one.

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