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James Williams
James Williams

It's time for a Green Revolution

The recent people’s revolutions in the Middle East have been playing on all 24 hour rolling news for the entire world to see at the click of a button. There has been such an excess of reports from embedded journalists crouching behind burning tanks that these images have come to partly define my expectation of what today’s revolutions look like.

If I was alive in the 1960’s I probably would have looked to the Chinese Cultural Revolution with their stoic faces and red flags. If I was alive during the revolutions in the 1970’s I might have imagined a revolution to look like the Iranian Ayatollah’s eyes staring me down. And until this past year, revolutions for me have been characterized by a man with plastic bags facing down armoured tanks in Tiananmen Square. But the revolution I want to talk about has been a silent, bloodless revolution, happening right on our doorstep and influencing all aspects of our everyday life.

I am referring to the Green Revolution.

So pervasive is our dependency on energy that a week without hot showers/laptops/cars/mobiles etc would feel like a week in the Middle Ages. This dependency combined with the triple threat of anthropogenic Climate Change, a massively expanding population and dwindling reserves of fossil fuels has meant that the Green Revolution has moved up our priority list.

Businesses have been quick to capitalise on this fact and it seems that every third advert is lined with Green bells and whistles, designed to tempt us away from

fossil fuel guilt and towards a more sustainable lifestyle. Products from Starbucks coffee all the way to EasyJet flights are vying for our attention and consumer pounds by proudly proclaiming their ‘Green’ credentials (can flights really be Green?). But have we not learnt that capitalist forces can subtly nudge us away from social benefits and instead have us chasing products and profits we simply don’t need?

With the global nature of

Climate Change and our global dependency on energy should we not be looking for global solutions?

The Green Revolution has slowly been gathering pace and is almost at a critical mass point where being environmental is so prevalent in our everyday lives, that it’s considered the norm.

But we are not there yet.

I'm worried that many people will be turned-off energy efficient technologies by advertising campaigns that saturate our attention with ‘eco’ friendly products that are anything but (I don’t think we’re convinced that flying with EasyJet or drinking ‘eco’-friendly coffee will change the world). I’m also concerned that we will use our products more often as we believe that having saved some energy over here, we can use more energy over there, thus diminishing the original benefits (rebound effects).

These rebound effects can be profound and government policy makers need to be aware of them, but I would argue governments also need to be aware that companies could stifle the Green Revolution before it reaches critical mass. We should want to encourage companies with an environmental record, not because it will make us feel better, but because it is the right thing to do.

We are so close to damaging our world irrevocably (and thereby threatening our own existence) that we all need to change, and quickly. We have to start taking responsibility, individually and collectively for the way we live our lives. The longer we stare into the sustainable abyss without jumping in with both feet, the more difficult it will become to make the leap. I’m not saying that it will be a quick transition and it will mean making some tough decisions. But to continue the way we are is not sustainable and is now not an option.

So this is a call to arms comrades. If we accept our responsibility for sustainable energy usage future generations will look to us as the revolutionary paradigm. The change needed is so great and pervasive that we all need to be committed and all pushing in the same direction. We cannot allow ourselves to ignore the problem any longer. Mother Nature will not allow us.

But I believe we can do it. We have the knowhow, the resources and the manpower.

All we need is the will. And that's where you come in.

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Unknown reader to the author :Your argument is compelling, your destiny is written. You will be among the greats that have their names enthroned on a plate on the roof top, on the majestic vanes of a windmill, and on the bumper sticker of an electric car.  Author: I call out to thee, " Who needs starbuck coffee? Who needs a house? Who needs food? Who needs a name plate when the clock is ticking? Who needs a car made of mined material when Mother nature is crying for help?" Consumer: I that am talking to thee am he. I am the one that needs a car. I am the one that needs food. Do not forget me in thy great haste. Let me alone to  feed clothe, and shelter my family before this world ends.  Scientist at Duban: " An article in Science magazine illustrated that a rise in carbon dioxide did not precede a rise in temperatures, but actually lagged behind temperature rises by 200 to 1000 years.  A rise in carbon dioxide levels could not have caused a rise in temperature if it followed the temperature. This suggests that the correlation seen between Co2 and temperature may not be cause and effect determined. Chances are that increased temperature may produce more atmospheric c02, not the other way round.  Author: It is truly heart rendering that such skeptical folly should still exist. Come to greenblog and learn true science, not some outdated article!.  Scientist at Duban:  " Not all food comes from electric cars, not all rain from solar panels, not all life from  oil pipelines, and perhaps not all truth  from green blog. but definately all truth comes from wikipedia! If temperature increase results in more atmospheric  co2, then how would this occur?  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/C... Carbon dioxide dissolves in the ocean to form carbonic acid (H2CO3), bicarbonate (HCO3-) and carbonate (CO32-), and there is about fifty times as much carbon dissolved in the sea water of the oceans as exists in the atmosphere.Gas solubility decreases as the temperature of water increases leading to higher atmospheric co2 levels given a corresponding temperature increase.  Author:“The relationship is actually very complicated but there is one relationship that is far more powerful than all the others and it is this. When there is more carbon dioxide, the temperature gets warmer, because it traps more heat from the sun inside.†Scientist at Duban:  Yes, but only if one can distinguish between co2 and temperature. One cannot if all he has to go by is a relationship on a chart. Perhaps one way  to solve the delimma is to differentiate between manmade co2 and naturally occuring co2 (say co2 trapped in oceans).In order from man made c02 emissions to cause measurable temperature increases it is necessary to determine whether the increased manmade c02 in the atmosphere results in increased temperature.  Such isolation is made possible with the different isotopes of carbon, C13 and C12 leading to a hypothesis that (obtained fromhttp://wattsupwiththat.com... )The long-term increases in carbon dioxide concentration that have been observed at Mauna Loa since 1958 could be driven more than by the ocean (temperature increase)  than by mankind’s burning of fossil fuels. The question now is not so much as what causes co2 and ways to minimise co2, rather what modulates temperature? That such a mechanism must exist is clear given previously high temperature and c02 levels in the geological history. If such a mechanism had not/does not exist then as temperature had risen co2 levels would have risen feeding back into higher temperature via positive feedback. A barren wilderness in what  is now called earth would have resulted.  What may modulate the earth's temperature and therefore indirectly modulate the release of co2 in the oceans? Perhaps it is the number of computers? Could it be the number of tin roofed houses? Maybe it is the proportion of farmers growing gm food?   It has been suggested by space daily http://www.spacedaily.com/2006... that The earth's climate has been significantly affected by the planet's magnetic field, according to a Danish study published Monday that could challenge the notion that human emissions are responsible for global warming.

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