I keep meaning to update with more of what I do all day, and I will, probably, but one thing I have been doing is getting involved with some environmental causes. Most of the focus within the environmental community right now is on climate change, and rightly so because this is an absolutely key period.
Now, let me clarify where I'm coming from here. If you think it's all a big scam, or that a 5 degree temperature rise would be great, time to catch some rays, then fine. Don't let me take up any more of your time. I'm not interested in discussing it and you can read whatever you like into that, I don't care.
If, on the other hand, you do think it's a problem but you're kind of "yes, but what can I do about it", that's where this post comes in. What you can do about it is respond to the Draft Climate Change Bill Consultation. Click here
, download the consultation response form and have at it. I'm all for people doing their own research  and writing their own comments, but the key points that need to be made IMO are as follows :
- 2% annual cuts leading to a 60% reduction in CO2 emission by 2050 is not sufficient
. These figures are based on research that's 5 or 6 years old. Current research indicates that these cuts will not only fail to keep the CO2 concentration in the atmosphere to 550 parts per million (ppm) (it's currently 359 ppm by the way), but also that even at 550 ppm, temperature rises and climate effects would be more severe than anticipated in the original research. 3% cuts leading to an 80% reduction in CO2 emission by 2050 is a minimum, and some organisations are pushing for even more than that.
- 5-year budget periods would not work. As soon as there's a change of controlling party in the middle of a period, it falls apart. Outgoing Government does fuck all about it because they're not accountable when the budget period ends. Incoming government shrugs and says "it's not our fault, it was them". Annual budgets are required to make these weasels do what they're told.
- Current plans do not include emissions from aviation and shipping. To use that most favoured tool of the political columnist, the fatuous analogy, this would be like going on a calorie controlled diet where chocolate doesn't count. However transport emissions are regulated, they can't just be ignored.
I think those are the three most important points. Apart from that, don't be too cynical about whether this makes a difference. I saw a great clip at the weekend from 2003, where Margaret Beckett is saying "Well the fact that there's an open discussion about climate change can only be a good thing". What her body language and exact choice of words is really saying though is "Yeah right, good luck with that". But due to weight of public pressure, this is now happening. But it's vital to make the bill strong enough. Basically, it's not much odds to me. Come 2050 if I'm still here I'll be sitting in a rocking chair on a porch toting a shotgun and laughing a gap-toothed laugh. If you have kids though, and you want their kids to have a world to grow up in, do it now. These consultation responses have to be in by 12th June. And what the hell, if the sceptics are still reading, fill out your own response saying "I don't care because what's really important to me is that the people running energy companies become billionaires instead of just hundred millionaires". Either use the democratic process or don't moan about it after the fact.
 A couple of suggested Links and resources to start you off :Friends Of The Earth Briefings and ResourcesIntergovernmental Panel On Climate Change