Running Out Of Time - Climate Change

  • January 20, 2014 · 6:30 PM
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Harnessing The Power Of The Sun.

Join us at this important meeting in the House of Lords on climate change and hosted by Lord Richard Layard.

The world faces a crisis of man made climate change. Without drastic action it could get out of control and affect us and our planet dramatically.

At this meeting two leading figures in this debate will join with us to discuss how they think we can avoid the path to a perilous future.

Lord Richard Layard is a British economist, currently working as programme director of the Centre for Economic Performance at the London School of Economics. His early career focused on how to reduce unemployment and inequality. He was one of the first economists to work on happiness, with one theme being the importance of non-income variables on aggregate happiness, including mental health. He has recently teamed up with Sir David King to advocate major research and development around solar power.

Sir David King has been appointed as Foreign Secretary William Hague’s new special representative for climate change.He was the Chief Scientific Adviser to H.M. Government under both Tony Blair and Gordon Brown and Head of the Government Office for Science from October 2000 to 31 December 2007.In that time, he raised the profile of the need for governments to act on climate change and was instrumental in creating the new £1 billion Energy Technologies Institute.

Mark Maslin FRGS, FRSA is a Professor of Climatology at University College London. He is a Royal Society Industrial Fellowship, Executive Director of Rezatec Ltd and Director of The London NERC Doctoral Training Partnership. He is science advisor to the Global Cool Foundation, Climatecom Strategies, Steria, and Carbon Sense Ltd.  He is a trustee of the charity TippingPoint and a member of Cheltenham Science Festival Advisory Committee.  Maslin is a leading scientist with particular expertise in past global and regional climatic change and has publish over 120 papers in journals such as Science, Nature, and The Lancet.

The recent report from the United Nations confirms the huge danger from our continued dependence on fossil fuel and the serious impact it will have on climate change for future generations. In order to avoid what could be a catastrophe for our planet we need solutions on a global scale.

Sir David and Lord Layard argue that there should be a world sunpower programme of research, development and demonstration. The goal would be by 2025 to deliver solar electricity at scale to the grid at a cost below the cost of fossil fuel.

Each country would have the goal of demonstrating bulk supply of unsubsidised solar electricity in scale to the grid by 2025. At the world level, the target would be for solar electricity to be at least 10% of total energy supply by 2025 and 25% by 2030.

We are no where near that target at the moment and many countries including our own have a confused and unclear energy policy. But time is short and action is needed soon.

So join us and listen to these leading voices and hear what they have to say about the crisis we are in and what solutions are needed.

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  • Cel

    Hello everyone,
    I (Maricel Garcia) am currently doing my dissertation on the research topic of "Role of Carbon Tax in reducing greenhouse gas emission in the UK" This survey question is a request to share your perception and idea on the... effectiveness of carbon tax or other suggested soloution to be able to reduce carbon emission from the government, businesses and household perspective. I am kindly requesting if you complete the following short questionnaire regarding your perceptions, preferences and attitudes of the above.
    Your response is of the utmost importance and is highly appreciated.
    Please click on the link below:

    https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1os0BcUp_-tFjVbX2rRby7y1CTb6nXDJr9CYbryI2hMo/viewform

    January 29, 2014

    • A former member
      A former member

      Hi I work in policy development focused on GHG and air pollution emission reduction. Can assist you with fiscal policy intervention.

      1 · January 29, 2014

    • Rebecca

      Hi Gloria, could you please advise us on the policy regarding Chem trails?

      January 30, 2014

  • Fiona W.

    In reply to David Dunn, I was recently handed 'A brief introduction' to Citizen's Income. When they were called the Basic Income Research Trust (founded in 1984) their idea was that a basic income could be funded out of resources taxation, as in Alaska. I am sorry to discover from this 2013 leaflet that they now believe that the income should be funded from income tax. See www.citizensincome.org.

    1 · January 24, 2014

    • david d.

      Thank you for the above link, I will certainly be in discussion with them about this area of change, It appears that they are falling short of making a real reformation of the systems of tax , welfare and benefits, for the survival of both the planet and man.

      1 · January 24, 2014

  • Blake L.

    So far most of the comments seem to be either economic or technological ones.
    I'd like to consider a philosophical one - where we dont see 'nature' or 'a crisis' outside of ourselves - as we often refer to the world 'out there'. Instead can we consider the crises in our relationships with the living natural systems and one another? From that perspective you begin to see the superiority and alienation our scientific, economic and mechanical systems engender in us and our culture. I think to really change 'the world' we have to change our thinking on a deeply philosophical level.

    2 · January 23, 2014

    • david d.

      totally agree, that is why if the tax system was reformed so to pay tax on all natural resources and not on labour, |This would make labour cheaper relative to resources therefore reducing unemployment and use less resources.

      3 · January 24, 2014

    • terence f.

      somewhat like the old Chinese approach

      January 24, 2014

  • Ed

    Carbon taxes were mentioned as a way of controlling carbon emissions. However, unless applied worldwide, their primary effect is to export jobs. As China put it at (I think) Kyoto, "We are now doing all your manufacturing, so naturally we are using more carbon resources. And actually we have cut our potential emissions by population control, where the one-child policy has reduced prior-predicted population growth by an estimated 138 million. And carbon dioxide production is closely related to size of population". Furthermore, subsidy of carbon by (for example) India, is a means of attacking their core concern - poverty.

    January 21, 2014

    • Alban T.

      Terrific. On the GlobalNet21 website, is it permitted for anyone to fabricate quotations - on the basis of one's memory, admitted to be hazy, - then put them into the supposed mouths of a nation of over 1 billion people? Or is Ed alone permitted by Global Net21 to claim the privelige of faking aural evidence ?

      January 24, 2014

  • Ed

    There is another point generally overlooked, namely that the measurement of sea level changes is notoriously inaccurate, as tectonic plate movements mean that the land level in many places is not stable. And of course account has to be taken of coastal erosion. Both factors affecting the East Coast of England.

    January 23, 2014

  • Ian M.

    A very good meeting and I like the worthwhile comment from 'Gin'.

    January 23, 2014

  • Senake A.

    It would be good to hear everyone's - the deniers and environmentalists - views from the "What if we created a better world for nothing" viewpoint (see http://m.imgur.com/r/energy/up6yu). From a social, environmental and economic perspective, what should and shouldn't we be doing? Why and why not?

    January 23, 2014

  • terence f.

    The usual arguments were rehearsed. Sadly most minds were closed and I keep thinking of Chicken Little. No harm in exercising our minds on how to squander resources on looking for new ways to generate power although the greatest waste seems to be funding wind turbines. Much of what was said was less evidenced than the Saturday talk on the same topic by Duncan Clark. There is reliance on disputed reports with many of the claimed authors being attendees rather than contributors to the papers presented.I am told. The talk was short on scientific evidence and very short on solutions other than to under-price the cost of a Saudi barrel of oil which costs some $5 to produce. Cheap energy is a worthy target so roll on nuclear fusion and Thorium reactors. I heard no mention was made of tidal generation. Too much breast beating and insufficient vision

    3 · January 21, 2014

    • Graeme L.

      The depth of the sea is a good point David. Thanks for pointing that out. Is there evidence that the sea is warming, and to what extent?

      I do know that the level of the water in my kettle doesn't rise (by observation) when the water is heated from 5 degrees to say 90 degrees, a massive increase in temperature. Why is that, I wonder?

      January 22, 2014

    • Graeme L.

      David, am I correct that for your point to be valid, the sea would have to be heated for the entire depth of 10km? To the extent the sea is warming, wouldn't that be only at the surface? If so, my point about the effect being negligible would stand.

      Does that sound correct to you?

      January 23, 2014

  • Nick D.

    Organic Energy Storage Systems.
    Our engineers are raving about this. It's organic is composition so scale is easy to achieve:
    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/01/140108154238.htm

    I am just getting going on twitter, so will be breaking news there, just on the off chance that anyone wants to follow me !

    3 · January 22, 2014

    • Jonathan S.

      Re organic There is also the use of plant flavanoids in photo voltaics making sustainability and manufacturing footprint much reduced.

      1 · January 22, 2014

  • Gin

    Hi everyone, given that storage was such a key point in discussions and questioning at Monday’s event, if anyone is interested in learning more, the Electricity Storage Network – the UK's campaigning body for energy storage – has just recently produced an infographic clearly depicting a national strategy for electricity storage and the technologies that exist today – http://www.electricitystorage.co.uk/ESN-infographic.html The Electricity Storage Network is also holding an Open Symposium at the Institution of Civil Engineers in London on Wednesday, 29 January 2014 to rally the industry in carving out a strategy for the UK to roll out an additional 2 GW of electricity storage by 2020, and discuss options for development of a national strategy for electricity storage. Details and registration here for anyone interested: http://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/electricity-storage-network-open-symposium-tickets-10171277565?aff=eorg Thanks Francis for a very interesting event.

    2 · January 22, 2014

  • Graeme L.

    Wind and Solar power are the most heavily subsidised industries on the planet. It was surprising therefore to hear so many speakers bemoaning the lack of financial support and some proposed action to get more subsidies.
    The cost to the taxpayer is increased still further because of the intermittent nature of wind and solar energy. Because the electricity can't be stored, in order for wind and solar energy to be fed into the national grid there is a requirement for a standby power station. This is an extremely costly and wasteful exercise.

    Speakers deplored the heavy subsidisation of the oil industry.
    But the oil companies pay massive taxes to the governments. Surely those speakers understand that subsidies work in the opposite direction with funds flowing from the government to the industry.

    1 · January 21, 2014

  • Jonathan S.

    Where can I get hold of the sound recording of the event?

    1 · January 21, 2014

    • Francis S.

      I have a link to the recording that I will send out soon.

      2 · January 21, 2014

    • Andria

      film most of it that is!

      January 21, 2014

  • clive w.

    Good to be part of this meetup in the most important discussion in human history. I felt though we discussed important points the whole discussion lacked urgency. Sir d king had valuable insight but felt as though he was accepting of political restrictions to much. I feel we need a more ambitious plan and one that needs acting on. I may be wrong but I feel this was going over well trodden ground when now we need more discussions on implementation.

    3 · January 21, 2014

  • Fiona W.

    Terence - a very dear friend, then Secretary of the Royal Astronomical Society and working on fusion physics here and in Austin, Texas, died when she was only 38 in 1980. She had hoped we would have achieved nuclear fusion in 25 years' time: sadly her hopes were not to be achived nor will be, they say, for at least another 40 years.

    January 21, 2014

  • Laurie R.

    I would like to have heard much more about demand-side measures too, and a separate event is a must. I was a little disappointed that the debate was restating much of what many people in the room already knew. I would have liked to have discussed how we communicate the important messages and actually make it go viral – we have the tools.
    I was encouraged by Lord Layard's (rather oversimplified) ambition, and I would happily sign up to a 0.25% tax increase to fund a global solar and especially energy storage research programme. But the thing that struck me most was as I was leaving that magnificent building, walking past busts of bold politicians who built the British Empire and our democratic system, that we should be re-engaging, educating and challenging our politicians in meetings like last night much more frequently.

    1 · January 21, 2014

    • Ed

      It was also possible to go into the Public Gallery to watch a debate in progress. I spent half an hour or more watching the debate on pay-day lenders. Worth noting for another time Gobalnet21 is in this venue!

      1 · January 21, 2014

    • Peter J H.

      Agreed. There are many aspects to solving climate change innovation and renewable energy that are widely known about and almost entirely unsupported. Here is one example, http://www.thermodyna...­ Whilst we repeatedly find each year International agreement at international climate conferences difficult to obtain, I believe that the greatest hope is being able to make best use of what is already known by some and applying it so it can be utilised and benefit many.

      January 21, 2014

  • Heidi

    Excellent speakers and very effective use of time. Clear and precise with sidetracking. Successfully informed.

    January 21, 2014

  • Ed

    Within all this there are really good reasons for looking at alternative power sources that are not linked to global warming, of which conservation of resources is one, and cost is another. I would like to see more emphasis on this, and less on the questionable science of Global Warming. The Rawanda experience sounded interesting, for example, as was work on energy storage.

    January 21, 2014

  • Ms Elcena J.

    Very good lively debate. Getting involve with £1.00 or 100 units of any country money to get every one on the planet started. Which government is going to lead this for both rich and poor?

    1 · January 20, 2014

    • David F.

      We don't need a debate on climate change. Climate change is a matter of measurement not opinion. There's strong evidence that its human-caused, IPCC gives this 95% confidence which is a solid basis for action if you think about risks. There is a need to debate actions, eg how much to spend on adapting to CC, who should spend it, whether supply-side actions as proposed by King and Layard are enough, what demand reduction measures are needed. Maybe that needs separate event.

      5 · January 21, 2014

    • Graeme L.

      I agree David. You are correct. Changes in climate are measurable.
      However there are many top scientists who dispute that the changes are man-made.
      A debate on anthropogenic climate change is needed. It's never been held despite the well-worn mantra that the debate is over.

      January 21, 2014

  • Ed

    I would be interested to know why none of the "experts" predicted the plateauing of global warming that has occurred in the last 13 years, and which was referred to in the meeting. Retrospectively, it was accounted for by absorption by the sea, but why was this not anticipated?

    January 21, 2014

  • Ed

    Interesting how Global Warming attracts those of those with messianic views. Firstly we are told to believe the science, then a study by respected scientists in Hamburg, which proves that what is portrayed as a near-complete consensus is anything but, is referred to as rubbish. There may be global warming, but the evidence is far from being as clear cut as the zealots would have you believe. Shades of Weapons of Mass Destruction - and look where that led us!

    January 21, 2014

  • Jonathan S.

    A clear presentation of a subject which is no less than our continued survival as a species, rather than a passing inconvenience. Adapting our energy requirements ( lifestyle) and moving to renewables seem hampered by entrenched and powerful non renewable energy producers. Our life styles with its a consumerism and the drive for status and inequality as a measure of that status are part of that resistance to adapt. The need for international governmental backed research is hampered by the massive weighting of subsidy to these producers. Interesting to see that for some the whole subject is still an inconvenient belief rather than a well established body of peer reviewed science.

    1 · January 21, 2014

  • david d.

    Good open meeting, harked to much on we know already, As for solar perhaps we can back japan for 24hr solar power from the moon?, Storage is probably hydrogen or some chemical change reaction , and happiness has to be high on the agenda to. CHP has a part to play and only glasshouse farming has taken this up in any scale to make use of CO2, heat and Power, and heat buffer tanks .

    Radical rethinks reforms are needed, and with large business only interested in satisfying their own greed and that of shareholders, the real lead has to come from the politicians which means us to feed the ideas forward in type of forum.

    As I mentioned , your salary is your carbon footprint, and also money is potential energy to be spent , so the more growth and more money in the economy , the more potential energy will be released. Smart growth needed not exponential growth.

    Must not forget how to reduce ecocide in the countryside from farming and building

    2 · January 20, 2014

  • Jim

    Productive and very well chaired meeting.

    1 · January 20, 2014

  • Senake A.

    A very informative, enjoyable event.

    2 · January 20, 2014

  • Paul T.

    Great event

    1 · January 20, 2014

  • Martin H B.

    Apologies, now will not be able to come after all.
    Have just been asked to address this topic and other local environmental issues at our Local Area Assembly in Tottenham and feel that at present local should come first. Pity, I was really looking forward to tomorrow's event.

    January 19, 2014

  • david d.

    It has suddenly struck me about the title of this event
    "Running Out Of Time", If this is really the case , then the only way forward to to get everyone to pay a direct price of the pollution and environmental damage of all the goods and services they consume.

    Money does change habits and paying a high price for the damage caused to the planet, man and ecosystems, will reverse quickly the direction we are now following.

    To enable big business to tackle this alone is not going to happen, and governments themselves do nothing directly, But what governments around the world can do is to change the structures that will enable every individual to take part willingly or otherwise , by introducing a globalised change in the way Natural Resources are utilised and recycled. and this I believe can only be done with fundamental tax reform

    2 · January 19, 2014

    • Paul T.

      Really like what you are saying here David. If tax reform is a solution, and I have also believed it could work, what will have to happen to create the political or social will to bring it in? With most individuals not immediately affected by CC and big fossil fuel companies funding politics and lobbying the political will seems a way off yet.

      January 19, 2014

  • Nick D.

    There are some really big problems with the suggestion to solve the climate change problem through Solar Power alone:

    There is currently nowhere in the world where Solar Power is economically viable without subsidy. As a rule of thumb, to make solar attractive for investment, you need $250 per MWh of electricity produced and you need to produce a decent amount of MWh's. In the UK, electricity price is £40-50 and you get a trickle of electricity. This is because we are reasonably Northern and have world renown foul weather (lots of rain and cloud). The only reason that the UK has had a solar boom is that the UK Govt paid a crazy feedin tariff of £300 per MWh (which has now been reduced) and this could be combined with EIS reliefs for investors.

    Enforcing solar power installation in locations that are not suited to this technology is not an effective use of capital, subject to your objective being to fight global warming.

    1 · January 3, 2014

    • david d.

      Totally agree that all alternative energy generation with the exception of solar hot water, hydro and solar air are all doomed if subsidies are cut.Subsidies and grants are rife thouout industry and cause a total distortion of the market, Anyone can throw money away , especially when its not heir own , and that just wher governments have led the banks to the present crisis.

      January 19, 2014

    • Alban T.

      You utter errors of fact. Open, accountable subsidy, capped in amount & time - the norm for renewable technologies -, is an intelligent intervention in opaque energy markets, prone to manipulation by self-serving transnationals. By contrast, handouts to hydrocarbon & nuclear are usually covert & uncapped; the UN's IEA estimates that for every $1 of subsidy given worldwide to renewables, fully $7 is given to established hydrocarbon & nuke in response to lobbying. Please research too 'grid parity', now reached by wind & solar in several markets - e.g. Danish wind, PV in several US states. [What is 'solar air'? I've followed energy closely for 5 years: your term is unknown to me]. Your assertion that 'governments led banks' (sic) to the current crisis holds no water. The banks spent the 1990s and 2000s lobbying to be 'free' of controls such as Glass-Steagal. Politicians may have connived in the banks' demands: but the truth is it was banks who led us to the cliff edge.

      1 · January 19, 2014

  • clive w.

    I want to know if the persons speaking at the event are more accepting of the fact that 2 deg is impossible with the current Government plans. That we are on current trends moving towards 6 deg + by the end of the century with a very likely temp rise of 4 deg by 2050, a figure backed by the IEA? Gov and orgs are generally to scared to set more ambitious goals as we are barely paying lip service to the current ones?
    Info based on the following:
    http://climatesoscanada.org/blog/2012/11/19/watch-kevin-anderson-real-clothes-for-the-emperor-nov-6-2012-lecture-at-bristol-university/

    1 · January 19, 2014

  • Shaun T.

    Im sorry ill not be able to make the meeting now

    January 16, 2014

  • Lew L.

    Hello,
    I wonder if you can help me with a query. I am contemplating attending on Monday. However, I was wondering what long these meetings usually go on for and what the likely finish time would be as I need to consider transport arrangements.
    Thanks,
    Lewis.

    January 15, 2014

    • Lew L.

      My apologies, I've just read that it is scheduled to go on until 21:30.

      January 15, 2014

  • Phil S.

    Unfortunately and with regret I am now unable to attend this event so have taken myself off the attendee list.

    January 9, 2014

  • Paul T.

    This is a really great debating platform and looking forward to the event very much. After years working in and studying sustaiability it is 100% clear to me that lack of technology or tangible solutions is not the problem. We have all the knowledge and means to live sustainably. The problem is the social/political will (or lack of it). If we get that then we have a chance. How do we do that? Well considering that the current system is controlled by capitalist ideology which is all about infinite growth (on a finite planet) I fear we will have to crush that system if we are to succeed. This can for me only be done by creating grass roots movements that raise consciousness of how the current system is going to increase suffering. So it will be one conversation at a time and groups like this one that will help achieve this.

    3 · January 5, 2014

    • cliff B.

      The unfortunate thing is our basic social construct as a whole, top to bottom along with the dominant human values inherent to it that support it appear to be firmly walking against the natural order that exists (that we are slowly discovering) becoming more and more decoupled from reality as it were and hence, really, our life support.

      2 · January 5, 2014

  • Blake L.

    Debate is important, but how far will it really take us to creating a new way forward? Can we really wait for the government to act, and could they ever come up with a satisfying solution?
    Maybe the problem is really us - and how we see the world as a society. As a long time environmental activist who's also deeply interested in cultural shift and new possibilities, I find this video by Charles Eisenstein reveals how we will start to come to the answers we really need to discover for the climate change challenge. http://youtu.be/eNZ-bh2PXQ8

    1 · January 4, 2014

    • Paul T.

      That's a really interesting video Blake and difficult to argue with as it is probably going to take a change in consciousness to avert ecocide. My personal enquiry is how will this come about and will it happen fast enough? I have always thought that for example a solution like carbon rationing would succeed in averting the immediate problem of carbon emissions but is that just another form of control?

      1 · January 5, 2014

  • Ed

    The case for climate change/global warming is far from clear, as Lord Lawson points out in his excellent book "An appeal to reason". If possible, could we have someone who is not convinced by "evidence" which appears sketchy at best and with well-publicised falsification at that to give the counter arguments? Including consideration of the damage we are doing ourselves by compromising economic development. I may raise some of these points, but an expert would do so much better and with more credibility.

    1 · December 16, 2013

    • Paul T.

      One of the reasons I resist (rightly or wrongly) engaging with the 'is it happening or not' argument is that it is difficult to understand the (objective/scientific) logic of those suggesting we delay taking action, as the 3 min video below by David Mitchell articulates quite well. If in the light of this logic, someone still insists we delay taking action it is difficult to imagine what kind of evidence would be required to convince them, so why bother? http://www.upworthy.c...­

      January 5, 2014

    • Paul T.

      Another (slightly longer at 9 mins) expression of the same logic can be found here http://www.upworthy.c...­

      January 5, 2014

  • Steve R.

    If you consider that 'economic growth', which must be an oxymoron since it is impossible to grow scarce resources, is a part of the issue, then the solution must encompass sound economic management (i.e. control of the money supply and consumer spending / greed). We have a house meeting to discuss these root-cause issues, and their correlation, the following week. Please sign up if you are interested...

    January 4, 2014

  • Senake A.

    Fast tracking CO2 and methane emission reduction en masse using just market forces is possible, but it needs some lateral thinking. Enabling increased levels of self sufficiency - by drastically reducing costs - provides the incentives that the majority need. Wind and solar power are available to everyone with the right equipment - oil and gas are not. Similarly, a family with a fully automated aquaponics system would naturally shift off meat to a vegetable and fish diet. To reduce the cost sufficiently, we need to start off with something that currently has negative value - discarded packaging - by redesigning it to fulfil a secondary role - as the mechanical, electrical and electronic components needed to build low-or-no-cost home insulation, wind/solar, aquaponics, educational toys, buildings and so on. See http://tinyurl.com/ReThinkPackagingCrowdfund for more details on how this might work.

    2 · January 1, 2014

    • David F.

      What does "using just market forces" mean Senake? If that excludes green taxes and subsidies and mandatory efficiency standards then its not enough. As we see people will spend their money where they get most for it and that requires suppliers to use the cheapest fuels - mostly fossil fuels. Or consider insulation. When government cut the subsidy new loft insulation fell 90%! Strong government intervention is essential though we can debate what forms work best.

      January 2, 2014

    • Senake A.

      Hello David. We do need all of the measures that you mention, but they may not be enough - as the prevalence of fracking in the US illustrates. As you say, people will spend their money where they get most for it, so I am working on solutions to permanently reduce or eliminate their bills. Currently, insulating wall boards, solar photovoltaic panels, solar thermal panels, domestic wind turbines, ground source heat pumps and the like are too expensive with payback periods of 7+ years. By redesigning packaging as components, the cost of these could be reduced to under 12 months. For example, I am working on a design of standard sized breakfast cereal or washing powder box that can be used as an attractive insulating wall tile. Please click on the link above and let me know your thoughts.

      January 2, 2014

  • Francis S.

    This discussion is getting acrimonious and that is not what GlobalNet21 is about. It is about dialogue. I guess my role model is Nelson Mandella who said that although you may disagree with someone on principle you could still reach out and be their friend. He would shake the hand of the most hardened Afrikaan supporter of Apartheid and he won them over.

    When you attack people individually rather than dealing with the arguments then you never win them over. What is more you also never win over the undecided people and recent opinion polls have shown an increase in doubters over the climate change debate. For those who believe Climate change is propelling us close to the tipping point then that is a tragedy. You need to win support and not alienate it.

    6 · December 31, 2013

    • Blake L.

      Francis I agree that it's important to respond to the issues and not the people. However I also feel what becomes apparent is that as the organiser you have to set the boundaries up for this meetup. If it turns out to be a discussion about whether man-made climate change is an issue or not then I'm not interested to come to that debate. However if it is about what's the best way forward or what's really involved in gnat process then I'll be interested to come. It's important to make that clear at the outset and the reason why I responded the way I did at the beginning of this long thread

      January 1, 2014

    • Francis S.

      Blake the meeting is as it is in the promotion page on the site. Because we try to ensure that there is plenty of time for those attending to make points and ask questions I cannot predict or dictate what those attending will say. If you wish to raise the point about cultural change and paradigm shifts then you should be free to do so. If others are more concerned with other points then they should have the same freedom as you.

      Large meetings like this (and this one is already over subscribed) can never focus down too strictly as people come with a mixture of agendas. That is why we try to follow meetings up. And as you can see we have a follow up meeting on Jan 28th that may turn into a themed group where these different agendas can be addressed more effectively.

      1 · January 2, 2014

  • Fiona W.

    Sorry - here's more from: 'Care2 Causes - 10 Reasons why the Meat and Dairy Industry is Unsustainable'. I wonder if there are any statistics on how much methane WE would produce if all 7bn+ went over to eating beans instead of meat and dairy? And if there was no animal manure wouldn't we have to use more chemical fertilisers on the land? And what would my carnivorous Pussycat do?

    Happy New Year to all!

    January 1, 2014

    • David F.

      See http://na.unep.net/ge...­ for some basic data. "Recent estimates concerning animal agriculture's share of total global GHG emissions range mainly between 10-25 per cent ... where ... the higher figure includes the effects of deforestation and other land use changes and the lower one does not. According to Steinfeld et al. (2006) and McMichael et al. (2007), emissions from livestock constitute nearly 80 per cent of all agricultural emissions."

      2 · January 1, 2014

    • David F.

      So this is a big deal for the climate. Globally we need a sharp reduction in meat consumption though there's no climate need to eliminate meat production. It's worth noting that emissions per pound of meat vary by species and also, oddly, the kind of animal feed. Grass-fed cows emit less methane than corn-fed ones! As with many other climate issues there are significant health benefits as well.

      2 · January 1, 2014

  • Fiona W.

    An interesting thought via care2 (posted[masked]): methane is 30 times more than potent than CO2 in causing global warming. Google "A Meat Tax is the Smart Answer to Cut Methane Emissions" where the subject appears under several headings. This would upset those whose fashionable advice is to advocate eating a 'paleo diet'!

    1 · December 31, 2013

    • David F.

      Or we could stop subsidising the fuel used by farmers.

      December 31, 2013

    • terence f.

      or just eat fewer beans.

      December 31, 2013

  • Derek G.

    We are becoming over populated by selfish indifferent humans who are not interested in climate change or any other 'fancy' term. They just breed and breed and...... Only a super global catastrophe may 'resolve' the issue once and for all.

    December 30, 2013

    • David F.

      Well, up to a point Derek. Greenhouse gas emissions have increased much faster than population and the increase is largely driven by increasing prosperity - particularly that of the emerging middle classes in the BRIC states. The largest population increases occur in poor countries where climate impacts per head are much less than ours. Climate change demands a global response - no country can be left out - but it must include sharp reductions in the emissions of all the rich countries. This is incompatible with economic growth - a fact that is both threat and opportunity.

      2 · December 31, 2013

  • Steve R.

    The case 'against' climate change and the carbon cycle has also been presented with false argument. The consequence of breaking the carbon cycle is far greater than any argument for the risk impact and the oxymoron of 'economic development' or 'economic growth' (developing or growing a scarce resource?). There is a follow up house meeting next week to discuss this.

    December 30, 2013

  • Blake L.

    I take a more philosophical approach. I think that we have to change how we think rather than just change our behaviour. It's not so much an us vs them battle as much as us coming to terms with a deeper underlying position about our relationship to nature and one another. I see that most of us believe in a cartesian materialist philosophy that says we are all individual objects without any relationship between them. So this allows us to dig raw materials out of the planet without any conscience. But what if we see that there's another way to view life and each other from, one of relationship - then we'd be able to start living our lives differently. I dont think this means living simply and going backwards - I think it means letting a lot of space into our assumptions about how we think things work, and questioning them freshly in order to create something new, better.

    2 · December 21, 2013

  • Fiona W.

    carnanton56

    As a member of Population Matters and a subscriber to Population Media Centre in the USA, I think WE are the biggest problem. Have a look at their websites.

    December 20, 2013

  • carnanton56

    I think that climate change is the biggest problem facing the world.
    I am not convinced that science will be able to devise strategies to
    solve this, and I tend to take a rather pessimistic view of the future.

    1 · December 20, 2013

  • Senake A.

    'Earth's energy budget' by NASA quantifies the greenhouse gas impact - http://m.earthobservatory.nasa.gov/Features/EnergyBalance/page6.php

    December 17, 2013

  • david d.

    the question is How does society reduce it impact on the planet by using less resources and doing less damage to eco and environmental systems in the process.
    At the same time we must make a more equitable, equal and fairer society for everyone to live in , whilst empowering every individual into making the right choices , by choice within a new and reformed system of governance , to include taxes , welfare, education,security and well-being.

    This is all possible with tax and welfare reform , based on natural resource preservation at its core.

    http://climateguardian.blogspot.co.uk/
    https://twitter.com/climateguardian

    avery good dutch website that reflects some of the above issues http://www.ex-tax.com/

    1 · December 16, 2013

  • David F.

    The real issue here is what should be done. Business-as-usual implies a global temperature rise of at least 4 degrees. To avoid this we need radical action fast. Speakers at last week's Tyndall Centre conference suggested that we need to reduce emissions by 7.5 to 10% every year. That necessitates cuts in consumption in the developed countries; supply-side changes will not be enough soon enough though clearly necessary in the medium term.

    Welcome to the Anthropocene era!

    2 · December 16, 2013

  • Jonathan S.

    If we cannot agree on a global solution to Climate Change which was scientifically agreed to be occurring (with a 95% certainty rating in the IPCC report) we face a possible catastrophic future. Yet global competitiveness gives us little reason that we will arrive at such a solution.

    3 · December 16, 2013

  • Iain M.

    I will be able to pay my subs on[masked] and then I would like to attend. How does attendance work please? I imagine a lengthy security process? Does one have to take a passport any form of i.d. ? Anything else to note?

    December 4, 2013

    • Alicia W

      Hi yes there is a security process although a passport/ID is not needed, but they will take a photo of you when you enter. Please allow an extra 15 minutes at least to get through security as there is often a queue at this time of night.

      December 16, 2013

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