The Term ‘Climate Change’

I follow a number of twitter accounts run by pro-climate (change) people and organisations. This is nice because I get a steady drip of blurbs and links that are relevant to my interests.

Source: posters-for-good.tumblr.com

One thing has started to bug me though, the term ‘climate change’. We can point to it and say that the effects of pollution and waste are real, but it’s not always clear what must be done about it. I think most people are starting to realise that the planet can only take so much abuse and it’s extremely encouraging to hear such conservative organisations as the Catholic church taking a pro-climate line (I wish my own church would do the same). What is less clear, and what is more imperative, is to adopt a more activist line in real terms. This is the next natural thing and we should be pushing for it now. What I mean is stuff like this:

Power / Electricity

  • More solar and wind instead of coal power
  • Even nuclear is better than coal power — and advances in squeezing more from spent fuel look really good.
  • Limits on available power to households and businesses — we are extremely wasteful when it comes to using the stuff
  • More electric vehicles
  • More Energy from Waste (post Materials Recovery, natch)
  • End subsidies for coal — and any other fossil fuel
  • End fracking — no new approvals

Waste

  • End mining subsidies
  • Subsidise and or encourage recycling and materials recovery
  • Impose more standards to reduce single use items that generate more waste. (also, standards for items to last longer in general, standards for items to be easy to repair and reuse, and standards for items to be easy to break up and recycle)
  • End corn subsidies and any other food subsidies — pass on the cost of food so that people stop wasting it so much.
  • More composting of organic waste
  • Limitations on water use, or a punitive charge above a certain level.

Can you see how these are more practical and specific initiatives to back? And there are many more where that came from.

Of course these have implications on what we consider a minimum standard of living. But the truth is, we shouldn’t be so precious about our standard of living. For example, I don’t mind going to the shops and seeing some shelves empty. To me this means less overproduction and less waste. As another example, if petrol / gas were even more dear / expensive, perhaps more carpooling and public transport, or even working from home. My point is, the human population would adjust. My prediction is, this adjustment is inevitable, so why not start now, in stages.

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