Climate Action Now - Together Herefordshire people CAN address Climate ChangeClimate Action Now - CAN - aims to give a voice to ordinary people, resident in Herefordshire, who are concerned about the impact of Climate Change but who may not have known how to make their views and feelings known to their political representatives. 97 per cent of Climate Change scientists conclude that man-made Climate Change is a reality. The scientific evidence is now so compelling that, if a ‘business as usual’ approach continues, there is a 50:50 chance that the average global temperature is likely to rise by 5 degrees centigrade or more relative to 1850 by the turn of the century. According to the report of the International Panel on Climate Change in 2007, a moderate international body of climate experts from around the world, the effects of this on the lives of our children and grandchildren would be devastating : crop yields would be decimated, dangerous extreme weather events such as flooding, heatwaves and hurricanes would become commonplace, large tracts of the world’s agricultural land would become desert causing widespread famine, many animal and plant species would be lost forever, sea-level rise would threaten to obliterate coastal areas and cities and severe water shortages in some parts of the world would be likely to lead to mass migration and political and social instability. The last time the planet was this hot was nearly 100 million years ago when dinosaurs lived in rain forests at the north pole and most of Europe was desert. Our existing human economies and natural ecosystems could not be sustained at such a temperature rise. Lord Stern, an economist who wrote the respected Stern Report on Climate Change in 2007 which was based on his consultations with a wide range of international climate specialists, speaking at this year's Hay Festival, told the audience that things appear to be a lot worse than when he wrote the report. This is because the climate models used then did not take account of the positive feedback effects of Climate Change. For instance, the rapid melting of the polar ice-cap causes the sea to absorb more of the sun's heat whereas the white ice reflected it back into space, the melting of the permafrost regions is releasing massive amounts of methane, an even more potent greenhouse gas than carbon, into the atmosphere, and vast tracts of tropical forests which previously absorbed carbon have been destroyed. Climate Change is happening a lot faster than was previously thought. We are already experiencing the effects of Climate Change. The unstable weather and the increase of extreme weather events in this country and across the globe has been felt by all. The NFU has reported a one third drop in wheat production this year, 2013, due to extreme weather. Putting short-term economic goals ahead of halting Climate Change would be disastrous for future generations because, if Climate Change proceeds at the current rate unchecked, there is unlikely even to be a viable economy as we know it by the end of the century or before. Many researchers believe that it may already be too late to prevent global warming reaching a tipping point where Climate Change becomes irreversible and will threaten the very survival of the human race but while there may still be a chance to take effective action this should be the utmost priority for our politicians. We cannot specify which actions should be taken but we need to know clearly that our political representatives are prioritising this critical issue with the utmost seriousness and urgency. There are many economists, ecologists, scientists and renewable energy experts who tell us that there are solutions to avert runaway Climate Change, but only if we act now with determination, focus and international co-operation. It is vital that government policies urgently address the impact of Climate Change. As representatives of our parliamentary and local government voice we urge you most strongly to support our concerns at every opportunity. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Stop Dirty Energy Development in Santa Barbara!The fossil fuel industry has recently targeted California's Monterey Shale and other heavy oil reserves as their latest get-rich-quick scheme. They've calculated that there are 15.4 billion barrels of dirty oil underneath our feet -- about as much as would flow through the Keystone XL Pipeline over 40 years if it were approved. The industry plans on using "enhanced techniques" to get at this oil, such as fracking, cyclic steam injection, and acidization. Each of these techniques is dangerous and unnecessary. This expansion project alone would generate 88,000 tons of global warming pollution per year, or the equivalent of an additional 17,000 cars on Santa Barbara County roads. And that's just to get the oil out of the ground! Nobody has calculated the emissions from transporting, refining and burning this dirty oil. The Santa Maria expansion project would inject 300,000 gallons of water per day to heat up the oily sludge underground. That's water our farmers would otherwise use for irrigation. Santa Barbara county has a choice: do we prioritize renewable energy and scarce natural resources, or do we keep investing in dirty, dangerous fossil fuels?