US/English article in Axios. Maybe I am not the only one who is depressed about the LACK of action on Climate change… The Experts saw Europe’s devastating heat wave coming, but without any changing of the course to curb greenhouse gas emissions — this is depressing and baffling to the scientists who have been warning about this moment for years.
You’re not alone, Andy60. The lack of political will and the excess of political showboating around climate change is indeed depressing. Only referring to France, it has been 20 years now since Jacques Chirac’s “Notre maison brûle et nous regardons ailleurs” speech in Johannesburg and successive governments have done nothing but posture. Alas, the same or worse is true of nearly all governments, the US, as leading emitter of greenhouse gases, being prime offender.
I live in northern Finistere in Brittany and yesterday morning my wife and I realised, our throats raw and eyes stinging, that what we had taken for a dense fog was actually the smoke from the fires in the nearby Monts d’Arée. The sky was brown, a dull yellow sun straining to shine through. 1700 hectares of heath and forest gone in a protected national park (surrounded by industrial agriculture). It was the first time I had been confronted with conditions in this part of Europe that other parts of the world experience with freakish, and increasing, regularity.
I’ve been involved to varying degrees in environmental activism for decades. I once saw a marine physicist back from a mission in the arctic pause as he delivered a paper & make a visible effort to collect himself, squeezing the bridge of his nose to hold back tears, as he recounted his findings on loss of summer sea ice. He didn’t cry of course and was deeply embarrassed & apologetic.
In years past whenever I witnessed one of these visible signs I felt afraid and then became mobilised by anger and a sense of purpose. For the past 24 hours I’ve just felt numb and hollow. So, no you’re not the only one depressed by theappaling lack of action.
Wife and I watched an interesting short French news documentary on Dubai the other day, and how some areas (gated community?) have been set up to attempt to reduce carbon footprint (inevitably, seemingly only inhabited by a wealthy expat/immigrant community). The report was careful to point out that this new eco-tech community hadn’t yet spread to the “normal” class of residential areas, and the minister interviewed was totally pragmatic that the approach would take time and change wouldn’t happen overnight, but it did seem to show that the government had taken the measure of the problem. As usual though, overt criticism was avoided, the reporters couldn’t be seen to be slagging off the very people who’d invited them so kindly to see the showcase village
Yes Simian: I grew up in Southern California and brush fires were a yearly occurrence. but in the years since the growth and home building is now so dense that the brush fires turn into a disaster with many homes destroyed. And as a kid I saw the effect the first pollution laws for cars had. But today, here we are still “Talking” about climate change and our effect on the planet. And yes the USA is one of the worst offenders. I hope you stay safe from the fires, If you can stand them the N95 face masks will filter out the smoke and make it easer to be outside. Take Care/ a’ bientot !
Hi KarenLot: I wish here in the USA among other things, that we could stop the burning off of excess gas from oil wells. It’s called flaring and most oil wells or collection points have a flare tower. The oil industry says its too costly to recapture the gas. There are collection hubs near me that have flare towers running most days. I see it and it just seems like such an excessive waste.
We had a similar experience when we stopped in Begard on Tuesday - thought it was just an odd mist - it had rained heavily earlier, after many weeks dry - until we opened the car doors and the smell of burning hit us.
I’ve lived near, or driven past, a variety of petrol refineries in the areas where I previously lived, and I always wondered why so much was wasted. This WP entry indicates that it is basically because the industrialist operators don’t see it as economically imperative to install secondary equipment to capture the gas, purify it, and store it for distribution. That really is a wasteful way of thinking, if the figures are accurate in the table in that link, the equivalent to 30% of European gas consumption, or 25% of US gas consumption. Mind boggling.
I don’t know if these figures are reliable but even if they over estimate by 50% or even 90% then you can see why the planet is screwed… Short-term greed of a tiny number leading to long-term catastrophe for everybody.
In all the debates around global warming one area that seems to quietly go unchallenged is farming and more important…soil and its health. With the likes of Cargill and their 114billon dollar turnover followed by ADM and Bayer, the chemical companies have dictated and re shaped farming practices so our soil is bordering sterile. There are predictions that we have 50 harvests left in the earth after that we are looking at starvation on a scale that’s too frightening to comprehend.
There is a bounce back with regenerative farming practices but this needs to be taken up by farmers super fast so we can return the soil to its carbon soaking good health.
Save soil - our very body - a documentary. Sorry I cannot copy the link. My wake up call to the state of British farming practice was John Humphrey’s ‘the great food gamble’ that was over 20 years ago, then I was shocked that crop rotation wasn’t still being used and the extent that chemicals was…
Now this docu. has raised awareness to the degradation of our soil and the decline in nutritional quality of our food. We are sleeping walking onto one hell of a future….we know people revolt over food, here in France it’s still very much celebrated. I just think not enough people are informed into the real state of our soil. We all need to get on this and fast. Do your own research, inform yourself and take action. I’m not preaching and do not wish to offend anyone but I think we are just running out of time, fast.
Probably about right, although of course it will vary from place to place. It’s now 8 years since the UN Food & Agriculture Organisation warned that ‘the world on average has just 60 more years of growing crops’ - and 4 years since Michael Gove, of all people, warned that ‘the UK is 30 to 40 years away from the fundamental eradication of soil fertility in parts of the country’.
I met a retired farmer from Devon some years back whose son is now farming his land. This farmer had a lot of time for Michael Gove - felt he really knew his stuff. His son was farming without ploughing and working hard to regenerate their land. The retired farmer thoroughly approved but did say longingly that he did miss the look of a nice tilled field.
Then which volcano caused that heat rise? Water vapour and CO2 trap in the heat but where does the massive burst of energy come from to raise the whole of Europe and small islands just off of Europe by 10c for a few days?
Is it from the huge areas on fire elsewhere carried in on the wind?