Saving the Planet
By DaveLevy on Mar 18, 2008
Richard Barrington, who doesn't blog as often as he should, Sun's Green Lantern, introduced the day's keynote speaker, Craig Bennett, from Cambridge University's Programme for Industry. He spoke about the science of climate change. He used a combination of his own slides,and Al Gore's which reminds me I still haven't seen "an inconvenient truth".
Greenhouse gases are at an all time historical high. Unless we stop producing them, this will continue. Some natural (and a few human) processes consume carbon. The amount of green house gases in the atmosphere determine the temperature of the earth. The Stern Report talks about the potential effects of changes in the average temperature and argues it is possible to restrict the growth in green house gases, but the world needs to act in concert.
Craig's web site states that he led CPI’s work on the Bali Commuiniqué which brought together 170 global companies in support of a comprehensive, legally-binding United Nations framework to tackle climate change and generated global media attention, Sun was a signatory and is an active participant in the CPI's activities.
He also repeated Gore's slides about how science and journalists treat the issues, by comparing the weight of scientific peer reviewed papers versus the balance of media coverage. There were no scientists arguing that the level of green house gases are not dangerous. Science has agreed that green house gases cause climate change, and that human activity contributes to the danagerous level of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. The majority of press coverage was oppossed to this view. (2006).
When asked his opinion about what might be done, he firstly suggested that the politicians havn't really got to grips with the importance and inexorability of climate change and that another major western city will need a New Orleans style disaster before they take it seriously, but his other, possibly more low key suggestions were
- there is no silver bullet, we need silver buckshot
- tax bad things not good things i.e. can we discriminate between clean & dirty energy, its a bit tricky with a 17½% VAT on everything
- government procurement should prioritise low carbon goods
This is what the Guardian said about the Stern Report, when it was first published.