Friday, 16 March 2007

Climate change is hot news

Have you noticed that not a day goes by without a news item on climate change, energy savings, renewables, recylcing or some other environment-related issue on TV news or in the papers?

I suppose the optimist in me sees this as a signal that people really have realised that human activity is speeding up the changes in Earth's climate. OK, for the doubters out there, the climate does go through periods of natural change, yes, but our pollution (carbon emissions and destruction of the ozone layer - remember that?) has certainly accelerated any natural changes.

The not-so-optimist in me thinks more cynically that it's merely "trendy" to be seen to be aware of all these issues and to fly the eco-flag.

I'll be convinced when I see real change happening. I'll be convinced when all new-build housing incorporates solar panels, rain-water collection, triple glazing, and so on. I'll be convinced when blasted incandescent light bulbs disappear from the world! Why isn't that happening right now? I'll be convinced when urban street lighting becomes efficient, with minor and low-cost measures like putting "hats" on street lights mean the electricity used lights the ground and not the sky (and maybe mean energy savings too?). I'll be convinced when I no longer see people sitting in parked cars, clearly not going anywhere, with the engine running. What is that all about? Those people clearly have money to burn, quite literally, and must also be lacking a brain.

I despair!

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