Saturday, 13 September 2014

Climate Change: There is a growing recognition that affordable, scalable solutions are available now that will enable us all to leapfrog to cleaner more resilient economies

It seems the climate has reached a 'tipping point':
Futures Forum: Climate change: CO2 levels hit 400 ppm

Climate science is not a matter of whether you 'believe' it or not... 
However, whilst people are more convinced about the reality of climate change, they are still unsure about the science behind it:  
Futures Forum: Climate change: "only one Briton in nine realises the strength of the scientific consensus"

In a week's time, events are planned to coincide with the UN's meeting in New York to address the issues around climate change:
Futures Forum: Climate change conversation: 21st September ... 12 noon ... on the Esplanade

Here is a very useful overview from Sustainable Ottery's September newsletter:

This month sees the release of the latest greenhouse gas figures which shockingly show that carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is rising at its greatest rate for 30 years. The World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) says that it highlights the need for a global climate treaty. So luckily this month also sees the next UN Climate Summit 2014 in New York on the 23rd J. Any chance of any joined-up thinking? We can but hope but with India and China threatening not to attend….. L However, you can let the politicians know your feelings by taking part un the Climate March on Sunday 21st September in London or more locally in Sidmouth. Read below for details.

It’s also Community Energy Fortnight this month, 13-28 September. What a great way to tackle global problems by starting in our own backyards. There are many Community Energy groups in Devon. Plymouth has made great strides and Exeter and Sidmouth are just getting going. Their aim is to benefit the local area, its people and the environment, sharing the financial benefits between shareholders, create a fund for community projects and invest in further energy projects. See the links later if you want to know more. If, like us, you’re inspired by such schemes then please get in touch. We’d love to see a scheme in Ottery and many hands make light work and we are seriously short of hands at the moment! 



Climate change is not a far-off problem. It is happening now and is having very real consequences on people’s lives. Climate change is disrupting national economies, costing us dearly today and even more tomorrow.  But there is a growing recognition that affordable, scalable solutions are available now that will enable us all to leapfrog to cleaner, more resilient economies.

There is a sense that change is in the air. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has invited world leaders, from government, finance, business, and civil society to Climate Summit 2014 this 23 September to galvanize and catalyze climate action.  He has asked these leaders to bring bold announcements and actions to the Summit that will reduce emissions, strengthen climate resilience, and mobilize political will for a meaningful legal agreement in 2015. Climate Summit 2014 provides a unique opportunity for leaders to champion an ambitious vision, anchored in action that will enable a meaningful global agreement in 2015.  http://www.un.org/climatechange/summit/ 

To show your support there is a Climate March in London on Sunday 21st  which is being organised by such groups as Greenpeace, Oxfam and Christian Aid, starting at 12.15 with a multi-faith gathering in  Victoria Embankment Gardens. At 1pm the march sets off for a rally in Parliament square for 1.45 to 2.45. If you would like to go Helen is offering a lift to Honiton station for the 9 am train. Please contact her via info@sustainableottery.org.uk  

Or, nearer to home, people are encouraged to walk, swim, surf etc to Sidmouth seafront (by the RNLI station) by 12 noon for a climate change discussion. At 1.30 the tide will start to come to remind us of those islands which might disappear as sea levels inevitably rise. Join in and make your feelings known.


A surge in atmospheric CO2 saw levels of greenhouse gases reach record levels in 2013, according to new figures. Concentrations of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere between 2012 and 2013 grew at their fastest rate since 1984. The World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) says that it highlights the need for a global climate treaty. Michel Jarraud, secretary general of the WMO said, "We must reverse this trend by cutting emissions of CO2 and other greenhouse gases across the board," he said.  "We are running out of time." The figures suggest that in 2013, the increase in CO2 was due not only to increased emissions but also to a reduced carbon uptake by the Earth's biosphere. This is more worrying as the last time there was a reduction in the biosphere's ability to absorb carbon in 1998, there was extensive burning of biomass worldwide, coupled with El Nino conditions.  

"In 2013 there are no obvious impacts on the biosphere so it is more worrying," said Oksana Tarasova , chief of the atmospheric research division at the WMO.  Global average temperature have not risen in concert may not be in with the sustained growth in CO2, leading to many voices claiming that global warming has paused. "The climate system is not linear, it is not straightforward. It is not necessarily reflected in the temperature in the atmosphere, but if you look at the temperature profile in the ocean, the heat is going in the oceans," said Oksana Tarasova. "We don't understand if this is temporary or if it is a permanent state, and we are a bit worried about that. It could be that the biosphere is at its limit but we cannot tell that at the moment."  Taken from http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-29115845 

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