Tuesday, September 22, 2009

21st September, 2009.

Over the past few days I've been much involved, working alongside other lobbyists, in what might best be described as my "other activities", i.e. campaigning activities associated with climate change, environmental conservation issues and population matters. This is set to continue, and probably extend within the next few months, but doubtless time for birding will soon be found!

A few years ago there was a level of scepticism associated with the subject of global warming and whether such was a developing feature or , simply, a product of cyclical change. I now sincerely believe more than sufficient compelling evidence exists to support the claim and am relieved at the momentum for action that , finally, appears to be occurring. Within the last few days, the immediate future and , then within the next three months real evidence of commitment to consider, or implement , change has occurred:

  • China is to institute tough domestic measures relating to carbon emissions
  • a "Climate Summit" meeting is to be held at the United Nations tomorrow
  • the aircraft industry and manufacturers have pledged to reduce carbon emissions by 50% by 2050 and, of course
  • the meeting by world leaders in Copenhagen, Denmark in December to debate the subject.

At a national (UK ) level the current Party Conference being held by the Liberal Democrats is set to debate the subject and determine policy for the future. All such actions build up awareness besides resulting, hopefully, in positive initiatives aimed at constructive change. In parallel with this their policy document relating to wildlife and natural heritage is also to be welcomed.

Whilst policies and endless debate sometimes do little in themselves to bring about change, the intent associated with such is something to which the group or party can be held to in the future. In this context the undoubted, forthcoming UK election is an opportunity to consider where each of the parties stand in relation to such matters. I admit to having little interest, or patience, with the "also ran conservationists" , who , usually , have the most to say and do the least in practice when it comes to personal action. I'm still apalled at the utter lack of responsibility some people show when it comes to simple, straightforward actions associated with energy conservation.......switching off televisions playing to themselves, lights all over the house etc. It's all part of the above dilemma and suggests there's still a long way to go, not just at international and national level, but at a personal level too!! But we are in all this together and, therefore, as much of a team approach as possible is the only solution to this immense problem. Standing aside is not an option as far as I'm concerned!!

Whilst many people would profess to have litte technical knowledge of a subject like climate change, I never fail to be amazed at how tuned in they are to some of the current effects. To a lot of people the word, PHENOLOGY , and the discipline it embraces probably means very little

" the periodic plant and life cycle events, and how these are influenced by seasonal and interannual variations in climate".

Comments like, " they never used to flower at this time of year", " some of the summer visitors (Birds! ) seem to get earlier", " you know, the local weather has really changed, we're getting far more easterly winds than ever I can remember", all things I've heard in the last few years. Not precise scientific stuff maybe, but a gentle reminder that even the untrained eye, albeit attuned to local circumstances, is begining to pick up on changes.

I suppose the strap line is, please be aware and do what you can, and , if you can do more, then DO IT!! At the end of the day many of the measures make sound sense anyway and provide positive leads to creating a much better place to live in.

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