Our climate is changing. Across the world
are rising, ice sheets are breaking up and sea levels are rising.
In the Horn of Africa years of drought have led to an official
There's no doubt that human activities such as burning coal and oil, clearing
forests and making cement, are the main causes of climate change.
It's also beyond doubt that, unless checked, the combination of rising
population, increasing prosperity, deforestation, species loss, scarcer natural
resources, governmental folly, corruption and climate change will create
a global catastrophe. The exact form is incalculable, but seems certain to
include major humanitarian disasters and more warfare.
Another member has
argued that we need to address the risk of flooding by relocating
some key functions out of London.
So, like almost everyone who has studied climate change, the Green Party
is committed to immediate reductions in global CO2 emissions.
Indeed, we will eventually need to remove some of the existing CO2
from the atmosphere. Since the developed countries, such as the US and the
UK, have emitted most of the greenhouse gases it is only just that we should
make the biggest and earliest reductions. But because the most rapidly growing
developing nations, notably China and India, are increasing their emissions
at the fastest rates it is also necessary that they should take action. The
Green Party strongly opposes attempts by any state to evade its responsibility
for our future global climate.
To get these reductions we have to create a sustainable society based on
sustainable technologies and economies and this will require changes in farming
practice, transport systems, energy generation and construction methods -
to mention only the most obvious areas. The Green Party has
on all these topics
It is not just nation states that have responsibilities here. Sustainability
will require changes in how we live and what we do. Some of these, eg better
house insulation, will save us money and would be uncontroversial in a
well-managed country. Others, such as switching from cars to walking, cycling
and public transport, will be less welcome to some. However the Green Party
does have useful policies on these issues, and Green Party councillors, eg
in Kirklees have found practical ways forward even when in the
Enfield Green Party has turned out every year on the annual Climate Change
demonstration and two members visited Climate Camp at Kingsnorth in 2008.
State of the science:
The most recent relevant research is reported on the
Real Climate website
Carbon dioxide levels:
Before the industrial revolution the atmosphere contained 280 parts per million
(ppm) of CO2.
By October 2011 it had reached
389 ppm and was rising at
2 ppm per
year. Some commentators believe we can go to 425 or maybe 450
ppm without causing irreversible feedback mechanisms to kick in. Others,
such as James Hansen and Bill McKibben, argue we need to reduce the total
stock of CO2 in the atmosphere from the current level to 350ppm.
In view of the uncertainties and risks we believe that the world should aim
at 350 ppm. In the case of the UK that requires reducing our C02 emissions
by 5% per year, starting NOW.
a video of what we
can expect if we let climate change get out of control
A growing factor in increasing global emissions is the steadily increasing
number of flights: aircraft burn an awful lot of fuel, and do so mainly in
the upper atmosphere where it does much more damage. See the
page for a video showing worldwide flight patterns.
We have published several short comments on climate change in our members' newsletter - read them
this site and page down for a series of
short videos explaining the science and refuting the standard denialist idiocies.
If you are still not convinced then
may be the site for you.
here for David Flint's report on a two day conference on radical emissions reduction
here for Bill Linton's report on a one-day climate conference
here for Douglas Coker's take on Climate Camp 2008 (on Jim Jay's
Click here for Enfield Green Party's response to
council's proposals for greening Enfield
Click here for a table showing the energy used in
transporting food by various means ('Food miles') or
here for a Guardian article on comparisons between Fairtrade,
food miles, organic etc
Click here for Douglas Coker's take on where we stand (8.10.05),
with reading list
Click here for Douglas's report on a one-day conference
on the End of Oil (11.10.05)
Click here for Bill Linton's report on a one-day
conference on Climate Change (4.6.06)
Finally, for a bit of light relief, click
here for some cartoons.