Sunday , May 26 2024
The need to do something drastic about global warming is becoming overwhelming.

A New Year’s Resolution: Joining the Green Party

I made a resolution many years ago not to make new year’s resolutions, and I’ve kept it pretty successfully, but I decided this was a good point to put off procrastinating and join the British Green Party.

I’ve been thinking about it for a while, hanging back because I don’t really see myself as the joining sort, and, let’s face it, they do have a very specific image that I don’t quite see myself as fitting – but the need to do something drastic about global warming is just becoming overwhelming.

The Guardian today has a fascinating interview with a palaeoclimatologist, whose speciality is the Jurassic.

“A few years ago people were saying, ‘OK, well, we’ll look back a million years or so, something like that, to see the effects of climate change’,” she explains. “They thought that we’d still be in the kind of world that we currently know. But now we think that for a vision of what the Earth’s going to be like in a couple of hundred years, we may have to go back to a time before the ice, to when it was a greenhouse world. Because if you look at the figures on carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, it’s rising very, very fast. It’s beyond the levels of CO2 that we classically know from before the last ice age. If it keeps accelerating at this rate then in a matter of just a couple of hundred years we’ll have levels of CO2 that we last saw at the time of the dinosaurs.”

And when I wrote to Camden Council as a leaseholder in one of their blocks of flats – in response to a statement that they were going to let an electricity contract – asking about using green alternatives, I got back the standard letter about it being too expensive but they were still looking at it. So they’re going to let a five-year contract to traditional suppliers.

I look around at all of the flat roof-tops around me, from four storeys to 17 storeys, and wonder how many wind turbines (and solar panels) you could put on top of them that have – according to this site – at least neutral cost implications, and considerable environmental benefits.

There’s a council election next year; I think a few Green councillors would be a very good idea. Might concentrate some minds among the staff.

About Natalie Bennett

Natalie blogs at Philobiblon, on books, history and all things feminist. In her public life she's the leader of the Green Party of England and Wales.

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