Category: the future
“Climate change is as big a threat to world peace as war,” the UK Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, recently told the UN Security Council, as he committed the UK, host of this year’s key climate conference, COP 26, to leading the world on action. Yet the UK’s own influential Public Accounts Committee (PAC) comprised of UK Members of Parliament says ministers have “no plan” to meet climate change targets, two years after setting them in law. Renowned economist Andrew Simms lays all of this bare in a brilliant article settings recent UK spending commitments in perspective: “What that leadership currently looks like is a government which announced an increase in its military spending of £16.5 billion in November 2020, and in 2020-21 spent at least £41.2 billion on the military and just £3.1 billion on reducing carbon emissions.” Strip away the green rhetoric and what lies beneath looks very much like business as usual with all its toxic legacy for our children and grandchildren.
Good news from Cumbria where the local council has said it will reconsider the planning application for a new coal mine – see previous post. While one can sympathise with the need for employment in the area, new jobs must consider the wider climate change impacts and be environmentally sustainable. Anything else is an abdication of responsibility by the council to the long-term welfare of its residents and us all. And while the potential damage from this mine may look small compared to other mines around the world, its damaging effects will last well into the future. The time has passed for fudge, compromise and back room deals. Everyone – including local councils – needs to act now to safeguard the future. You can add your voice by signing the petition here.
Fit for the Future
In these days of Covid-19 it may feel that demands to respond to the climate and ecological crisis are just another burden. But Covid-19 has also provided us with time and opportunity to consider a better future while many of the solutions to Covid-19 also offer solutions to climate change. So let’s use this time wisely to make the changes we need to help our industry come out of Covid-19 fit for the future.
Carbon Capture Martinis
A nice cold martini is undoubtedly better for the planet than global warming. Unfortunately it would require 11 quadrillion Air Vodka Martinis to make any kind of significant impact. Still, it’s a start. See here for this and other more serious environmental reasons to look forward to 2021.
Season’s Greetings from ELT Footprint UK this December 2020. Here’s to a better and even greener 2021!
Global Schools Festival
Cambridge University Press is holding a virtual ELT conference, Global Schools Festival, 24 – 26 November 2020, with many session of interest to environmental educators: Education for a Sustainable Planet, 3 ways to bring sustainability into the primary classroom, Taking a stand; inspiring students to take action, There is no Planet B? What can I do? (with Mike Berners Lee) – and more! Highly recommended. Explore more and sign up here.
Welcome President-elect Biden!
At last some good news from The USA! Let’s put the last four grim years behind us and look forward to a much brighter future along with the millions of Americans who voted for Biden and his green agenda. More here
No need to ask who we support in the upcoming US elections. Joe Biden has promised to implement a $2 trillion green energy plan if he wins. And while we all know there is a difference between what politicians say and what they do in power, at least Joe Biden is able to talk intelligibly on the subject. Fingers crossed..
The idea of zero-emission aircraft must not take the spotlight off how we deal with the current problem of aircraft CO2 emissions. But it does give some hope for the future. More