• Dear Guest, and welcome to RailUK Forums. Our non-railway discussion forums are currently restricted until members have five or more posts, and you will not be able to make a new thread or reply to an existing one in this section until you have made five or more posts elsewhere on the forum.

Why have climate change concerns suddenly increased?

MattA7

Member
Joined
27 Jan 2019
Messages
356
Why has the concerns regarding climate change suddenly became a top priority again? We have known about global warming and carbon emissions for over two decades and it was a important topic back in the early/mid 2000s then died down (at least in politics/media) until the past year or so.

Has there been any reason for this? It seems to be all we hear about in the media at the moment.
 
Sponsor Post - registered members do not see these adverts; click here to register, or click here to log in
R

RailUK Forums

najaB

Veteran Member
Joined
28 Aug 2011
Messages
25,147
Location
Scotland
Has there been any reason for this? It seems to be all we hear about in the media at the moment.
Option A: Because the vested interests in traditional energy haven't been able to suppress it any more.
Option B: Because the vested interests in alternative energy have been able to push it to the forefront.
Option C: Because there's a big climate conference coming up.

Choose your preference.
 

yorksrob

Veteran Member
Joined
6 Aug 2009
Messages
30,346
Location
Yorks
Because of an alarming increase in severe weather events at home and abroad.
 

birchesgreen

Established Member
Joined
16 Jun 2020
Messages
2,279
Location
Birmingham
Yeah, the effects are starting to be felt. Its no longer an academic abstract idea, it is already destroying peoples' lives.
 

deltic

Established Member
Joined
8 Feb 2010
Messages
2,513
Why has the concerns regarding climate change suddenly became a top priority again? We have known about global warming and carbon emissions for over two decades and it was a important topic back in the early/mid 2000s then died down (at least in politics/media) until the past year or so.

Has there been any reason for this? It seems to be all we hear about in the media at the moment.
Margaret Thatcher made a speech to the UN about climate change back in 1989 and was a key driver in banning CFCs which were destroying the ozone layer. Since then none of our PMs have been of a scientific bent and in the present cabinet only one minister has a science degree. The same probably applies to other countries. Hence science has been ignored until now when it is probably too late to do much about it.
 

seagull

Member
Joined
28 Feb 2011
Messages
375
Climate change has always happened and always will.
I'm all for sensible stewardship of our finite resources for future generations.
However we're now seemingly entering a new stage where we are prepared to stop at no expense to give ourselves the illusion we can control the climate and indeed planet earth in future.
Unintended consequences of hasty actions could definitely prove problematic.
 

najaB

Veteran Member
Joined
28 Aug 2011
Messages
25,147
Location
Scotland
Climate change has always happened and always will.
Yes it has, yes it always will. However anthropogenic climate change is a new phenomenon.
However we're now seemingly entering a new stage where we are prepared to stop at no expense to give ourselves the illusion we can control the climate and indeed planet earth in future.
99.9% of species that have evolved on Planet Earth have gone extinct. We will also go extinct. The only question is when and why.

I would rather it be due to something outside our control than by our own hand. Planet Earth will continue regardless.
 

Darandio

Established Member
Joined
24 Feb 2007
Messages
9,869
Location
Redcar
I would rather it be due to something outside our control than by our own hand. Planet Earth will continue regardless.

Until the sun swallows us in a few billion years, by then we'll be long extinct. As with all matters relating to the universe it shows just how insignificant we really are but equally should make us realise that we need to make a decent fist of protecting what we do have.
 

yorksrob

Veteran Member
Joined
6 Aug 2009
Messages
30,346
Location
Yorks
Until the sun swallows us in a few billion years, by then we'll be long extinct. As with all matters relating to the universe it shows just how insignificant we really are but equally should make us realise that we need to make a decent fist of protecting what we do have.

Unfortunately we still have the ability to take a lot of wonderful species with us, even before the sun does its thing.
 

HSTEd

Veteran Member
Joined
14 Jul 2011
Messages
13,848
Because we've failed to achieve anything like the required decarbonisation for the last two decades and every year that goes by the line our emissions to follow has to get steeper and steeper.
 

Gostav

Member
Joined
14 May 2016
Messages
234
we are prepared to stop at no expense
That is a very interesing point, it looks like only western NGOs want stop at no expense (abandon military, industry, mining), the most non-western countries are not (China, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Brazil etc.) and also they haven't patience to deal with those western enviroment NGOs such as Greenpeace and Extinction Rebellion.
 

AndrewE

On Moderation
Joined
9 Nov 2015
Messages
3,799
That is a very interesing point, it looks like only western NGOs want stop at no expense (abandon military, industry, mining), the most non-western countries are not (China, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Brazil etc.) and also they haven't patience to deal with those western enviroment NGOs such as Greenpeace and Extinction Rebellion.
Interesting comment, especially as I have just seen this: https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2021/oct/22/we-can-save-capitalism-or-the-planet-not-both (we-can-save-capitalism-or-the-planet-not-both)
What is required now is precisely a break with that logic. Looking to governments to deliver a plan which, to succeed, has to depart from the processes and ideological underpinnings of capitalism is a dead end, both as metaphor and as intent. What we actually require is an environmental movement akin to the Communist International, and an end goal which, like the Russian revolution, at least pre-Stalin, shows that a different form of life is possible. We need to be ambitious and imaginative, but we have to accept and embrace the fact that our goal is anti-systemic. The idea of green capitalism is a myth that will take us over the precipice.
The letters are all saying something similar, so I had better go back and read the original article!
 

Domh245

Established Member
Joined
6 Apr 2013
Messages
8,082
Location
nowhere
Climate change has always happened and always will.
I'm all for sensible stewardship of our finite resources for future generations.
However we're now seemingly entering a new stage where we are prepared to stop at no expense to give ourselves the illusion we can control the climate and indeed planet earth in future.
Unintended consequences of hasty actions could definitely prove problematic.

It's important to differentiate between natural climate change, and anthropogenic climate change. There's an increasing realisation that pumping greenhouse gasses into the atmosphere for decades has vastly outweighed natural processes and that if we don't want to exterminate ourselves yet we ought to stop. We're not trying to control the climate or planet earth, we're just trying to stop having such a huge additional influence on it

To make an analogy, we're not trying to build sea defences to stop coastal erosion, we're deciding to stop placing explosives at the foot of the cliffs (though we should be preparing strategies to mitigate the inevitable consequences of climate change at this point)
 

takno

Established Member
Joined
9 Jul 2016
Messages
3,707
Aside from COP26 I don't think any of it is particularly happening "now". Certainly there's a bit of a media frenzy, but that's just a mix of COP26 and needing something to fill the front pages now that Covid isn't working so well.

In terms of consumer and voter concern there has been a continuously growing appetite over 20 years for less fossil fuels, greener food, and a weird largely irrelevant obsession with plastic. That might be more recently driven by different generational thinking, clever corporates getting in on the act, politicians seeing it as a vote winner or a couple of hot summers and cold winters. Either way, it's not very new.
 

Domh245

Established Member
Joined
6 Apr 2013
Messages
8,082
Location
nowhere
and a weird largely irrelevant obsession with plastic

Plastic is certainly irrelevant to the climate change movement (although, every little helps - less plastics produced = less oil dug up = less energy consumed = fewer emissions) but is part of a broader sustainability awakening. You can "blame" Attenborough and his films of choking sealife for that particular focus

There's no reason why we can't reduce emissions and improve sustainability (less plastics, less deforestation, etc) - in many cases both benefit from the same actions, though in other areas they do clash (replacing plastics with paper a prime example) - the risk is people conflating the two and going all-in on one aspect and neglecting the other
 

JKF

Member
Joined
29 May 2019
Messages
355
A lot of the focus on plastics seems like tokenism, pissing in the wind. Go out on any bin day and see the number of ‘bags for life’ put out with the rubbish, probably only used a handful of times yet containing hundreds of times as much plastic as the old thin ‘disposable’ bags. Or at the school where I work where they decided to stop using single use plastic straws, so dumped several large boxes of unused ones in the bin. Stuff like this might make people feel good but then go about their business in ever larger cars etc.

We need bigger meaningful changes and efforts that might actually feel like an inconvenience if future generations are not to curse our laziness and disinterest.
 

Gostav

Member
Joined
14 May 2016
Messages
234
There is reason to believe that most of the "climate activists" active on the Internet are just trying to make money from NGOs such as professor Julia Steinberger's post on twitter
degrowth is anti-racist, anti-colonial, anti-fascist, pro-decent damn health systems and health workers, supports youth climate movements & Greta, is feminist, pro-LGBT rights, for good living & work conditions for all, and generally decent.
what a typical person who plays with identity politics.
 
Last edited:

najaB

Veteran Member
Joined
28 Aug 2011
Messages
25,147
Location
Scotland
There is reason to believe that most of the "climate activists" active on the Internet are just trying to make money from NGOs
Definitely "some", but it's probably a stretch to say "most".
 

takno

Established Member
Joined
9 Jul 2016
Messages
3,707
There is reason to believe that most of the "climate activists" active on the Internet are just trying to make money from NGOs such as professor Julia Steinberger's post on twitter:"degrowth is anti-racist, anti-colonial, anti-fascist, pro-decent damn health systems and health workers, supports youth climate movements & Greta, is feminist, pro-LGBT rights, for good living & work conditions for all, and generally decent." what a typical person who plays with identity politics.
Certainly that person I've never heard of appears to think that a list can be used in lieu of an argument, and apparently thinks that people who support some or all of the things listed (which is basically everyone) was born yesterday. I can't see what that has to do with NGOs though, and I don't think that one person stretches to "most" of the climate activist active on Twitter.
 

Drogba11CFC

Member
Joined
15 Sep 2009
Messages
536
One fb advert aimed at me is aggressively promoting insect consumption. I told them to bugger off.
 

takno

Established Member
Joined
9 Jul 2016
Messages
3,707
One fb advert aimed at me is aggressively promoting insect consumption. I told them to bugger off.
I do that with all Facebook ads. If you are willing to take the time to respond to every single as by clicking "I don't want to see this", "I don't want to see anything from this advertiser" and "not relevant", the number of ads you get soon drops right off.

I could quite happily eat insects as long as they were mashed up and given an innocuous name though.
 

AM9

Established Member
Joined
13 May 2014
Messages
10,420
Location
St Albans
This looks like a dinosaur rant thread. Not much acknowledgement that climate is changing as a result of human behaviour, or maybe afraid to admit it because it would require them to change their behaviour.
 

Gostav

Member
Joined
14 May 2016
Messages
234
This looks like a dinosaur rant thread. Not much acknowledgement that climate is changing as a result of human behaviour, or maybe afraid to admit it because it would require them to change their behaviour.
I think the major porblem is some people (environmentalists) very much care about climate change and talk about it almost every day, but do not do anything practical or change their behaviour or just changed the least important part.
 

takno

Established Member
Joined
9 Jul 2016
Messages
3,707
This looks like a dinosaur rant thread. Not much acknowledgement that climate is changing as a result of human behaviour, or maybe afraid to admit it because it would require them to change their behaviour.
So you say that in spite of at least half the posters explicitly stating that the climate is changing due to human behaviour. I mean we could all go to a lot of trouble to declare just how concerned we are, but that wasn't really the question being asked was it?

For the record, climate change worries me a lot, and I have no doubt at all that it's driven by human behaviour. I'm particularly concerned because a lot of the things I was crying out for 20 years didn't happen and still aren't happening. Meanwhile we have a green lobby which will stop at nothing to divert all the goodwill and attention onto stuff like plastics, biodiversity and marine waste, often pushing solutions which make the real and pressing climate crisis even worse.
 

GusB

Established Member
Associate Staff
Buses & Coaches
Joined
9 Jul 2016
Messages
3,676
Location
Elginshire
There is reason to believe that most of the "climate activists" active on the Internet are just trying to make money from NGOs such as professor Julia Steinberger's post on twitter

what a typical person who plays with identity politics.

Identity politics? Hmmm

degrowth is anti-racist, anti-colonial, anti-fascist, pro-decent damn health systems and health workers, supports youth climate movements & Greta, is feminist, pro-LGBT rights, for good living & work conditions for all, and generally decent.

Anti-racistTick
Ant-colonialTick
Pro decent health systems and health workersTick
FeministTick
Pro-LGBT rightsTick
For good living & work conditions for all, and generally decentTick

That sounds to me like a good all-round list of qualities I expect in people that I meet from day-to-day. Maybe there's a bit of a language barrier here, but it very much sounds to me that you're against all of this. Please tell me I'm misreading your post!
 

AlterEgo

Veteran Member
Joined
30 Dec 2008
Messages
13,952
Location
No longer here
Identity politics? Hmmm



Anti-racistTick
Ant-colonialTick
Pro decent health systems and health workersTick
FeministTick
Pro-LGBT rightsTick
For good living & work conditions for all, and generally decentTick

That sounds to me like a good all-round list of qualities I expect in people that I meet from day-to-day. Maybe there's a bit of a language barrier here, but it very much sounds to me that you're against all of this. Please tell me I'm misreading your post!
How does “degrowth” achieve ANY of that? How, if you work to make the population smaller, do you support vulnerable, poorer people when they get very old? Retirement pensions are predicated on there being enough people of working age to pay them.
 

Top