It may come as no surprise that many parts of the United Kingdom had more rain in one day this week than they would have had in a month. Certainly the 55,000 fans at the Isle of Wight have had a muddy and wet time, and and organiser John Gidddins has apologised for the chaos and promised that lessons would be learned for future years. Mr Giddings said that he was working with the police and the local council to create a plan to help people get away from the festival as easily as possible after Bruce Springsteen closes the event this evening. This involves more than 100 4×4 vehicles being on duty in the car parks to help tow stuck vehicles out and extra police officers being drafted in to help. But what is wrong witn our weather?
Eleven out of the last twelve summers have been the hottest on record – and this is the wettest June for 230 years. Just this Friday Keswick had 8.86 cm of rain, and River Calder flooded at Hebden bridge. Other flooded areas included Croston (great potatoe pies and I am sure I was there when it flooded 25 years ago so it’s not a one-off), Todmorden and Wigan. If you go out walking, if you farm, sail, run an outdoor activity centre, have a garden – or go to festivals – you will have noticed our weather is changing. And yet many still insist that climate change is a big myth – they must be blind – or just believe the PR put out by oil, gas and coal industries which is clearly is amazingly effective. And the debacle of Rio +20 is symptomatic of the lack of enthusiasm for change – we sort of know we need to change – but at the moment economics always trumps climate change and, energy is a big part of all economies. The UK’s government the greenest ever? Ermmm no. And the Olympics the greenest games? Hmmmm – lets wait and see. And it seems to matter not one jot that wind, water and solar energy are cheap alternatives which we can control and manage and that here in the UK we now have little in the way of fossil fuels. Why don’t we change? Why do we keep pumping CO2 out and burning fossil fuels? Isn’t it in everone’s interests to move to sustainable energy? why is this even a political issue – it should be a no brainer shouldn’t it?
Will Hutton had written a great piece in the Observer today (24th June) titled “A catastrophe if global warming falls of the international agenda” who points out that climate change trends 20 years ago, already visible but less marked, prompted the first earth summit in Rio saying “The second one closed on Friday night with a political declaration as long as it was vapid. There were plenty of warm words and reaffirmations of intent – but nothing that might address the intense pressure on the natural environment” adding “There was, for example, no deterrent to the burning of fossil fuels or incentive to make renewable ones more economically attractive. Targets for sustainable development? Forget them. And so it went on — a non-event that hardly got reported” and “There was the usual cast of suspects. China and India were determined that action on carbon emissions must be undertaken by the west and not by them, so creating political deadlock. American oil, car and airline companies lobby intensely to stop any tax being levied on oil and gas, while global banks lobby no less furiously against a financial transactions tax whose proceeds might be used to alleviate the impact of climate change”.
It’s a really good read – and you can find it here http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/jun/24/will-hutton-climate-change-action