Update: the gift is now blogged here.
So for now, an update to my previous post. In response to climate targets being included in the idiotic 'Red Tape Challenge', over ten thousand people have sent messages to the government via Greenpeace, and more than fifty thousand have so far signed a 38 Degrees petition. A Greenpeace blogger reported earlier this week that David Cameron has pledged to halve the UK's carbon emissions by 2025. Sounds good, doesn't it? Not wanting to take my news from only one source, I checked The Guardian website - and yes, it seems the government really has set such a target.
Time for a party? Um, 'fraid not.
Firstly, it seems likely that the government will try to meet this target by putting up new nuclear power stations all over the country. A few climate change campaigners, including James Lovelock, believe that nuclear power is the only (or at least the best) way to halt global warming. Personally I disagree very strongly, and I imagine a lot of people in Japan would side with me at the moment. Some might say it's puerile to use high-profile disasters to argue against something, when they're very rare events. I think the effects of a nuclear accident are so serious that we shouldn't consider the risk worth taking at all, however small it might be. Read this moving post by Iris Cheng (it includes a short video as well - don't watch it right before bed, too sad) to learn a bit about how the Chernobyl meltdown continues to affect the people close (and not so close) by, 25 years after it happened. Do you want one of the new nuclear plants to be in your area? (This isn't NIMBYism, incidentally - it's NIABYism: Not In Anyone's Back Yard.)
|A view on the beautiful Suffolk coast, just outside Aldeburgh and looking towards Thorpeness. I deliberately cut the Sizewell B nuclear power station out of my photograph, because it really spoils the scene. Do look up Sizewell on Wikipedia and read about how, in 2007, Sizewell A leaked 40,000 gallons of radioactive waste water without anyone noticing.|
Secondly, the government might not really try to meet its own target at all. What the government says and what it does don't always match up, as this Guardian blog post points out very well.
Oh dear. Is this blog too miserable? Well, we need to share negative things so we can do something about them. What should we do about this? We could write to our MP about the nuclear power issue, making sure they know that while we definitely want them to cut carbon emissions, we don't want them to allow a nuclear plant in their constituency or anywhere else. We could join Greenpeace, because they're a strong campaigning voice against the nuclear industry. CND are still out there too, you know! They campaign against nuclear power as well as nuclear weapons. We can share our concerns and information with others. We can refuse to "just try not think about it". This is all positive action!
And to cheer you on your way with all of that, here are some bad photographs of coot chicks (cootlings?). I went foolishly close to some extremely aggressive Canada geese to bring you these pictures, so don't be ungrateful by complaining about the quality.