At the Paris Climate Change Conference politicians just signed a deal to reduce emissions and stop the planet heating to dangerous levels. Does this mean the world is safe!?
Though some still deny it exists, most people agree that climate change is no good thing. How can taking fewer selfies help to stop it?
Bernie Sanders, Prince Charles and Charlotte Church may have little in common, but we recently discovered that they agree on at least one thing.
All three have recently stated that climate change has played a big part in causing the ongoing civil war in Syria, and if we want to end violence in the long-run, we should get more serious about tackling climate change.
Luckily we created a video answering that very question.
So… Climate Change = Long Term Weather. However, a deal to stop Climate Change shouldn’t = Long Term Plan.
This December the world’s politicians are going to sort it all out. Or so they say. COP21 or the 2015 Paris Climate Conference is the annual meeting of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change that 193 countries in the world are signed up to. Their aim is to achieve a legally binding and universal agreement on climate change, locking in the target of keeping global warming below 2°C.
If the Earth heats above 2°C it’s generally agreed that we’ll see serious side effects. Think natural disasters like floods and freak weather events. If we keep burning fossil fuels at the rate we currently are we could hit this level by around 2036. No pressure then.
Countries attending the Paris climate conference were asked for plans outlining the amount of carbon they will reduce. These are called “Intended Nationally Determined Contributions”. Yeah, no offence, but I prefer “No Carbs before 2020”.
At the moment these are only promises and at COP21 politicians will attempt to turn these into a binding agreement. Good plan, guys.
It’s an ambitious target and yes, we have been here before. A deal was expected to be signed in Copenhagen in 2009… but fell through.
Even worse news; research is suggesting that even if a deal is struck at the Paris Climate Conference, the pledges from the countries involved may not be enough to slow global warming down. So how will the Paris Climate Conference make sure countries keep their word? There has been talk of creating a “ratcheting” system which would allow the UN to monitor the progress of each country. This would allow more pressure to be put on countries which aren’t pulling their weight. Come on guys, crank it up a notch!
Climate Action Supporter; “the science is there and 97% of scientists agree, the world is heating up. We may already be too late to stop it, but have to act now.”
Climate Change Denier; “How do we know that the planet warming up is down to humans? Surely there are other natural causes? We don’t know that the predicted results of ‘Climate Change’ would be a bad thing.”
Strange as it may seem, there are a small number of people who say that Climate Change has nothing to do with humans. However, a lot of people who are undecided about Climate Action are:
On the fence; “I think we need Climate Action… but isn’t it really expensive?”
Lots of developed countries are playing hard to get as they think Climate Action will have a negative effect on their wallets. For example China is keen to tackle Climate Change in the long run, but want a few more years of economic growth thanks to fossil fuels.
Paris may be the city of romance, but some are hoping mankind’s love affair with fossil fuels ends here. Will the Paris Climate Conference lead to a proper international agreement to stop Climate Change?
David Saddington is a climate change communicator, social entrepreneur, Huff Post blogger and TEDx speaker who has studied the science & policy behind the climate topics and is actively engaged in tackling the problem. You can follow him @
It seems the political parties are talking about fracking a lot in their campaigns with some arguing it’s a good thing, and others saying no, never and stop. But how are we supposed to care one way or another if we don’t actually know what it is…
Fracking: you drill down into the earth, find a rock, aim a high-pressure water mixture at that rock which causes it to fracture apart, and that then allows the gas in the rock to release and flow on out. Rocks have gas in them? Apparently so. Rock on!
The posh word for fracking, or what you’d call it if you were showing off at the dinner table.
The gas trying to be exported from these rocks is called Shale Gas. Fracking is going on all over the country in the North, South and Midlands. For fracking companies to frack in the UK they need to apply for planning permission and tick a lot of boxes before they can go ahead.
Where oh where do we begin? Firstly, fracking uses a LOT of water. That means transporting masses of water to the fracking sites which costs huge amounts of money, and doesn’t do the environment much good either. If we really want to pull on the heart strings, shouldn’t an adundance of water go towards countries with shortages or in dire need of water aid. Various African countries will spring to mind, but several states in America e.g. California is particularly drought-stricken.
Secondly, environmentalists worry that chemicals, and the bad sort of chemicals called ‘carcinogenic chemicals’, can escape during the fracking process contaminating the surrounding areas underground and on the fracking site. There’s also the worry that fracking is causing earth tremors: Blackpool had two tiny earthquakes back in 2011 after fracking took place in the area. And what about renewable energy sources people!? Can’t the money being invested in fracking be used to fund more renewable energy sources instead? After all, fracking is only continuing our reliance on fossil fuels. Fossil fuels are bad for us, remember?
Fracking lets you have access to those difficult to reach resources of oil and gas but most importantly it has given the UK gas security for the next 100 years. It’s great for job creation, the economy and energy supplies: the US have been busy fracking and it has meant millions more jobs, and much cheaper fuel because it’s all coming from home turf and not being imported in. So California might be desperate for some water, but now that they have a job they can afford bottled water! *Probing, another explainer for another time*
A word from our Environment expert, David Saddington: “Fracking is quite an old technology for extracting fossil fuels but as previously mentioned the big rise in popularity came during the US shale boom in the early 2000’s and lots of videos hit youtube of people who could light their tapwater on fire because of the methane in the water. Matt Damon even did a film about it called The Promised Land.”
The US have their own political stances on this, but for now let’s talk UK:
Conservatives: support fracking for shale gas….if it’s done safely. Their argument is that the positives outweigh the negatives. There is a lot that contributes to climate change and fracking might be a small part of it.
Labour: put in tougher measures before fracking can take place and give Wales and Scotland the power to decide on fracking in their countries independently.
Lib Dems: similar to the Tories but re-invest 50% of the tax income from fracking in green energy. Fighting fire with fire no?
UKIP: support fracking.
Greens: have a guess… yep… totally against it.
SNP: don’t like it either and will ban it in Scotland.
Plaid Cymru: not totally against it, but support a freeze on fracking in the meantime.
What else have the parties got planned for our environment: