Philobiblon: Joining the Greens for the new year

Saturday, December 31, 2005

Joining the Greens for the new year

I made a resolution many years ago not to make new year's resolutions, and I've kept it pretty successfully, but I decided this was a good point to put off procrastinating and join the Green Party.

I've been thinking about it for a while, hanging back because I don't really see myself as the joining sort, and, let's face it, they do have a very specific image that I don't quite see myself as fitting - but the need to do something drastic about global warming is just becoming overwhelming.

The Guardian today has a fascinating interview with a palaeoclimatologist, whose speciality is the Jurassic.

"A few years ago people were saying, 'OK, well, we'll look back a million years or so, something like that, to see the effects of climate change'," she explains. "They thought that we'd still be in the kind of world that we currently know. But now we think that for a vision of what the Earth's going to be like in a couple of hundred years, we may have to go back to a time before the ice, to when it was a greenhouse world. Because if you look at the figures on carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, it's rising very, very fast. It's beyond the levels of CO2 that we classically know from before the last ice age. If it keeps accelerating at this rate then in a matter of just a couple of hundred years we'll have levels of CO2 that we last saw at the time of the dinosaurs."

And when I wrote to Camden Council as a leaseholder in one of their blocks - in response to a statement that they were going to let an electricity contract - asking about using green alternatives, I got back the standard letter about it being too expensive but they were still looking at it. So they're going to let a five-year contract to traditional suppliers.

I look around at all of the flat roof-tops around me, from four storeys to 17 storeys, and wonder how many wind turbines (and solar panels) you could put on top of them that have - according to this site - at least neutral cost implications, and considerable environmental benefits.

There's a council election next year; I think a few Green councillors would be a very good idea. Might concentrate some minds among the staff.


Blogger Michael McNeil said...

Happy New Year!

you wrote:
I made a resolution many years ago not to make new year's resolutions, and I've kept it pretty successfully, but I decided this was a good point to put off procrastinating and join the Green Party.

In which case I recommend you read the important piece from last year, recently republished (by permission) in Impearls, by James Lovelock, scientist-inventor of the “Gaia Hypothesis” — a person considers himself to be a Green — titled “Nuclear power is the only green solution,” subtitled “We have no time to experiment with visionary energy sources; civilisation is in imminent danger”!

1/01/2006 05:16:00 am  
Blogger silverfish said...

Why not stand for the election?

1/01/2006 09:05:00 am  
Anonymous barb said...

Happy New Year! and congrats on joining the Green Party. I'm a registered Green and though sometimes I don't think it makes much difference it makes me feel better to officially say yes, the Dems and the Republicans are both assholes and I'm for something different. Though when I vote I usually vote for Democrats.

1/01/2006 06:12:00 pm  
Blogger Natalie Bennett said...

As for nuclear power, I can see the argument, and think it is worth having - but I don't accept it. Primarily because of the waste problem, but also because failure is so catastrophic.

Stick a wind turbine - or two - on every suitable house, solar panels ditto; enforce the use of low-energy light blubs; tax the hell out of all but the most fuel-efficient vehicles - there are other answers. All that is needed is the political will.

As for standing, well ... I may have spent too many years as a journalist covering local councils to see that as a desirable prospect, even though I accept perhaps I should consider it.

1/01/2006 11:18:00 pm  
Blogger Susoz said...

Joining is something I've considered too and maybe I will in future. The 45C (112F) New Year's day we had in Sydney has certainly scared a lot of people.

1/03/2006 01:10:00 am  

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