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Attitude to climate change is totally different in Europe. Having returned from a trip to the UK and France, I was surprised to see how much effort was spent on addressing this problem and in complete contrast to the concern here in the USA.

In England windmills were every where. It seemed like every 100 acres, and in lines off the coast to take advantage of the onshore/offshore diurnal winds. Same in France.

Electric vehicles were every where. Tesla sold more to the UK this year than anywhere else. Delivery vehicles I saw were electric and charging stations were at gas stations. In Paris they were on most streets. Paris buses were electric or older ones were hybrids. Paris has announced plans to replace many car lanes with bicycle lanes.

Plastic bags were noticeably absent as the UK has implemented bans or high tax on such. A proposed ban on plastic straws aims to curb the estimated 8.5 billion straws that are thrown away each year in the UK alone. Meanwhile here in Arizona we put a ban on such bans!!

Now the UK is moving forward a ban on sales of internal combustion engine cars from 2040 to 2030, but allow sales of hybrids until 2035. They are also phasing out methane burning heaters for water or A/C. TV time on climate is substantial.

From pub conversations it was apparent that individuals were taking responsibility for solutions, such as installing solar panels, even in a climate which is not known for sun light, unlike Arizona. It became apparent they consider the USA not to be pulling its weight in this area.

Many were aware of the damage done by intensive animal farming and UK has reduced its meat consumption by 20%. Everywhere I ate offered Beyond Burgers or similar and carried about 20% of menu options meat free. To my amazement McDonald’s UK & France offered vegetarian options including a plant based burger!

Face it. While guys like Senator Joe Manchin, who is heavily linked to the coal industry, and holds the controlling vote on bills, we are unlikely to make any major progress towards a cleaner planet. Our Congress, on both sides, appear impotent on this topic.

Relying on politicians in this country is obviously futile but what could you do to save the future of your grandchildren? The oil industry and the meat industry are the two largest polluters on the planet. For myself I have just ordered an electric pickup, am increasing my solar power to totally independent, replaced meat with a variety of plant based lookalikes. What are you doing? Are you eating your children’s future?

Kevin Gibson,

Snowflake

(7) comments

ronzim

Outstanding repot Kevin. The control of congress and many state legislatures, as well as state houses, by the fossil fuel industry and its correlates virtually assures that we will take no effective action on climate. I am driving a Prius and my next auto will be electric . Last night I fixed a batch of vegetarian chili. There is no methane in my home-all electric. But the world's nations are on schedule to increase fossil fuel consumption by large amounts (coal being the biggest increase) over the next decade. In the face of such irresponsibility and recklessness, the planet is going to be ravished by climate change no matter what we do as individuals. The propaganda emanating from the fossil fuel industry has taken in far too many gulls and willfully ignorant persons for anything meaningful to take place in time.

19JKS49

ronzim, I urge you to read Daniel Quinn's Ishmael trilogy and its follow-up, 'Beyond Civilization.' After 2,990,000 successful years as a species, we have spent the last 10,000 on the road to oblivion.

Concerned Ann

While the exact contribution to Climate Crises may be debatable, It has become apparent the the gas & oil industry is a major contributor, but the damage for the meat industry is of a similar magnitude yet often over looked. What both industries have in common is that we have developed an unsustainable dependency on them both . Both are protected by heavily financed lobbyists and political contributions and government subsidies. The tax payer, is in effect, paying these industries to destroy the planet.

Causes and effects may not always be directly obvious; like subsidies for farmers to produce crops to support feeding of these animals. Water consumption by these two industries in the USA is a match for that of humans. A particular concern here in Arizona with our extended drought.

The destruction of rain forest for cattle pasture is extensive and those opposed often murdered, just to feed American's appetite for beef!

The removal of all direct and indirect subsidies would make potential environmental solutions more economically viable; such as solar power, electrical vehicles and imitation meats like Beyond Burgers. Effects of improved health could reduce health-care cost also.

Lets stop sponsoring these polluters and remove all government subsides.and consume little or no meat.[scared]

19JKS49

Concerned Ann, the Pentagon does more to increase climate change than over 100 countries combined. Our collective, personal use is miniscule in comparison. Keeping the US Empire 'safe' is a very destructive endeavor.

Debra Gibson

Good post, nice to see somebody calling out the Factory Farming industry. Many do not know that Factory Farming IS the leading cause of the Climate Crises. Unlike Ronzim I have hope for our planet and our species. I do not believe that we have to depend on politicians to save us, we can save ourselves by the choices we make. Politicians are few and we are many. If everyone woke up one morning and decided that they would no longer eat Factory Farmed Meat and Dairy there would be nothing that these industries or politicians in the industries pockets could do about it. It would literally change the the future of our world overnight and we would have a world left to leave to our children.

4way

The premise of Kevin Gibson’s letter, about eating our children’s future, would be funny if only it wasn’t both literally and figuratively true. Corporations control our government. So please ponder this for a moment. It’s no secret that the #1 goal of a for-profit corporation is to make a profit. And not just yearly, but quarterly. That means things like decency, integrity, truth, protecting our earth and making sure we are leaving something good for our children in the future, things like clean water and air can be no higher than their #2 goal. Profit Uber Alles is simply not sustainable.

ronzim

Ann: Fine comments. A call for government action, however, is moot while simultaneously acknowledging that the climate-change industries control the congress and many state houses and legislatures as well. Moreover, the DEMS have again proven so scattered and riven by internecine warfare that little can be gained by progressives. Prospects are dim for political action even with Biden’s $550 billion for climate control. It is not that some change cannot happen. It is that there is no longer time to make it happen. Right now nations are setting climate goals which are laughable because of time frames far beyond the incursion of catastrophic changes, much of which are already baked into the future climate cake.

Debra: It is good to have another adult at the table. I have a couple of clarifications: It is not true that factory farming is the leading cause of climate change. Far from it. ‘Consensus’ posts the agricultural contribution as 9% of the total. The ERC publishes the top five as 1. Electricity and heat. 2. Industry. 3. Transportation. 4. Agriculture. 5. Tie between forestry and miscellaneous. I call to your attention the fact that the biggest contributor to warming is not even mentioned; vapor is the gaseous form of water and by far the leader of all GHG’s in global warming. “Even though CO2 gets most of the attention, water vapor is by far the most important greenhouse gas in the atmosphere.” Scientific American, Nov 2021, p. 31.

It is important for individuals to do whatever they can in this matter; however, I must point out that millions are refusing, often violently, vaccinations which are both free and effective, not to mention riots and violence over the simple issue of masks. The dramatic actions now called for against warming are not likely to gain much traction in such an ignorant, extremist environment. Only global governments acting in concert can hope to gain any purchase on warming. Even if they miraculously did so, massive damage and diminished quality of life would still lie ahead of due to the human causes already entrained.

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