Double Take

'When you've seen beyond yourself, then you may find peace of mind is waiting there. And the time will come when you see we're all one, and life flows on within you and without you – George Harrison


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WHO REALLY CARES? by Nigel Summerley, photograph by Rowena J Ronson

WHO REALLY CARES Nigel Summerley

Savour by Rowena J Ronson

Savour by Rowena J Ronson

“Time is not on our side,” says UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in something of an understatement, since he is talking about the survival of human beings on this planet.
The world faces “irreversible” damage if most of our electricity is not produced from low-carbon sources by 2050, and if unrestricted use of fossil fuels is not phased out by 2100, according to the latest report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.
The report says that reducing emissions is vital if global warming is to be limited to 2C – the target figure recognised as the turning point at which climate change becomes truly dangerous.
“There is no ambiguity in the message,” said Ban Ki-moon. “Leaders must act.”
The latest IPCC report was intended as a stimulus to the world’s politicians to do something. There is still hope of a new global treaty on climate by the end of 2015.
But are any politicians interested in anything but themselves and the short term?
Huge resources seem to be being spent on all manner of things that do nothing for the future of humanity (you can provide your own list), even though the cost of doing nothing about climate change will be immense.
But then do any of us really care enough to change – to look at anything but our own problems and our own short time in the world? Until we can genuinely answer yes to this, it is extremely difficult to blame the politicians for humanity’s slide towards a grisly end.

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Climate of Insanity by Nigel Summerley (photograph by Rowena J Ronson)

Breaking Bad by Rowena J RonsonCLIMATE OF INSANITY?

by Nigel Summerley

We are all more or less agreed that the planet is warming up and that this is most likely the result of our relentless burning of fossil fuels. Right? Well, not all of us.

Some politicians – the very people we look to do something because they have the power to do something – think this is dangerous bunkum and will do anything to assist the cause of climate change denial.

Wyoming’s State Legislature has just rejected new national science standards for schools, because they include teaching about the human contribution to climate change.

Wyoming seems to be resistant to central regulation but also to anything that might jeopardise the coal, oil and gas businesses.

State Representative Matt Teeters, one of those opposed to the new standards, has been quoted as saying that they “handle global warming as settled science. There’s all kind of social implications involved in that that I don’t think would be good for Wyoming.” And he thinks they might help to “wreck Wyoming’s economy”, which is very much tied up with fossil fuels.

So Wyoming prefers to try to ensure its kids remain ignorant about the global warming issue – when they are the ones it’s going to affect, not the politicians with their short-term concerns and vested interests. It’s almost unbelievable.