Tuesday, December 18, 2007

The first climate change refugees

We mentioned Tuvalu and the Torres Straits islands quite a while back as they appeared to be potentially the first islands to be evacuated because of rising sea levels and tidal surges. It looks as if they will now be second or third after one of the Carteret Islands, which are a low level island group making up part of Papua New Guinea.

This report from the Daily Mail highlights the problems that the Carteret Islands have suffered over recent years from tidal surges, and on how the first refugees from one of the islands are having to relocate because of the rising sea levels.

"The fruit trees that carried mango, banana, breadfruit and paw-paw are all dead from the sea water that has killed their roots and the children survive on a diet of just coconuts and fish. The roots of their black hair turn yellow, signifying malnutrition."

"Grass-roofed huts have been washed away by the tidal surges and families have been forced to move further inland to higher ground, away from the beaches where, in decades past, fishing nets were hung out to dry from waterside homes."

I rather suspect that the small group having to relocate will prove to be the first of an ever increasing number over the coming decades.

You can't write com... tragedy this go... er...

Just watched the BBC lunchtime news,

Seems there is a week long series on green food.

Second up was a piece on growing tomatoes locally, using a £40m greenhouse heated by the waste heat from a nearby factory. No real details, but hard to fault.

But first, the cherry on the cake (hold that thought).

It was about Chilean cherries. You can see where this is going, well, coming from, I'm sure.

Actually quite balanced in many ways, including frequent reference to the fact that this trade means jobs in Chile (hold that job thought, too).

Had a guy from the Soil Association explaining the consequences of it all, but he did also concede that 'we' need to cut back, and perhaps only have the odd cherry as a luxury. Now, how a business can exist and be sustained on that I don't know. Which has troubled me as a matter of economic fact when we do fancy such as a 4x4 or bottled water. You need a constant, reliable market to ensure supply, surely?

Anyway, to the nub.

To put all this in full context, the BBC reporter flew to Chile. Now, one could argue that this was just his job (held those thoughts?), was just this once or whatever, but for the added value of him saying what he said from under a cherry tree... how does this play?

No, really.


This started as a link for a simple Xmas-related site: dltk-cards.com

Of course nothing in matters green can ever be that simple.

Because having initially though 'neato, a way to do stuff at hoe last minute', I began to ponder consequences. As you do.

I ended up still in favour, having borne a few things in mind.

This family wraps prezzies in newspaper. It last a nanosecond once the opening bell is rung, and no one gives a monkeys for it under the tree or once discarded. It is useful to help light the fire (we unplug the fireplace and switch off the central heating).

Trouble is, it's hard to see who gets what. A label is useful..

Labels cost money, need to be made and printed and then got to the house from a shop.

Hence, and so long as they are printed on the back of other paper, and the most is made of the page coverage, I am prepared to live with the PC and ink commitment.

Hope that adds up.

I'm sure you can suggest a few, too


Dividing Fools

Now it has been established that everything dark (as in side) green is the fault of the US, I'll be keen to see how things closer to home now get laid elsewhere: Europe divided over targets for cutting car CO2 emissions

I do of course note my favourite word in there: targets.

In the morasses (is that the plural?)that were/are Kyoto and/or Bali, I was starting to sense that aspects of the US environmental position (as distinct from their economic one, which is a very different kettle of tariffs. Though even here it seemed 'optimistic' to expect a dominant economy to hobble itself in comparison to not only business competitors, but military ones as well. You can't build tanks on the cheap unless you are cranking up a weekly coal-fired power station and steel mill) were worth pondering.

For instance, I would have loved more in-depth and agenda-free analysis of their claims that in real terms they had actually achieved cuts whilst the EU had trumpeted setting a bunch of targets that they then had promptly failed to meet (see above, and the UK's awesome record to date).

I know which I prefer on my enviROi basis.

ADDENDUM- The Curse of the Common Moniker

Wading through this I was a bit surprised to see a quote attributed to me that I had not written in yesterday's HYS. Only it wasn't me. Just another with my name. Thank heavens that, in amongst a ton of off-topic, personal-flaming that now scars such forums, this guy was relatively rational. Though what he wrote was not what I did.

Letters - I include this merely because it does offer and interesting spread of views. One that I did appreciate was the point that to make their point on emissions of carbon the Indy chose an image of cooling towers, which only release steam. Which is, of course, a green house 'gas', though one would have preferred them to have made the distinction.