I do not think there is now any doubt about the rising trend of temperatures world wide. If these are unchecked we face devastation on a scale that we have never witnessed before in our history. Essential reources such as water will disappear in some parts of the world, sea levels will rise due to melting polar ice and whole countries will become unable to support their populations. This will provoke mass migraton on an unstoppable and irrestible scale; countries will seek to defend their borders and millions will starveand be killed through violence.
The cause of global warming still attracts some doubters - some quite close to home. There are no questions in my mind. The explosion in temperatures arises from the growing concentration of gases in the atmosphere such as Carbon Dioxide which retain heat from the sun like a greenhouse. These arise from human industrial activity and the burning of fossil fuels on a staggering scale. We must, as a planet, address this. It is all we can do. Even if it is not the sole cause of global warming and there are other factors at work, we must try and control the temperature rise or there will be no world for our descendants to live in. There is certainly nowhere else to run to.
I believe we must:
- Invest urgently in technologies that will capture and store energy from the Sun. Wind, Tide, Solar Panels and Bio Engineering can all offer routes to turn our only real emergy source into power we can use without making more greenhouse gas.
- Find every way possible of avoiding the waste of the energy we use so we throw away the least possible. That will reduce the amount of fuel we subsequently need to burn. Urgent ways must be found of insulating our older properties, cutting down unnecessary lighting and using more effcient technology.
- Build more railways and trains, conserve oil for road transport, encourage the adoption of more efiicient aircraft, eliminate much short haul flying and look for all ways of saving enery through recovering energy through regenerative braking of vehicles and linking power generation and storage grids throughout the world.
- Retain the nuclear option. It is free from carbon dioxide generation but the worrry for many is the radioactive waste. I believe that certain nations (including the UK) who may be trusted to manage it, do so through the construction of replaceable surface storage facilities in remote areas on sites that subsequent generations can easily extend, maintain and replace. Some time, maybe not for the next few generations, controlled nuclear fusion will provide the solution we need. We must sustain our world while we wait for technology to get us there.