Sunday, March 31, 2013

My brief thoughts on climate change

It is reportedly the coldest Easter on record. It seems an odd time to be thinking about global warming.

Yet that's what many a sceptic is doing, pouncing on the current cold spell as "proof" (sic) that there is in act no global warming and using it to argue we shouldn't bother trying to cut carbon emissions. It just shows how sterile the debate is.

In fact climate change is more complicated than temperatures rising all the time, and prolonged cold spells are a part of the effect due to changing pressures. I don't pretend to understand all the details of the science behind it but I'm more convinced by those who do than by those who simply point at the thermometer in complacency.

And quite apart from anything to do with the climate or to do with improving air quality, in the long run this country (and indeed the world) needs supplies of energy that are cheap, sustainable and secure. We cannot risk being in a situation where our energy supply is ever dependent on a rogue state, nor can we predict which those states will be. We cannot use fossil fuels forever; we may find additional sources and more efficient extraction methods but one day they will invariably run out. And by then energy bills will have spiralled out of control.

The more done now, the safer we will be in the long run. And developing alternate sources is also a way of providing more jobs.


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