The political debates so far have missed the most important issue, the causes of climate change. If the world temperature rises by just 3o, it will result in today’s children growing up to a world similar to the Pliocene Age 3-7 million years ago! So for parents, the issue is the causes of climate change.
The Number one cause is international building industries. Too much energy is needed to fabricate concrete, bricks, synthetic insulations, glass, tiles, paints etc., plus the energy costs and greenhouse gases due to living and working in wasteful buildings. Energy used equals pollution produced.
The second cause of climate change is the world’s intensive factory farming, in particular the beef industry. This industry causes the release of CO2, nitrous oxides and methane, uses 65% of water supplies, 40% of grains, needs incineration for the toxic battery chicken litter and, in tropical countries, causes more and more deforestation to grow fodder.
The cramped livestock conditions are perfect for viral diseases to spread breed and mutate with the risk of them jumping from animal to human – like swine flu.
These two industries are traditional in Northern Ireland and there is political pressure to expand them so innovations are needed to create new traditions. The third cause of climate change is transport and we have a record investing in roads and cutting public transport and cycle facilities. One mile of motorway needs 25 acres of farmland or carbon absorbing, food producing orchard.
Will the voting parents question the political parties with priority?
This revelation will also make us think about the perceived innocence of nipping down to the supermarket in 2 tons of car to buy the Sunday Roast, rather than non-vehicular local shopping in greengrocers who stock locally farmed food. It is a choice for millions of us every day.
The good news is that building and renovations can be environmentally friendly. Different methods of farming could well reverse climate change, while in production and integrated high tech public transport can be planned to be much less damaging, cheaper and enjoyable.
Taking the issue seriously, by public pressure on Politicians, could restart an environmentally sound, lucrative economy.
If we do nothing about climate change and other abuses of the Natural World, nature will do it for us and it won’t be very nice. Our feeble infrastructures and weak bodies will not be able to weather the fury of a self healing world for millions of years.
Association for Environmentally Conscious Building www.aecb.net
Centre for Alternative Technology www.cat.org.uk
Hempire Insulating Plasters www.hempirebuilding.net
Bio-Regional Development Group http://www.bioregional .com
Compassion in World Farming www.ciwf.org
Permanent Agriculture www.permaculture.org.uk
Soil Association http://www.soilassociation .org
Travel Wise www.travelwisenicarshare.com
Community Transport Association http://www.community transportassociation.com
Environmental Transport Association www.eta.co.uk