November rant

John returns to the Global Warming debate

Climate Change, Peak Oil Nuclear Power. No more time to argue I’m going to do something!

I’d like to respond to Peter Bodle and Ron Watts. In our monthly debate(saga) about Nuclear power. Gentlemen it seems you feel able to challenge my statements as “disputable” or “questionable” without acknowledging that your own assertions are also “questionable” etc. Of course all arguments are refutable. All facts are disputable. Peter you dismiss my four page tract two months ago with short shrift calling for hard facts. In the context of Climate change and rising sea levels I suggest that buoyancy aids are more appropriate now than arguing about hard facts.

I have been looking into this stuff for some time now and feel pretty clear in my conclusions about the impact human behaviour is having on the earth. I also believe it would be smart to plan how we are going to live without the luxury of fossil fuels before this resource becomes unavailable. How we in Stoke Ferry and the surrounding villages will be affected is very uncertain. But I am convinced if we do not begin to address these problems both individually, as a community, nationally and internationally, we here in sleepy old West Norfolk will be on the end of some big shocks.

I introduced Climate Change (The degrading of the earth’s ecosystems that support all life here) and Peak Oil (The imminent decline of world oil supply, the substance that underpins all we take for granted in our consumerist lifestyle), into the discussion. As the drive to relaunch nuclear power rides on the back of these two crises’ it’s implementation threatens to get in the way of realistic solutions. As is so often the case it is driven by greed, business and politics.

Thanks to the work of the likes of Vandana Shiva, Richard Heinberg, (The great) Noam Chomsky , Rob Hopkins, Naomi Klien, Rob Hopkins, Colin Tudge and many more, the stories of the industrial, military, political, media complex lay exposed. Our freedom is undermined by a system that excludes us from the substance of any meaningful debate. Also within the pages of many of these writers are the clues and maps available for us to reinvent a society that puts the welfare of all above profit.

Are people living on earth? Or are we consumers living in an economy?

The Transition Towns movement does not take the mainstream view that, subject to a few minor adjustments, we can all carry on as before. It works from the belief that our recent use of fossil fuel energy is not sustainable. We need to use our collective creativity, ingenuity and adaptability to ‘power-down’. If we plan and act early enough there’s every likelihood that we can create a way of living that’s significantly more connected, more vibrant and more in touch with our environment than the oil-addicted treadmill that we find ourselves on today. The transition town movement seeks to rebuild social links within towns and villages to boost the resilience of all our local communities. Through actively addressing the need for more local food production, improved transport links, help for reducing the environmental footprint of our homes.

It seems at times hopeless as our leaders continue to back-pedal and vacillate and the media simply confuse the issue. There is no real debate. So many of us ignore the problem because it seems too big. “What can I do that would make any difference?”

I’m all for a lost cause. So, being convinced that Climate Change is a real and very big threat to the survival of our species and that Peak Oil is it’s devilish twin disaster about to happen, I have decided to incorporate doing something about this into my own selfish pursuit of happiness. So I shop less at supermarkets, can’t avoid them altogether yet. The veg shop No.3 high street Downham Market is always good for Banter. Food grown in the garden is the best food you can eat, so I have discovered. I’m going to London on December 5th to March with thousands of others who wish to apply pressure as our leaders negotiate at the Copenhagen Climate summit. I’ve joined Downham and Villages in Transition, an interesting bunch of folk . I’ve decided not to fly anymore. I do these things and it makes me happy to do something that seems more important than my own self interest. And I decided to write this. I hope someone gets something from it. regards

John C. Preston

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