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The Paris agreement was the easy bit

Winchester Action on Climate Change Procession 2015

Environment: Havant Friends of the Earth leaders Sue Holt and Ray Cobbett with Ray’s Granddaughter, Lilly

Published in the Portsmouth News on 5th of January 2016

Ray Cobbett form Havant Friends of the Earth talks about the effects of climate change

The veteran broadcaster and wildlife campaigner Sir David Attenborough recently said that if just one five-thousandth of energy the sun delivers to the Earth could be captured, our energy problems would be over. This must have been in the minds of some of the representatives of almost 200 countries as they joined together to launch a new global climate agreement in Paris last month. By any measure it was an impressive achievement, but compared to the steps needed to implement the agreement, the signing of it was the easy bit. For many, perhaps a difference of a degree or two in atmospheric temperatures would appear insignificant. But life on the planet is very delicately poised and relatively small changes can make a huge difference.

The Sum of the pre-meeting pledges to reduce emissions made by each country totalled up to a 2.7 degree rise by the end of the century. Delegates revised it to less than two degrees but, worryingly, without specifying how it would be accomplished. It’s taken about 130 years to increase the world’s temperature by one degree so we’re already half-way there. Carbon stays in the atmosphere for a long time so we really don’t know what the cumulative effect of continuing to add to it will be. That’s why it’s vitally important fossil fuels in the ground stay in the ground. As Attenborough implies, there are cleaner options and as the sun is the source of all energy it’s a good place to start.

The idea that the planet itself is some sort of furry animal that must be saved from extinction is nonsense. The planet will survive but we may not be part of it so it’s our survival and not the planet’s we should be thinking about. Investors and businesses are ready to accept the challenge but politicians, who should be setting the pace, are more often concerned with their own survival and therefore be constantly pressured to deliver. Climate instability will grow and, yes it’s always been changing but not while seven billion people, and counting, are living with it and not so fast.

Havant & East Hampshire Friends of the Earth is based at Emsworth and campaigns on local and national environmental issues that affect the borough of Havant and the district of East Hampshire. Havant Friends of the Earth is part of a network of eight groups in Hampshire and 200 across the country, which includes Portsmouth, Fareham and Gosport.

For more information:

Website: www.havantfoe.org.uk
Facebook: www.facebook.com/havant.foe
Twitter: @havantfoe
E-mail: havantfoe@talk21.com

To find all the groups in the local area go to www.hantsfoenet.org.uk

Chichester Deserves Better Petition - NO to a northern bypass, YES to an improved A27

Chichester

A consultation is under way by Highways England to improve the A27 around Chichester.

A number of options include improvements to the existing road but one option is to carve an entirely new bypass across the green pastures to the north of the city skirting the South Downs national park.

The land take and potential damage to the environment make this idea completely unsustainable and post Paris unsupportable.

The links below will take you the campaign website and also to the online petition which has already been signed by over 2000 people.

Chichester Deserves Better
www.chichesterdeservesbetter.co.uk

Chichester Deserves better Petition
bit.ly/1R0mttc

Offsetting negative impacts on wildlife

Published in the Portsmouth News on the 8th December 2015

Farlington Marshes

Dr David Rumble, Hampshire & Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust’s head of conservation strategy on the effects of development on wildlife

All the major political parties agree on one thing: the nation needs more houses, and our two counties are seen as a good place to build many of them. At Hampshire & Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust we regularly raise concerns about potential impacts of development on our precious wildlife, but Hampshire still faces the prospect of tens of thousands of new homes locally.

The next best thing is to attempt to introduce measures to reduce their impact on wildlife. But what does that involve?

In some cases a new development can provide new green spaces – attractive accessible places for new residents to walk their dogs, run and cycle.

This is important as it means more sensitive wildlife havens get to keep the peace and quiet they need.

But all too often it’s not possible to provide enough of the right kind of green spaces with new homes, and instead, a strategic approach is needed to offset the negative impacts on wildlife.

We at the trust helped to set up a study a few years ago to understand the current and future impacts of development on the protected birdlife of the Solent. Coastal areas like Southampton Water and Portsmouth Harbour provide vital resting and feeding areas for migratory birds, some of whom fly thousands of miles from Siberia to visit our shores.

Continue reading Offsetting negative impacts on wildlife

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