13 December 2011

Methane, CO2 and a Call to Action

Bright Green has a good posting that you should read before this one, but in summary, a large release of methane is really, really bad news for us as a global society and for many of the species that inhabit our planet.

I've just added a CO2 counter to this blog that is a reminder to me and hopefully to the reader about the single most pressing issue we are faced with. The banking crisis, the Euro zone problems and budget cuts are going to pale into insignificance if we face an uncontrollable rise in global temperatures over the coming decades.

The social issues we are faced with right now matter immensely to each of us. We are seeing people consigned to an unemployed future before they have reached their 20s. Our most talented young people are being saddled with lifetime debt before they even start applying for jobs. Those of us lucky enough to be in employment are clear that the coming years are going to be very tough. We will have to fight our corner to protect jobs while our national government avoids implementing simple policies like the Tobin Tax, that could make a hugely positive difference.

What I am convinced about is that we are talking about two sides of the same problem. We have a dominant global free market ideology that has delivered development and wealth, but has concentrated into elites around the world, instead of being shared for the common good. The excesses of this system have led to environmental degradation, distain for human rights (by us about regimes like Uzbekistan) and have established a system that will fight to protect itself despite a gradual death spiral caused by huge amounts of global debt.

In the face of that we have emerging bottom up movements like Occupy. We've seen and are seeing people campaign for freedom, respect for human rights and the chance of real democracy around the world. The internet has enabled some tremendous advances and has for the first time in history given the many the chance to quickly organise against elites, expose hypocrisy and challenge injustice. We are living at an exciting time but also an immensely challenging time and a new and fairer way of life will evolve out of the current mess we find ourselves in. I hope and believe that it will do so quickly. The methane and CO2 levels mean we face a deadline for action, but we don't know exactly when it is.

Each person will have their own path and I firmly believe that for me, the Green Party is the best possible way of effecting political change in Britain and in Europe. The national appeal this month is asking for our support. It will get mine and I hope if you are reading this, you will consider donating too.

Thank you.

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