Tag Archive for "environment"

A Climate Change Manifesto

[Some of the things I believe about climate change and our environment, arranged in such a way as to resemble an argument. Comments are welcome, if I find them suitably compelling I’ll publish a new version with them incorporated.]

That nature has no desire to keep Earth a nice place for humans to live.

That climate change has happened in the past and will happen again.

That climate change will result in changes that make our world a place less suited to human existence.

That the climate is a chaotic system and that we can not know what will happen with it next.

That the current predictions of what is happening with climate change are the best we have to go on and are worth paying attention to.

That there is a good chance that some sort of feedback loops will interfere with predicted climate change.

That the effects of one strong positive feedback loop overrides any number of negative feedback loops.

That human activities are influencing climate change.

That the modern consumer lifestyle directly contributes to climate change.

That people greatly enjoy the modern consumer lifestyle and that many people who do not currently enjoy it aspire to do so.

That individuals can reduce their personal contribution to climate change.

That those individual changes send useful messages to corporations and politicians that will influence behaviour in wider populations.

That these individual and collective changes in behaviour are insufficient to seriously reduce the human impact on climate change.

That there will never be the political will to voluntarily give up the modern consumer life style.

That humanity would rather ride the spiralling corpse of the current ecosystem down into the abyss than voluntarily give up the modern consumer life style.

That this is likely to happen.

That I don’t want it to.

That we can possibly develop new non-damaging technologies to both replace those that contribute to climate change, as well as ameliorate the effects of other technologies’ contributions to climate change.

That these technologies will need significant funding to be developed.

That commercial bodies may not see the benefit in funding the development.

That some form of collective funding (i.e. government) will be required.

That it is is better to spend more of our current resources on developing these technologies than to spend them on reducing activities that contribute to climate change.

That this doesn’t excuse us from trying to reduce activities that contribute to climate change.

That we should get on with it.

Green Cab Followup

I wrote to Green Cabs and asked them what they thought about the “0 SMOG” license plate. This is the response I received from Callum Brown (Managing Director):

I think it is a statement about the world the driver wants to live in as opposed to an advertisement about Green Cabs..

Possibly true but I still believe that it is misleading. On the other hand, I also think it’s not worth getting upset about and I have no intention of doing anything further about it.

Lying Green Cabs

I quite like the new Green Cabs that are zipping around Wellington these days. They’re green in colour and use only the Toyota Prius, a hybrid petrol/electric car that is arguably more environmentally friendly than most other cars. Indeed, I seem to recall reading that Priuses do particularly well in stop-go city traffic where taxis spend most of their time. It all seems like a good idea for a business and I wish them well.

However, I do have a problem in that one of the Green Taxis has the license plate “0 SMOG”. While Toyota Priuses produce less emissions than most other cars, they still rely on a petrol engine and they still pump out various emissions, some of which contribute to smog.

I think we can safely assume that the presence of the plate is trying to imply that the taxi in question produces no smog rather than it just being a political exhortation. So, does this mean that the taxi driver is guilty of false advertising?

P.S. I hate it when manufacturers choose product names that are hard to refer to in the plural. I eventually ended up with Priuses because it sounded the best.