Great day with Greta

It’s not just Greta who is doing her bit to prompt everyone to do their bit to tackle the Climate and Ecological Emergencies… depending on who you believe there were either around 10,000 or 30,000 people attending the Youth Climate Strike event in Bristol today, amongst them were some of our friends involved with XR Cirencester.

Here are their stories.

Lee’s story:

‘Today was a day I’ll remember for the rest of my life. I looked into the eyes of so many wonderful people as we past, our drums echoing the call for change. So many want a future, to live on our beautiful planet in harmony. My heart feels full of joy to see so much passion & connection & action. Thank you the South West, thank you Greta’.

Beth’s Story:

‘Having attended the youthstrike4climate today in Bristol, I feel inspired to be part of such an open and welcoming community. We have the power, we have the energy, we have the joy, we have the music and we demand more from our government! “System change not climate change” “tell me what democracy looks like, this is what democracy looks like” – all these slogans are still ringing in my ears! Despite all my concerns about the climate and worries about being too small to make a difference, the protest today has given me a lot of hope. Seeing all the children and young people and of course Greta, there is a renewed energy to continue. I really enjoyed seeing all the different groups – from medics “climate crisis, health crisis” to those carrying a black coffin…’


Another remarkable day as we work together to solve the greatest challenge we have ever faced…

(Thanks to everyone connected with XR Cirencester who made the time to be on the right side of history)

Worried about the climate Crisis? Let’s do something = XRC OGM

Don’t just worry alone, join others and do something = Come along to meet others at our fortnightly Open General Meetings where we “Check-in” to see how are doing, briefly discuss on-going activities & plans and “Check-out” to find everyone is feeling much better about doing something positive to improve the situation!

Regular get togethers

See our growing list of events on our Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/pg/xrciren/events/ and we hope to see you there soon to help you unleash your talents to improve our world with lots of other #PeopleLikeUs.

Greta Thunberg edits BBC Radio 4’s Today Programme

In case they need an introduction, from top left going round in a circular (economy!) way, Sir David AttenboroughClimate Change: The Facts & a few other things…, Robert Del Naja from music group and artizens activists Massive Attack, Steve Westlake Environmental Leader, Kate Raworth inspirational “Renegade Economist” and writer of Doughnut Economics, Mark Carney and (surprisingly?) forthright climate alertist, and a small and insignificant young woman at the centre of it all who you would have to have been living in a cave with no sunlight or contact with the outside world to not know who she is…!

A pretty impressive bunch of people, all talking about how we are impacting our life support systems and need to do something urgent about it.

In case you missed the broadcast, it is packed full of alarming and inspiring information that is well worth a listen / re-listen, so make the most of it at https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m000cn3h or in case that has slipped into the inaccessible archive, have a listen here https://soundcloud.com/user-709963758/greta-thunberg-edits-bbc-radio-4s-today-programme.

To help you pick through the interesting bits, speed through to these points in the programme:

At 16:00 Kate Hewitt, director at Aviation Environment
At 21:40 Fiona view from investors: All investors will be impacted by CC
At 25:30 Richard Dunbar: no point in divestment from oil companies – no way to starve them of capital
At 33:30 Australia on fire – quite ironic and apt at the same time.
At 36:20 Steve Westlake, Environmental Leadership: mass action
At 43:20 report from Antarctica
At 49:50 into the program: Kevin Anderson, climate scientist
At 1:17:10 mins – Doughnut economics, Kate Raworth
At 1:20:30 mins – Massive Attack on the carbon footprint of music
At 1:32:00 mins – Greta’ father Svante talking about his conversion by listening to Greta
At 2:10:20 – Mark Carney: remaining carbon budget, not on the right path, not fast enough
At 2:23:40 – Greta & David Attenborough
At 2:37:20 – Shell Gas and New Energy Director, Martin Gestler
At 2:47:00 – Greta herself!

With thanks to Paul Sousek on Facebook for these timings

Make the 2020 XR Ciren Pledge

OVERVIEW

At the beginning of each New Year, people reflect and look forward and often make resolutions to do better but without proper support these can often fail.  

This year we in XR Cirencester seek to help concerned citizens to more fully understand their environmental impact and how they can individually and collectively minimise that impact whilst leading healthier, more connected lives. We seek to galvanise people with information, action opportunities and mutual support by publicly making pledges to each other to improve our behaviours and change our ways.

GOALS

  1. Understand our measurable use of fossil fuels for our current lifestyle
  2. Work out ways to reduce and commit to doing so
  3. Share with anyone else willing to participate and take similar steps
  4. Take individual and coordinate collective Actions

OBJECTIVES

  1. Pledgers undertake a detailed calculation of the carbon footprint of their lifestyle using a recognised tool, such as https://www.carbonfootprint.com/calculator.aspx
  2. Pledgers document the actions they plan to take and by when
  3. Pledges are shared within the group who support and encourage changes
  4. Pledges are reviewed on a quarterly basis

Source = David Attenborough’s Climate Change – The Facts see https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q9WyLPgyuqo

We will seek to make measurable improvements in these areas:

  1. Food & Drink
  2. Travel
  3. Household Energy 
    1. Reducing
    2. Switching
    3. Alternative sources
  4. Non-Edible products
  5. Health, Education & other services
  6. Other (everything else!)

Collectively as a group

We will seek to coordinate individual and collective Actions on some or all of the following:

  1. Supporting & pressuring our Cotswold District Council Climate Emergency Manager
  2. Pressuring other authorities to Tell the Truth + Act Now + Go beyond politics
  3. Educate ourselves, our family, our friends and strangers alike
  4. Cycle/walk/run to work more
  5. Lift sharing
  6. Not flying unless absolutely necessary
  7. Not buying things unless essential
  8. Greater use of renewable energy options
  9. Change electricity supplier
  10. Change Bank to more ethical Bank
  11. Change Financial products to more ethical ones
  12. Avoid single use plastics
  13. Supporting Bees & other key eco-systems
  14. Change your diet – Be Flexitarian, or Reducetarian, go Vegan!
  15. Plant more, do more re-wilding
  16. Plant some trees and contribute to planting schemes
  17. Measurements your own GHG emittances
  18. Community Bulk buying 
  19. Community Biofuel / Biodiesel
  20. Make your own…
    1. Soap
    2. Washing up Liquid
    3. Toothpaste
    4. Other stuff
  21. Active support for local ‘green’ shops e.g. organic farm shop, Grape tree, push for reduced packaging
  22. Active support for local “Zero Waste Groups”, such as https://www.facebook.com/groups/2036703266440438/
  23. Support for local initiatives like the repair cafe and the hubbub 
  24. Only purchase things that are absolutely necessary – go a month without buying anything /clothes swap
  25. “Grow off”  – all support each other to grow fruit / veg
  26. Make a pledge at Year of Green Action https://www.yearofgreenaction.org/make-a-pledge
  27. Start or join a “Green-ness” group at work or with others, such as http://greenimpact.nus.org.uk/about/
  28. Make a “Tech Green Pledge” https://techgreenpledge.org/green-pledge
  29. Educate & encourage others about Extinction Rebellion and related movements
  30. Attend XR Training to prepare for significant XR Actions
  31. Take part in XR Actions
  32. Take some time to “re-generate” after all this activity!

Do what you can…

There is SO much that we can do and we will continue to work on this over the coming months, so don’t feel daunted, make your own calculation at https://www.carbonfootprint.com/calculator.aspx and go from there, together on our journey to a better place

Join us

Join us on facebook or email xrciren@gmail.com to suggest other impactful activities we can be doing and be part of the solution.


XR Ciren XRmas Re-gen & Re-wild

This time of year is all about being with people, taking stock and gathering strength to see yourself and others through dark times till the hope of the Spring, and for many in XR Ciren it is no different, as we gather ourselves to work against the forces that are conspiring all our life support systems.

It was very much in the spirit of Re-generation and re-connecting with our natural world that a few of our XR Ciren group ventured out the day after Boxing Day to enjoy the local countryside and each other’s company for a couple of hours.

Wandering around the footpaths and woods near Stratton they were able explore new places to many, shared with much love and caring by others.

They even took the opportunity to do a bit of Re-Wilding, scattering seeds that had been lovingly gathered in advance, and we can only hope they bear the reward of continued life as we all seek to build a better world for all living things.

Countering mis-information in Wilts & Glos Standard – Part 2

In the Thursday December 19, 2019 edition the Wiltshire and Gloucester Standard published this letter

Whilst this is a Letter from an individual and not officially an Editorial, several of our Cirencester Extinction Rebellion group read this and were very concerned with prominence of the piece, the tone of the material and the factual inaccuracies, and on behalf of all decent people seek the right to a robust reply.


This rebuttal is written by Vijay Shah is a chartered engineer and polar explorer.
He is a member of the Arctic Club and of the All Party Parliamentary Group for the Polar Regions. 


This is the second part of the rebuttal with more details and scientific references.
The Part 1 can be found at https://xrcirencester.co.uk/2019/12/21/countering-mis-information-in-wilts-glos-standard-part-1/.


More info:

#1. Global average temperature has increased by more than one degree celsius since pre-industrial times

To set the scene, let’s look at how the planet has warmed. In the chart we see the global average temperature relative to the average of the period between 1961 and 1990.

The red line represents the average annual temperature trend through time, with upper and lower confidence intervals shown in light grey. 

We see that over the last few decades, global temperatures have risen sharply — to approximately 0.7℃ higher than our 1961-1990 baseline. When extended back to 1850, we see that temperatures then were a further 0.4℃ colder than they were in our baseline. Overall, this would amount to an average temperature rise of 1.1℃. 

Because there are small year-to-year fluctuations in temperature, the specific temperature increase depends on what year we assume to be ‘pre-industrial’ and the end year we’re measuring from. But overall, this temperature rise is in the range of 1 to 1.2℃.

In this chart you can also view these changes by hemisphere (North and South), as well as the tropics (defined as 30 degrees above and below the equator). This shows us that the temperature increase in the North Hemisphere is higher, at closer to 1.4℃ since 1850, and less in the Southern Hemisphere (closer to 0.8℃). Evidence suggests that this distribution is strongly related to ocean circulation patterns (notably the North Atlantic Oscillation) which has resulted in greater warming in the northern hemisphere.3

https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2015/09/climate-pledges-so-far-would-allow-extensive-global-warming-2100

Ref.   Delworth, T. L., Zeng, F., Vecchi, G. A., Yang, X., Zhang, L., & Zhang, R. (2016). The North Atlantic Oscillation as a driver of rapid climate change in the Northern Hemisphere. Nature Geoscience, 9(7), 509-512. Available online.

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How much warming by 2100:

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#2. ICE AGE

Roughly every two years we’re treated to headlines repeating the myth that Earth is headed for an imminent “mini ice age.” It happened in 2013, 2015, and again just recently at the tail end of 2017.

This time around, the myth appears to have been sparked by a Sky News interview with Northumbria University mathematics professor Valentina Zharkova. The story was quickly echoed by the Daily Mail, International Business Times, Sputnik News, Metro, Tru News, and others. Zharkova was also behind the ‘mini ice age’ stories in 2015, based on her research predicting that the sun will soon enter a quiet phase.

The most important takeaway point is that the scientific research is clear – were one to occur, a grand solar minimum would temporarily reduce global temperatures by less than 0.3°C, while humans are already causing 0.2°C warming per decade

The global mean temperature difference is shown for the time period 1900 to 2100 for the IPCC A2 emissions scenario. The red line shows predicted temperature change for the current level of solar activity, the blue line shows predicted temperature change for solar activity at the much lower level of the Maunder Minimum, and the black line shows observed temperatures through 2010.

The global mean temperature difference is shown for the time period 1900 to 2100 for the IPCC A2 emissions scenario. The red line shows predicted temperature change for the current level of solar activity, the blue line shows predicted temperature change for solar activity at the much lower level of the Maunder Minimum, and the black line shows observed temperatures through 2010. Illustration: Adapted from Feulner & Rahmstorf (2010) in Geophysical Research Letters by SkepticalScience.com 

So the sun could only offset at most 15 years’ worth of human-caused global warming, and once its quiet phase ended, the sun would then help accelerate global warming once again.

The myth ultimately stems from a period climate scientists have coined “The Little Ice Age” (LIA). This was a modestly cool period running from about the year 1300 to 1850. It was particularly cold in the UK, where the River Thames sometimes froze over, and ‘frost fairs’ were held. 

A team led by University of Reading physicist and solar expert Mike Lockwood wrote a paper reviewing the science behind frost fairs, sunspots, and the LIA. It included the figure below showing northern hemisphere temperatures along with sunspot number and the level of volcanic particles in the atmosphere over the past millennium:

Sunspot number, northern hemisphere temperatures, and volcanic aerosol optical depth (AOD) around the time of the Little Ice Age.

Sunspot number, northern hemisphere temperatures, and volcanic aerosol optical depth (AOD) around the time of the Little Ice Age. Illustration: Lockwood et al. (2017), News & Reviews in Astronomy & Geophysics 

During full blown ice ages, temperatures have generally been 4–8°C colder than in modern times. As this figure shows, during the LIA, temperatures were at most only about 0.5°C cooler than the early 20th century. Thus, Lockwood calls the Little Ice Age “a total misnomer.” 

As the authors put it:

Compared to the changes in the proper ice ages, the so-called Little Ice Age (LIA) is a very short-lived and puny climate and social perturbation.

For comparison, temperatures have risen by a full 1°C over the past 120 years, and 0.7°C over just the past 40 years.

#3. Glacier retreat

Glacial changes:

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Figure 1: Long-term changes in glacier volume adapted from Cogley 2009

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Figure 2:  Percentage of shrinking and growing glaciers in 2008–2009, from the 2011 WGMS report

#4. Arctic Sea Ice and temperatures:

Arctic temperatures:

At +1.7° C, the mean annual surface air temperature (SAT) anomaly for October 2017-September 2018 for land stations north of 60° N is the second highest value (after 2016) in the record starting in 1900 (Fig. 1). Currently, the Arctic is warming at more than twice the rate of global mean temperatures; a phenomenon known as Arctic Amplification (Fig. 1). Recorded annual mean Arctic temperatures over the past five years (2014-18) all exceed previous records.

Time series of Arctic and global mean annual land surface air temperature anomalies

Fig. 1. Arctic (land stations north of 60° N) and global mean annual land surface air temperature (SAT) anomalies (in °C) for the period 1900-2018 relative to the 1981-2010 mean value. Note that there were few stations in the Arctic, particularly in northern Canada, before 1940. Source: CRUTEM4 dataset, which is available at www.cru.uea.ac.uk/cru/data/temperature/.

Arctic Sea Ice:

Arctic sea ice reaches its minimum each September. September Arctic sea ice is now declining at a rate of 12.85 percent per decade, relative to the 1981 to 2010 average. This graph shows the average monthly Arctic sea ice extent each September since 1979, derived from satellite observations. 

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#5. Sea level rise:

data graph

Ground Data: 1870-2013 – Data source: Coastal tide gauge records. 
Credit: CSIRO

#6. Extreme Weather Events:

COST OF ACTION:

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) estimates that without immediate action that sealevel rises alone damage will be USD 35, 000 billion of urban assets in danger, more than 10 times current levels.

The risk of floods will be much greater in many urban areas. Depending on the climate scenarios, global urban flood damages are projected to amount to USD 0.7 to 1.8 trillion by 2080.

While the cost of not acting varies depending on the region, the consequences of climate will be negative everywhere.

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Implementing climate change mitigation measures will help us avoid such huge costs. Mitigation measures sufficient for a 2 degree scenario would only slightly affect future economic growth. Concrete actions can, and should, be taken.

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https://www.oecd.org/statistics/climate-change-consequences-of-inaction.htm

#7. GLOBAL EMISSIONS:

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PARIS AGREEMENT:

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Thanks to Vijay and all the others who contributed to collating this article, and to all the brave scientist collating the source data over so many years to provide us with this information.

All we have to do is

  1. Continue to Tell the Truth
  2. Act Now on the science to get to net zero by 2025
  3. Go beyond Politics to unite ourselves against the greatest challenge we have all ever faced…

💓&🤬
on behalf of Co-Co
XR Cirencester Coordination & Communications Working Group

Countering mis-information in Wilts & Glos Standard – Part 1

In the Thursday December 19, 2019 edition the Wiltshire and Gloucester Standard published this letter

Whilst this is a Letter from an individual and not officially an Editorial, several of our Cirencester Extinction Rebellion group read this and were very concerned with prominence of the piece, the tone of the material and the factual inaccuracies, and on behalf of all decent people seek the right to a robust reply.


This rebuttal is written by Vijay Shah is a chartered engineer and polar explorer. He is a member of the Arctic Club and of the All Party Parliamentary Group for the Polar Regions. 


Dear sirs,
I am shocked to have seen quite an extensive opinion piece about climate change being printed in your paper that is written as ‘fact’ but is so full of misinformation that I can only conclude that it is intentional attempt to mislead. The author of the piece makes various claims without providing any robust evidence to back it up. Furthermore the author also dredges up many debunked myths which even a cursory attempt to research the evidence would show to be false. 

I am sure the good readers of this newspaper have disregarded the piece as I have done so but as the falsehoods the author reports are so dangerous I have taken the time to direct the readers to some facts against the points raised.

Climate change is the biggest threat to our country and to the world, yes, even bigger than Brexit. The longer we wait without any serious attempts to mitigate global heating the more severe the changes that are needed in order to maintain our quality of life.

#1. GLOBAL TEMPERATURES

The author claims that ‘It is generally reckoned that global temperatures have risen by about 1C since the late 19thC. This however is a guesstimate at best.’

Incorrect

The author claims that there is little data that exists preindustrial and thus any comparison is invalid. This couldn’t be further from the truth, whilst there is a lot more data and better data in modern times as a result of better instrumentation, data was already being recorded in England from 1659 in the Central England Temperature Record. Global temperature records however started in the mid-19th Century and the formation of the International Meteorological Organisation happened in 1873.  As a result very good data exists and the comparisons are valid.

Not only does the data show a greater than 1C warming globally, the trend is even more disturbing where it shows we are on track for greater than 3.5C by the end of the century and that is including ALL of the pledges that have been made in the Paris agreement!

#2. Little Ice Age

The author claims that any discussion of temperature rise in 19thC needs to be put in the context of the Little Ice Age, which lasted around 500 years and ended in the late 19thC.

Incorrect

This myth keeps on coming back around. A study chaired by Mike Lockwood a physicist and solar expert concluded that “Compared to the changes in the proper ice ages, the so-called Little Ice Age (LIA) is a very short-lived and puny climate and social perturbation.” And calls it a “complete misnomer”.  

#3. Glacier retreat 

The author claims that melting glaciers isn’t ‘proof’ of global warming as there is particularly strong evidence that they have been retreating in the 19thC, long before current ‘manmade’ global warming and that in the middle ages glaciers were much smaller then. 

Incorrect

Melting glaciers are very good indicators of man-made climate change, whilst there are natural and local variations that cause certain glaciers to grow and that glacial changes are not only dictated by air temperature changes, the global glacier volume from extensive measurements have been shown to be plummeting in recent years with the vast majority of glaciers in retreat which are all in agreement with the man-made climate change observations.

Furthermore the water from these melting glaciers accumulates in the sea and with sea level rises of greater than 200mm since the 19th Century this further confirms the global melting.

Recent reports are even more alarming, Ice is being lost from Greenland seven times faster than it was in the 1990s, and the scale and speed of ice loss is much higher than was predicted in the comprehensive studies of global climate science by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, according to data.

The loss of the Greenland ice sheet will result in 7m sea level rises alone!

#4. ARCTIC

The author claims that temperatures around the Arctic are little different to the 1930s and 1940s and that Arctic sea ice has remained stable since 2007.

Incorrect

The author should know that comparing such a short period of time such as between 2007 and present is a poor indicator of climate change due to all the other variations that can affect year upon year differences. What climate scientists do is to compare the longest time frame that data exists and determine what the trend is across that time range. Alarmingly, Arctic sea ice has been reducing at a rate of 12.85 percent per decade, relative to the 1981 to 2010 average. Sea ice measurement has only been possible due to increasing in satellite earth obersvation capability and thus the objective data is only available since 1979 but the trends are clear and many scientists believe the Arctic sea ice is in free fall and would be disappeared in the summer by as early as mid-century.

Furthermore the author should know that the job of the climate scientist is not to cherry pick dates or particular years for comparison but to consider the trends and thus by suggesting to only consider the very local data from 1930/40s is again an attempt to mislead.  

Currently, the Arctic is warming at more than twice the rate of global mean temperatures; a phenomenon known as Arctic Amplification.

ANTARCTICA

The author claims that Antarctica sea ice is stable or growing.

Incorrect

Antarctica, just coming out of deep winter, has once again been attracting global interest. At the beginning of July, NASA scientists reported that, since 2014, the sea ice extent around the white continent has fallen dramatically. The losses seen around Antarctica over the past four years are as much as those observed in the Arctic in the last 34 years. This is a surprising turnaround since in the four decades prior to 2014, the Antarctic sea extent (although not the overall volume of sea ice) had actually been increasing slowly. Now, scientists are finding that, for the first time since satellite measurements began, sea ice extent is retreating significantly at both poles.

Researchers monitoring Antarctic sea ice are unsure what exactly caused the sharp decline or whether the sea ice will recover. Regardless, the disappearance of an area of sea ice around Antarctica that is bigger than Mexico, is concerning as it will lead to even more heat being absorbed by the surrounding ocean. Warmer Antarctic waters are already undermining glaciers, speeding up the rate at which previously fast land ice melts into the sea, and adding to the problem of global sea level rise.

Meanwhile, a second study, focusing on instability in the Thwaites Glacier, which is currently the subject of a £20 million scientific collaboration between the UK and the US (see PolarNotes #31 and the recent APPG for the Polar Regions Briefing Note ‘Thwaites: Antarctica’s Doomsday Glacier’), has warned that if the rate of ice loss from Antarctica’s glaciers continues to increase, the loss of the West Antarctic ice sheet will likely be inevitable. US scientists have suggested that the entire ice sheet could be lost in the space of 150 years. The loss of the Thwaites Glacier alone would add around 50cm to global sea levels. Although it is expected to take a few more centuries to happen, the increasing instability of glaciers like Thwaites makes it hard to predict exactly when such an event could unfold. Critically, once a tipping point in the melt process is reached, the eventual loss of the ice sheet will likely be unstoppable.

#6. Extreme Weather Events:

The Author claims that there is no persuasive evidence that extreme wearther is getting either more common or severe.

Incorrect

In the early 2000s, a new field of climate science research emerged that began to explore the human fingerprint on extreme weather, such as floods, heatwaves, droughts and storms.

Known as “extreme event attribution”, the field has gained momentum, not only in the science world, but also in the media and public imagination because of the power it has to link the seemingly abstract concept of climate change with our own tangible experiences of the weather.

Scientists have published more than 230 peer-reviewed studies looking at weather events around the world, from Hurricane Katrina to Russia’s 2010 heatwave. The result is mounting evidence that human activity is raising the risk of some types of extreme weather, especially those linked to heat.

Carbon Brief’s analysis suggests 68% of all extreme weather events studied to date were made more likely or more severe by human-caused climate change. Heatwaves account for 43% such events, droughts make up 17% and heavy rainfall or floods account for 16%.

UK Climate Action and Subsidies

The author claims that action that the UK has taken to reduce carbon emissions has been 1) significant, and 2) extremely expensive at £450 per household. 

Incorrect 

The author provides no evidence or reference to back up his claims. On the contrary, The UK leads the European Union in giving subsidies to fossil fuels, according to a report from the European commission. It found €12bn (£10.5bn) a year in support for fossil fuels in the UK, significantly more than the €8.3bn spent on renewable energy.

The commission report warned that the total subsidies for coal, oil and gas across the EU remained at the same level as 2008. This is despite both the EU and G20 having long pledged to phase out the subsidies, which hamper the rapid transition to clean energy needed to fight climate change.

Secondly, stating that the UK has made significant steps to reduce carbon emissions is extremely optimistic. The only way to understand what efforts are required it is first important to understand what efforts are necessary to prevent catastrophic climate breakdown. It is clear that reducing emissions to net zero by 2050 is too late to prevent some of the most severe impacts of climate change and that more urgent action is absolutely necessary – thus the UK target isn’t nearly sufficient enough. 

When considering the costs to limit climate change it must be compared against the cost of inaction which the OECD estimates would be catastrophic. Anecdotally we have all experienced how fragile our infrastructure is to even the slightest perturbation in our weather patterns with summer heatwaves and winter snow causing havoc to our transportation networks.

Furthermore, the Green New Deal that has been proposed on both sides of the Atlantic has the potential of reinvigorating our economy and create many more jobs.

#7. GLOBAL EMSSIONS

The author suggests that the UK emissions are only 1% of the global ones without once again providing any reference to their information. What the author fails to do is understand the importance of per capita data (i.e. that a country 10 times the size of another will clearly produce more emissions), or understand the importance of consumption based emissions as opposed to production based.

In the UK, we pay other countries to do most of our manufacturing then we blame them for the emissions. They get away with it because they used biased emissions figures, which don’t include aviation, shipping or imports, which they . quote in parliament. Per person in the UK we produce 23% more carbon than China (UK: 8.8 Tonnes/person/yr. China about 7.1 Tonnes/person/yr) using consumption data and almost 4 times more than India. It’s like going into next-door’s garden, using their barbecue to cook your dinner, then blaming them for the smoke.

PARIS AGREEMENT

Finally the author has managed to state something correctly. The Paris Agreement has been a sad failure. In Paris 2015 for the first time in history every country in the world agreed to do what was necessary to limit anthropogenic climate change to below 2C warming before pre-industrial levels. However the pledges by the individual countries aren’t nearly enough to meet this target, with the UK failing on it’s pledges also. The total pledges will result in a minimum of 3.1-3.7C warming which will result in catastrophic damage worldwide. The impact in the UK of increased and more severe extreme weather events will become more pronounced and certain towns and villages will become uninhabitable. This has already happened with the village of Fairbourne in Wales which has been declared unfit for human habitation.

A ratified replacement of the Paris agreement is desparately required and that requires EVERY country, the UK most importantly as being a major world economy and a mjor historical producer of green house gases, to do what is necessary to reduce manmade climate change to below 2degC.

About the Author: Vijay Shah is a chartered engineer and polar explorer. He is a member of the Arctic Club and of the All Party Parliamentary Group for the Polar Regions.

Read more detail about the Rebuttal at https://xrcirencester.co.uk/2019/12/21/countering-mis-information-in-wilts-glos-standard-part-2/.

XRmas Procession Makes An Impression

Who says you can’t have a bit of fun whilst trying to wake people up to the impending horrors of the preventable loss of our life support systems from ecological collapse and climate changes…? Not XR Cirencester!

In a classisc “Outreach Action” our young Extinction Rebellion group took to the streets of our quintessentially middle-England market town to raise awareness of our forecoming plight and the fact that there is a local group actively campaigning for the three demands:

  1. Tell the truth – share the full facts and recognise the gravity
  2. Act Now – this is an emergency to prevent an even worse situation
  3. Go beyond politics – we need a united effort from everyone

At lunchtime on Sat 14th December folks out and about Christmas shopping in Cirencester were amused, confused, and entertained by Extinction Rebellion Cirencester.

Santa, his elves, and a Polar Bear were out looking for new homes, as Climate refugees, followed by a motley choir of carol singers who paraded through the centre to the sound of drums, and even a mobile harp.

Then gathering outside the Parish church singing carols highlighting the climate crisis we are all in together.

Cookies & Leaflets were handed out inviting anyone interesting in being part of change, to come along in the New Year to a drinks night in Porters on Castle street, 7.30pm January 30th all welcome – more on our Facebook Page