133. Tomorrow – Avril Lavigne and global warming

2006 is over, and it’s more than high time that I penned an update to my articles from 2004 and 2005 on global warming and the energy crisis.

Science content is a key component of this site, and I may yet return to write that article, but in truth I’ve been struggling with it all week.

As I ran today, my iPod was set on shuffle, taking me to places that I rarely go. And finally it struck me that instead of writing, I should just leave you with this simple message, delivered directly and emotionally by one young singer-songwriter.

It sounds like a conversation on the environment, from my daughter’s generation to mine.

I was going to write about the offshore windfarm which opened in late 2005 at Kentish Flats to the east of London and the new, much larger Thames Estuary windfarm recently approved nearby. I was going to exhort you to take action and sign up (at no extra cost) to wind electricity.

I was going to take encouragement from the fact that whilst the uptake of green technologies in 2006 was not enough to make a significant difference to greenhouse gas emissions, at least the awareness of the environment (if not the will and commitment to do anything much about it) has been rising steadily.

I was going to lambast the UK and US governments for the wasted environmental and energy opportunities of the past eight years.

I was going to express my disgust with Tony Blair for backing a return to nuclear energy, and my frustration with the misinformed Daily Telegraph editorial team and readership for their mindless joy that several (but not all) of the wind turbines in the UK were still for a few days during December’s fog. That’s not the point – because every single day that those blades are turning, they reduce carbon emissions.

I was also going to mention the unseasonable weather. I completed my 7 miles this afternoon in the 12oC warmth of what should be deepest January. It’s yet another mild winter after the UK’s warmest ever year in 2006, and it’s likely that 2007 will be the hottest year the globe has seen since records began.

The scientific truth here is beyond debate. But perhaps I must admit that science can sometimes only take you so far in any argument, even this one.

Please listen to that film clip. Link to this post. And do something too, if you can. Not tomorrow, but today.

Because our kids’ future is entirely within our hands. If we all act now, it may still not be too late.

And tomorrow may yet be a different day.

Related articles:
69. Running low on fuel
105. A crisis of energy
128. October is a summer month
110. The hands that built America – Houston skylines
43. A sense of time – Earth history and the London Marathon


31 responses to “133. Tomorrow – Avril Lavigne and global warming

  1. I applaud you, Roads, for this creative and passionate entry. It came right on the heels of this article, published yesterday:

    Reminds me of that classic Buffalo Springfield lyric: “There’s something happening here. What it is ain’t exactly clear…”

    We have eyes, but too many choose not to see. We have ears, but we choose not to listen. We have minds and free will, and we choose not to exercise either. To say that I am dismayed by all that I see and hear and ponder would be a monumental understatement. The world’s on fire (in more ways than one) and we just fiddle along here in the US. I have never feared more for this planet and the fate of the human race than I have in recent years. These balmy winter days should be a call to arms. The harried cries of so many species demand response…yet, so little has been forthcoming.

    I’ve become far more politically active lately because it is time to take it to the streets. This passivity must not, cannot, continue…still, it continues.

    I don’t know how things are in the UK, but here, the media are controlled by a handful of corporations. The US appears to be governed by an oligarchy devoted to powerful corporate interests and profits…all else be damned.

    I’m worried, I tell you.

    I’m worried.

  2. Thank you, Jonas. Yes, I saw that story, too, and it was certainly in my mind as I was running through the warm Sussex drizzle this afternoon, thinking about writing.

    After two or three miles, far out into the dull and damp English winter countryside, I came across the haunting live version of this song – one of several of my elder daughter’s tracks which has mysteriously found its way onto my iPod.

    And I cried.

  3. Many years ago, I came across a quote that lodged itself, indelibly, in my brain. Shame on me, but I forgot the author. I forgot the exact words…but the gist of it is:

    Whosoever gazes upon humanity must surely weep.

  4. I returned home tonight to find the first snowdrop of the spring, waiting for me in bashful flower just below my front step.

    It’s the fifth of January, 2007.

  5. A great performance.

    With regards to the environment the pig-headed performance of Mr Ryanair did little to kindle hope. I accept the hypocrisy of a government minister accusing the private sector on the one hand; after all, we have singularly failed to use our ‘influence’ with the Bush regime to move the world’s (for now) most powerful nation one iota on the environment. But I found Mr O’Leary’s comments about passengers ‘beaming themselves from A to B in the future’ flippant, patronising and a thinly disguised attempt to deflect the question.

    The cold facts are that your average Joe doesn’t give two hoots about the environment when it comes to making personal sacrifice. Dire Straits said it best – ‘two weeks in España and a Sunday striptease’ remains just as relevant twenty years on, if not more so, to the masses. Except it’s getting harder to find a good Sunday stripper in your local boozer.

    Save the planet by all means.
    What’s that? Give up my two weeks on the Costa del Lager? Not on your George Melly mate.

    And there again, I thought the internet was supposed to help out. Environmentally the web runs with the hare and hunts with the hounds. On the one hand video conferencing should reduce the need for business travel. On the other one can find the cheapest deals to all corners of the globe at the touch of a button. It’s not just air travel. When we arrive in our droves in these exotic locations we saddle up on our guided expeditions and literally trample the planet flat. You can walk the Great Wall (along with nationals from every continent), cycle the Nile, trample the Amazon and pull up in any number of African safari camps, signalling via semaphore to any one of the dozen or so in the immediate vicinity.

    My solution proves to be unpopular with most.
    I firmly believe that we remain a consumer society and left unchecked we will eat ourselves and our planet. Evolution requires revolution, and soon. I see a future where environmentalists become the true fundamentalists. Our politicians can’t or won’t grasp the nettle. They admire the spikey nature of it and respect the sting; but there’s just no future in, er, the future, at least in the murky corridors of Westminster and Washington, much less Beijing or Mumbai. It’s all ‘votes today’ and hang the consequences. It’ll take an act of Ghandi-esque proportions to turn this juggernaut around. That or a collective uprising. Who knows? Perhaps that starts right here. All we can say for sure is, it needs to start now.

    We can start tomorrow. Next chance you get use your vote for the only thing that really matters; the future of our homeworld for the generations to come. Frankly healthcare and education are pointless without breathable air.

    I’ll get me stonewashed linen jacket.

  6. Sweder…you are a work of art.

  7. Yes, Jonas – he really is.

    My tears came with the lyrics ‘it’s always been up to you / it’s turning around, it’s up to me’.

    At some points in our lives, we will all see our children growing past us.

    And it strikes me that we’re failing them. All of us, and me too.

    As for two weeks in España and a Sunday striptease, yes, that’s exactly what I mean, Sweder. After all, I’ll see you on our cheap flight to Almeria later this month.

    And as for Sundays – well, we all know exactly what you get up to then …

    Happy hillside loping !

  8. I’m not too sure that wind farms are the answer, Roads … before moving to Switzerland, I lived in the Aude which is the departement with the most wind farms in France. They are extremely ugly to start with and I seem to remember that their output over a year was about 18% and the Aude is a very windy county. The local councils there are jumping on the bandwagon as it brings them in a lot of cash and don’t care a hoot that some very lovely country is being totally disfigured. There was a plan to install six near where I lived and everyone was up in arms…

    I doubt that windfarms can replace other generators of power – at the risk of being shot down, I am all for a few nuclear power plants rather than zillions of these ugly great big props on stalks…

    I don’t deny that the world has become extremely careless with the natural resources at our disposal and that there is global warming, but unfortunately we need enormous amounts of energy to keep the world turning – we can of course all do our little bit and recycle, take care to turn off unwanted lights, turn down our heating a couple of degrees, etc. but perhaps it would be a good idea to spend millions of dollars on alternative fuel for cars, ‘planes, heating systems etc. which I am sure sure would make an enormous difference.

    At the same time, the climate does change and quite dramatically; many, many years ago I had a book that I think was called ‘Wood’ and written by Hugh Johnson, who wrote ‘The World Atlas of Wine’ – unfortunately I no longer have the book but remember clearly a chapter on the possibility of reading climate change over the centuries through the ‘rings’ on tree trunk cross sections, and again, if my memory serves me well, this period of warm/hot temperatures in Europe is nothing new.

    The most important is that we all do as much as we can to economise natural resources and above all, teach our children as they are the ones that will really bring about the changes…

  9. That’s great, Louise. A debate I’m delighted to host.

    You can take your own view of onshore windfarms. I happen to think they’re beautiful, but not everyone does. 18% operation seems quite low, but perhaps inland France is even more suited to solar power than the UK, even though it does work here, too (Woking Council recently switched their water heating in many of their public buildings (including old people’s homes) over to solar power.

    The real gift that the UK has, though, is the huge and very windy continental shelf, most of it out of sight of land, and the highly developed offshore technology to exploit it. We could meet most of our requirements this way, especially if we work to store energy from windy days in other energy banks (eg hydrogen fuel cells) for use when there is no wind offshore (that’s quite rare, out to sea).

    I wish I shared your enthusiasm for nuclear, but I don’t. Switzerland relies quite heavily on nuclear power. I worked for five years consulting for the Swiss authorities, looking for geologically suitable places to store radioactive waste. Unfortunately, there simply are none. Water drains through rocks, over time. That’s how mineral water appears at natural springs, but it means that subsurface repositories are simply doomed to leak.

    In reality, much European nuclear waste is transported to Sellafield on the Lake District coast in NW England.

    That’s not a geologically safe place to store it. The site lies next to a major fault and the subsurface environment there is hydrothermally active, meaning that the groundwater is actively circulating. The Irish Sea is the most radioactive piece of ocean in the world. That may or may not be a coincidence.

    But despite that, it is, apparently, still a politically acceptable solution to store nuclear waste at Sellafield, because the nasty stuff is already there.

    The other real concern I have is that even the safest of installations fail. I could cite Tschernobyl, or Three Mile Island, but you’d say that it could never happen in the UK now that we know the risks. But accidents will occur.

    Last year, I cited the Buncefield fuel dump explosion as proof of that, as well as the destruction of the Texas City refinery in the US. The safety regime at both those places was already so stringent that neither of those accidents could theoretically happen, but they did, and that was just within one year.

    Near Dounreay in northern Scotland, they are still finding nuclear particles washed up on the beach forty years after a relatively small leak when someone rinsed out the wrong tank.

    Those errors occur, and the problem with nuclear accidents is that the consequences are deadly and very long lasting.

    Let’s build a lot more windmills in the sea, and put solar panels on our roofs instead.

    The final point I am very glad to make is concerning the fact that warm periods have occurred in the past. The Romans grew vines in southern England. Climate is subject to natural cyclicity, on a range of different time scales.

    But what has never, ever occurred, is such significant climate change on such a rapid timescale. That is such a fundamental observation, and one which it’s essential we appreciate.

    Take a look at the graphs (from the BBC) at the bottom of my post #128. It might sound like we are looking at just a bit of warmer weather, Louise. But look at the dramatic change in the direction of those curves over the past 50 years. Global CO2 has risen by 20% since 1958. If we let that rise continue, or worse, let the rate of change accelerate still further, we will be in far worse trouble still. And it will be too late to do anything about it at all.

  10. Interesting discussion.

    I’m not an advocate for any one grand solution. Carbon emissions may be dramatically reduced via a number of alternatives. Automobiles and power generation constitute the two greatest sources of carbon emissions (followed by manufacturing). We can hasten adoption of alternatives to gasoline-powered autos via a wide range incentives, subsidies, tax credits, R&D…well, the list is long. The sad truth is that the US continues to subsidize “Big Oil” thereby delaying the adoption of alternatives. It’s an economic fact of life: if you want more of something, subsidize it (corrollary: if you want less of something, tax it). We grandly subsidize the use of gasoline, all the while beating our chests and bleating about our dependency on oil. We could turn all of this around in fairly short order, but we won’t as long as we continue with policies and practices that favor the status quo (i.e., big business interests).

    Power generation is another coddled big business. For the last 30 years, the major US powerplants have been exempted from stringent emissions limits. All of this was set to change last year…the 30-year “grace period” had expired. What did we do? We passed the “Clear Skies Initiative” that essentially gave the power generators a free ride for the indeterminate future. (Side note: one of the hallmarks of the Bush administration/GOP Congress is the misnaming of legislation. The laws passed generally lead to the opposite result implied in the Law’s Title…disgusting).

    All the while, the rates of asthma and autism are skyrocketing (along with global temperatures). Once again, big business benefits…all else suffers.

    We can do SO much, we can dramatically change the status quo, and quickly, by deploying a wide range of technologies. Wind and solar power, LED illumination for homes and businesses, large-scale power generation for manufacturing via hydrogen cells, hybrid vehicles, power grid rehabilitation…the list is long and getting longer…but we fiddle away the years…and we continue to cater to the profit motives of our established big corporate enterprises.

    Only the will of the people can force change. Sweder is right, of course. Too many people (the majority) simply choose to go along with the way life is…rarely demanding change. In that context, corporations have free rein to pursue profits…all externalities be damned.

    By the way, I encourage everyone I know to watch a film entitled “The Corporation.” It is an eye-opener.

    Change will come once we, the human race, are horrified by what we see happening all around us. The watchers are already horrified. The vast majority, however, remains blind.

  11. ‘There’s none so blind as them that will not see’.
    Ostrichism’s pandemic, nowhere more so than in the UK and the USA. ‘Intelligent’, ‘educated’ people prefer to chatter about regional issues (parking is always a hot topic in suburbia).

    For some the enormity of the issue and likely impact of the required solutions are too much to take in. Far easier to grumble about parents taking their 4x4s a half-mile to drop the sprogs off at school. Of course this is part of the problem, but it’s a scratch on the pimple on the Big Hog’s arse.

    We need leadership and the truly depressing thing is that’s not what’s coming over the hill . . . sadly it is a monster; a money-grabbing, fuel-guzzling, stock-piling monster, ridden and driven by men desparate to maintain the status quo and protect their ilk.

    I applaud anyone taking personal steps.
    There’s so much more I could do. I recently traded in my old pick-up for one that consumes less than half the fuel. We recycle and have done since long before the local council dished out inadequate plastic bins for the purpose.

    But I drive to work (30 miles each way, every day, no public transport links) when I could work from home half the time.

    I’ve not seen Al Gore’s film on the environment but I take my hat off to him for even broaching a subject that, sadly, is in danger of becoming tomorrow’s fish ‘n’ chip wrapper.

    On the nuclear issue I stand firmly with Roads.
    Only when you’ve lived in a country that routinely dumps chemical and biohazard waste into its own environment can you truly appreciate the folly of this course. It’ll take some kind of geological shift and a resulting disaster to expose this dangerous, negligent practice. Think on the scale of Chernobyl, only this time it’ll happen to people we care about (i.e., us).

    I’m afraid aesthetics is not an argument. I too find wind turbines beautiful, perhaps because deep down I’m aware of what they represent; an evolutionary escape route for a race that’s out of control on a sharply curving high-speed bend.

    We need guys like Roads – people with their feet on the ground and their finger on the geological pulse – to remind us that our planet is not some giant man-made habitation; its a living, breathing biosphere. And it’s not very well.

  12. Let’s not kid ourselves that wind turbines will replace our existing sources of energy – okay they may help a bit, but that’s all. Yes, yes, I know – every little bit helps…
    A few wind turbines on a hillside can have quite a dramatic and attractive effect – wind farms are another matter. Have you seen the wind farms in southern Spain near the Portuguese border?
    I doubt whether if you live in the country you would like a dozen or so turbines in your back garden…

  13. Point taken, though I’ve seen the windfarms in California (Palm Desert). Admittedly they’re not exactly detracting from the surroundings . . . unless you consider desertscape beautiful, which many of the locals do (hence the opposition to the installation).

    The problem is that NIMBYism is not an argument against safe progress. I live in the Sussex hills. Many people here would be ‘up in arms’ over the unsightly limbs looming over their beloved downland. It’s just so starnge that they can’t rise from their sofas for something far more important than a blot on the landscape.

    But lets not get carried away; Louise is right. A few windfarms ain’t gonna cut the mootard. Global action is required, and action filled with hypocrisy that the ‘third world’ ain’t gonna like.

    ‘Oh, sorry India – yes we’ve exploited natural resources for decades and polluted the planet in order to enrich our lives, but you can’t I’m afraid; so sorry.’ It’s a hard sell, but surely its one we have to make? What’s the alternative here?

    We’re gonna need a lot more sand to bury all these heads in. OUR PLANET IS DYING AND WE’RE THE DISEASE. Perhaps we need some intersellar intervention, an intergalactic police force, to make us see collective sense.

    ‘Sorry mankind, you’ve abused this planet so we’re taking it into care. You’re being moved to a large rock on the other side of the galaxy. You have 24 hours to pack.’

    God I miss Douglas Adams.

  14. Thanks again for your comments, Louise. It’s good to talk about this.

    Solar and wind energy can certainly meet most, if perhaps not quite all, of our energy requirements. The technology already exists for most of what we need, although we need to improve our storage options dramatically (that’s where hydrogen fuel cells come in). For some specialised needs (including perhaps to fuel aeroplanes, when we can afford to fly them) we will always need petroleum, and of course with our current arrangements, as you correctly imply, we simply can’t live without it, until new energy sources are on stream to replace it.

    What is needed is a radical kick-start in investment. Sweder is correct in his assertion that this is one area where market forces alone are not currently capable of providing the solution, at least not quickly enough to solve the warming spiral that the market has unwittingly created.

    Yes, I have seen the huge banks of wind turbines in the southern Spanish landscape near Tarifa, just to the west of Gibraltar. They are figured in the photo in my post #105. They look amazing, and awe-inspiring, although I certainly agree that placing them offshore produces less visible impact (and catches more wind).

    I haven’t bought a wind turbine myself just yet. Nevertheless, alternative energy solutions have reached the High Street (or at least the shopping park) during 2006 – at B&Q you can buy small wind turbines for £1,498 and solar panels for £2,498. Both have been huge sellers.

    That said, there have been reviews which suggest that the 1m wind turbines being sold don’t actually generate that much electricity (about 1 kw). Every little helps, but that is certainly on the little side. The solar panels may be a more effective solution, but in both cases you also need to pay for more clever domestic circuitry since you are supplying energy back into the system as well as taking it out.

    That is one area where government support of such micro-generation installations will make a huge difference.

    But, even unassisted by grants or any other incentives, those costs will come down.

    In the meantime, all of our own domestic electricity is already entirely carbon-neutral, since it comes from an offshore windfarm through the utility company npower Juice.

    Two great books I would recommend on the energy crisis are:

    The End of Oil, by Paul Roberts (2004),


    Half Gone, by Jeremy Leggett (2005).

    They’re both extremely readable and will confirm that:

    a) we will eventually be able to source most of our energy from alternative sources, given the will and sufficient investment, but that it will take time to build that capacity and bring online from our very low present base.

    b) unfortunately we don’t have much choice about that, really, since petroleum supply is finite and actually already very close to peak production, and

    c) the biggest threat of all is that we run short of oil and gas before we have a clean energy supply ready to replace it. If (or more probably when) that happens, we will likely burn coal instead (as China is already doing) and that will accelerate CO2 production several fold and cause the global warming effects to rise commensurately, and very likely beyond a runaway threshold state.

    We need time to change our supply chain around. Unfortunately, we just don’t have the luxury of that time. It’s a huge challenge to achieve that switch, but it is going to have to happen anyway within 20-30 years, so the sooner we start the better, and the longer we can eke out the limited petroleum that we do have. The obvious concern is that we will reach unstoppable environmental catastrophe long before we get to that point.

    That’s why, exactly as you say, we should all start right now to change the way we live, and make the most of the resources we have. That’s precisely why it is so frustrating that we as individuals and the world (through national governments) are still making such desperately slow progress along that path, even though we all know by now that we really should be moving much quicker than we are. Me included.

    Thanks very much again, Louise, and enjoy that snow!

  15. Tomorrow (Live)

    For any musicians out there, here are the guitar chords for the live (acoustic) version of that song.

    A live recording is also on iTunes as track 16 of the 2005 release of Avril Lavigne’s album ‘Under my Skin’.

    At this rate, I’ll be listening to Razorlight by the end of the week.
    Or even Snow Patrol.

  16. Another week in SE England has gone by, with persistent high winds, torrential rain and crazily mild winter temperatures.

    As of this evening, we now have five daffodils blooming smilingly in our garden.

    It is the 12th of January, 2007.
    – Roads

  17. Black bears have been seen wandering about New England. Their hibernation cycle has been disrupted. Should winter appear, they’ll be…?

  18. No bears here, at least not yet.

    But more daffodils appeared today, and the gorse was coming into flower across the Wey floodplain, too. That’s something we used to expect at Easter, not just after Christmas.

    Maybe I’d better check the rose bushes tomorrow …

  19. Have you seen this quiz from the Sierra Club to determine your ecological footprint: http://www.earthday.net/footprint/index.asp

    I think I’m pretty ‘green’ but when I take that quiz it turns out I’m using 3.3 planets (or 4.4 if you want to put my 1056 SF house in the higher bracket). I took this quiz for my mom who lives in a yurt on an isolated island and grows much of her own organic food, rarely drives, etc. and she uses 1.5 planets. Lets not even talk about the people who fly a lot, drive huge cars, live in huge houses and consume lots of crap which is quite a big percentage of the U.S. The point being that the current lifestyle of the developed world is non-sustainable, even if you ride your bike to work and recycle your garbage.

    As for the current weather weirdness, part of it is due to El Nino and part to global warming. And if there was a way I’d be happy to send you our snow and single digit (Farenheit) temps. and I’ll bask in the lovely warm weather. Though I expect when this summer turns more beastly hot than normal (again, El Nino plus global warming) I’ll be wishing for snow.

  20. I’ll take that test and (gulp) report back the results here. Elayne, apropos of nothing, did you name your hound after Joe Strummer of The Clash? Great name anyhow.

    On the warming trend I went out for a fifteen miler yesterday morning. On opening the curtains I was relieved to see the howling wind and lashing rain had taken their leave to be replaced by clear blue skies and an eerie calm. This of course indicated a cold one, so I gloved up and donned my stoutest windcheater.

    And, true to form, I melted after barely three miles. It’s so darned warm it’s not even funny. This morning as I write the sun is once more king of the sky with only carbon-rich vapour trails of the Gatwick-bound leviathans for company above the shining Sussex hills.

    The forecast is for a high today of 9 degress, moving to 11 tomorrow and 13 by Friday. We’re used to at least one snowfall in January in these parts; looks like we’ll be reaching for the bucket and spade rather than the toboggan.

  21. Thanks very much, Elayne. I’ll try out that site.

    Meanwhile, here is that link to BP’s carbon footprint calculator.

    I see that the results it gives reflect the varying lifestyles in different countries. For example, a family with a detached house and a car in Europe will, on average, produce around half of the emissions of a similar family in the US.

    That is partly because we drive smaller and more fuel-efficient cars, and partly because our houses are typically smaller, too, and domestic air conditioning is still a rarity here (although that is slowly changing following a number of exceptionally hot summers).

    And yes, Sweder – it’s a great day for running here in Sussex today. Too bad then, that I’m stuck in the office this lunchtime …

  22. The Sierra club quiz asks you your country at the start so I assume it also takes that into account. If you look at some of the links that appear when you finish the quiz there’s one for a more detailed quiz that should give a more accurate reading.

    The overuse of air conditioning is terrible in the U.S. I spend the summer bundled in fleece jackets (sometimes with my space heater running) in my office and I have one of the warmest offices in the place. I have to take a sweatshirt with me to go to restaurants, the movies, etc. all summer long. I don’t have air conditioning in my house but it’s just about everywhere else.

    And yes, my dog is named after Joe Strummer. Unfortunately, it’s turned out to be a very fitting name.

  23. I know what you mean, Elayne. I’ve felt colder inside Houston office blocks than almost anywhere else on the planet.

    Strummer is a great name for a hound. As a former roadie, Sweder, I think you should already have spotted that musical link within Elayne’s blog title Days of Speed and Slowtime Mondays.

    It’s a direct quote from That’s Entertainment, by The Jam, who spent their formative years (poor sods) in Woking, just a few miles from where I write here in Guildford.

  24. The jury’s returned. I’d need 4.3 planets to support my lifestyle with a footprint of 7.7. And that’s with my slavish devotion to farm-reared produce and my aversion to supermarkets. My downfall is, as suspected, my travelling to work 5 days a week (and being solo in the car). I can do something about that without too much effort (ie make working from home more productive and therefore more attractive).

    To be honest, Roads, I didn’t take enough time on Elayne’s site to notice the title! I was immediately drawn to the hound though, being a running companion to a whippet, a lurcher and a spaniel. What an unlikely sillhouette we cast upon the early morning in Sussex as we lope across the hills!

    That’s Entertainment – an excellent song from one of the finest bands to emerge from the late ’70’s – funnily enough from around the time that I started lugging bass bins : D

  25. Pingback: Top Searched For Celebs » Blog Archive » 133. Tomorrow - Avril Lavigne on global warming

  26. My carbon footprint came out as 2tonnes CO2 per year which is way down on the average of 8.9 for France. This is mainly because I do few car miles and use the plane to visit my folks in the UK once, with train once.

    I’m pretty proud of that footprint.

    I wish there was a way to harness wave power. There’s so much potential there.



  28. It’s frustrating that films are still released later here in the UK than in the US, but I finally managed to see An Inconvenient Truth.

    It’s an excellent movie, and I really recommend it, especially to anyone who inclines to support one or more of these typical ‘sceptics’ viewpoints:

    “Well, the scientists are pretty much divided about this, you know …”, or;

    “But this isn’t really anything more than a naturally cyclic variation in the weather which we are seeing here. Everyone knows that it has been warmer at times in the past …”; or

    “Hey, it was only thirty years ago that the Earth was supposed to be getting cooler and we were all worried about the next Ice Age …”

    If you go and watch this movie then very probably you may change your mind about those statements.

    On an enormously positive note, the British government announced last week that over 1 million people in the UK now have their energy needs met by green energy sources, with the increase to this figure largely from the rise in offshore wind energy production.

    That’s still not enough, but 1 million is certainly an impressive and increasingly meaningful number.

    It’s a start, and perhaps we are getting there, ever so slowly. I really hope we are.

    Tomorrow may yet be a different day, Avril.

  29. People there is only 1 answer to the the growing energy crisis!! We must all kill ourselves asap so that the planet may live on and that the temp will not rise more than .00000001% of a degree!!

    We as humans are a plague to this world!!

    Please join me in jumping off the nearest bridge or anything else you can find to put an end to your life now!!! Please I beg of you!!!

  30. Chad
    Welcome, and many thanks for your input. It’s good to see that you’ve got a sense of humour.

    Don’t jump off that bridge just yet, though. There’s no need to give up, when you can really make a difference.

    So hang in there. And keep smiling …

  31. Just a word to note that the original film here of Avril Lavigne’s 2003 performance in Dublin has been removed from YouTube (although other versions of the same concert exist on that site) so I’ve replaced it with this version recorded at the Budokan in Tokyo, Japan.

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