Thursday, September 20, 2007
Weather Awareness Zapping the Zeitgeist
Some of the most potent tools (to fight cow-induced-climate-change) at our disposal right now include UGC and blogs. What is the weather doing in the world down your street? Grassroots journalists can provide the answers. This can be as simple as looking at monthly mean temperatures for local areas (the newspaper usually provides these figures) and checking to what extent aberrations are occurring. I was doing that for a few months in Bloem, and noticed just how out of whack the rainfall was getting.
Here's a real time experiment. Usually at this time of year, people express surprise that warm weather has suddenly arrived. A friend of ours has his birthday in the last week of September. He says that every year a cold front hits in that last week (in South Africa) and it always catches everyone by surprise. The only reason he is never surprised, is he's always looking forward to his birthday by the end of September, and has come to associate that time with the season's Last Big Cold Front. So let's see if it happens. If it doesn't, well that will be unusual.
I think it truly becomes alarming when we get a global perspective. Try this: google 'unusual weather' (in the NEWS category) right now.
" Flooding along the fringes of the Sahara counts under the surprise category."
You'll also read about fires. What people don't realise is that floods and fires are the bread and butter of global warming. Fires of course, lead to more global warming, and more fires. We're seeing 'climate change' starting to balloon in our local Zeitgeist. And Africa and South Africa are likely to bear the brunt of this global conundrum.
Read the final Stern Report here.
Meanwhile: Climate campaign to stop ill wind
by Mark Sweney
The Vegetarian Society is to raise awareness of "emissions" from cattle as a leading cause of global warming with an ad campaign using the strapline "Silent but deadly".
Sir Paul McCartney and daughter Stella are patrons of the Vegetarian Society, which argues that "damaging gaseous emissions" from farmed animals exceed those from the world's entire transport system. The campaign, which features a close-up of the rear of a cow, will include a range of "Silent but deadly" postcards and press ads that will run in environmental and ethical magazines over the coming months.
Ads will run in publications including Ethical Consumer, Ecologist, the Green Planet and Organic Life, as well as the Friends of the Earth's members' magazine Earth Matters.
"'Silent but deadly' is about getting the reader's attention, making them think and hopefully wanting to find out more about the connection between diet and climate change," said the Vegetarian Society head of communications, Liz O'Neill.
The ad claims that farmed animals produce 18% of the world's greenhouse gas emissions, while the global transport industry accounts for 13.5%.
The advertisement finishes with the line "It's not just a lot of hot air." To contact the MediaGuardian newsdesk email email@example.com