Environment

Environment: Trading in Destruction

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Andrew Stone speaks to acclaimed environmentalist and Guardian columnist George Monbiot about the threat posed by global warming.

There have been a number of reports in recent weeks on the effects of global warming, including the report from the international conference in Exeter on climate change. What do they add to our knowledge about the scale of the problem?

Well, they reinforce what we were already aware of - that there's an urgent existential problem, in other words, one that threatens the continued existence of human beings on the planet. They have provided some quite specific predictions of what might happen by particular dates, and what the scale of the crisis is that we need to avoid.

Environment: Trading in Destruction

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The solutions put forward at a recent conference on climate change in Exeter are inadequate, writes Ian Rappel. Our interview of the month is with environment activist George Monbiot.

Another month passes, and the issue of global warming hits the headlines once again. A series of dire predictions and scenarios poured forth from a conference on 'Avoiding Dangerous Climate Change' held at the Hedley Centre of the UK Meteorological (Met) Office in Exeter last month. This event brought together over 200 scientists from 30 countries, and was sponsored by the UK government's Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), at the behest of Tony Blair himself.

Environment: Another Wasted Opportunity

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'The government must no longer allow delays in developing a long term radioactive waste management strategy to be used as a pretext for deferring decisions on the future of nuclear power...

'To do so would seriously narrow the range of options open to the government in meeting their longer term energy and environmental goals. The small uncertainties associated with radioactive waste disposal that still exist must be balanced against the spectre of global warming: the consequences of not doing enough to limit greenhouse gas emissions may be catastrophic.'

Climate Change: Reaping a Whirlwind

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Tony Blair has intervened to ensure that British power stations and industries will be given increased allowances to emit carbon dioxide (CO2) over the next three years.

As ministers from the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) announced this development through the media, they sought to reassure us that the new CO2 allowances were still a step in the right direction, but were now more 'balanced' because they would not undermine the 'competitiveness' of British industry. Needless to say, Digby Jones of the Confederation of British Industries (CBI) and other business leaders welcomed the news.

A Tale of Two Logos

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With the Johannesburg summit on sustainable development happening at the beginning of September, there are a number of websites giving alternative views to an event which will see large amounts of hot air coming from politicians as they clamour to show their green credentials.

There are many sites dedicated to exposing the real issues behind the summit and climate change in general. Greenpeace have been having fun with their Stop Esso campaign. The website was originally hosted in France. Esso mannaged to get an injunction to stop Greenpeace using their spoof E$$O logo on the Stop Esso website www.stopesso.org. But things are not always that simple in cyberspace--Greenpeace moved the website to a host based in the oil rich state of Texas--where the injunction isn't valid.

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