The hustings on climate change organised by Wivey Action on Climate with other Taunton Deane transition groups was a great success. A hall packed with 200 people at Wellington Prep School heard a lively and informative debate between the main Taunton Deane general election candidates.
There was a near unanimous view that climate change is a serious issue with only the UKIP candidate suggesting that the threat is exaggerated.
The candidates responded to seven questions (selected from 40 submitted) on issues ranging from the effects of building the proposed Hinkley C nuclear reactor to the benefits of reducing meat and dairy consumption. While there was general agreement on some issues, such as building a tidal lagoon in Bridgwater Bay, there were different opinions on whether growing the economy is compatible with tackling climate change.
The debate was good-humoured and at times light-hearted. The candidates were finally asked: ‘What is your biggest climate sin?’ which drew some revealing replies.
Presentation on climate past, present and future and launch of Wivey Action on Climate.
This meeting was held on 22nd January 2015 at Wiveliscombe Primary School. Our guest speaker, Dr Robert Dunn joined the Met Office Hadley Centre in 2010 and works in the Climate Monitoring and Attribution group.
About 60 people attended to hear Robert’s informative presentation, which covered changes to our climate, natural and man-made causes, the increase in greenhouse gases in our atmosphere and how the Met Office and other scientists measure and model all these changes. Robert also covered impacts and what we can do to reduce emissions and adapt to some climate change.
2014 was the warmest year on record, with global temperatures 0.7C (1.2F) above the long-term average. 14 of the 15 warmest years on record have now occurred since 2000.
The analysis was published today by US government scientists at NASA and NOAA. See the BBC report for further details.
Also see NOAA’s selected climate events and anomalies for 2014.
The United Nations has been building support since 1990 for a universal agreement on climate change.
In 1988, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) was established by the UN and the World Meteorological Organisation to provide the world with a clear scientific view on climate change and its potential environmental and socio-economic impacts.
The IPCC’s fifth assessment report in November 2014 concluded:
“Human influence on the climate system is clear and growing, with impacts observed on all continents. If left unchecked, climate change will increase the likelihood of severe, pervasive and irreversible impacts for people and ecosystems.
“However, options are available to adapt to climate change and … ensure that the impacts of climate change remain within a manageable range, creating a brighter and more sustainable future.
“We have the means to limit climate change,” said R. K. Pachauri, Chair of the IPCC. “The solutions are many and allow for continued economic and human development. All we need is the will to change, which we trust will be motivated by knowledge and an understanding of the science of climate change.”
IPCC – Press Release, 2nd November 2014
For further information see:
Media coverage of the November 2014 IPCC report: BBC, 2 Nov 2014 – Guardian, 2 Nov 2014 – Telegraph, 2 Nov 2014 – Telegraph, 31 Oct 2014