The Cost of Climate Change Protest

Last year the Metropolitan Police in London had to spend £27 million in policing protests by the extinction rebellion supporters. It is significantly more, it seems, than the police spend in London on its violent crime task force. The policing of extinction rebellion is not at all effective. Protesters are allowed to block major intersections and bridges. Recently they have dig up lawns in London and Cambridge causing criminal damage and dumped the soil elsewhere which is illegal fly tipping. These criminal activities are carried out under the watchful eye of the police who do not restrain these crimes committed by perpetrators that the police observe and could stop, if they were minded to carry out their duties.

But the £27 million was not the only cost. Tens of thousands of Londoners lost wages and leisure time due to the disruption caused. Many tens of thousands of carbon dioxide emissions and particulates were pumped into the atmosphere by cars blocked in traffic brought to a halt by extinction rebellion protests. The atmospheric pollution caused by the protesters and the environmental damage is substantial. It cannot be justified by their actions because their demands are nonsensical as we shall see.

Extinction Rebellion have three demands:

  1. Tell the Truth: truth in matters of such scientific complexity as climate change is not straightforward. Who is to “tell the truth” and who is telling the truth? Governments, scientists or the extinction protesters?
  2. Act now reduce emissions to net zero by 2025 is the demand but there is no solution offered as to how this can be achieved.
  3. Beyond Politics: government to be led by citizens’ assemblies. This is the most chilling demand of all as it seeks to subvert the democratic will of the people.

Now, the right to peaceful protest is an important right. In major cities there are laws about such protests which enable them to take place with the minimum of disruption. It is the job of the police to enforce these laws, made by democratically elected politicians; the police must not stand by while they observe serious crimes being committed. It brings to doubt the competence of the Commissioner, Cressida Dick and her judgment as well as the sincerity and true motivation of the leaders of extinction rebellion protesters.

Does Anyone Care

Those who measure atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide are finding that in April their measurements show the highest ever readings. This seems to be reflected in global heat. February 2016 was the warmest month ever in 137 – years of record keeping. This is the tenth consecutive month that the monthly temperature record has been broken.  Continue reading

Migration: we broke it and therefore we bought it

If the environment where people live is destroyed or degraded then the people who live there will move elsewhere. The most important factor in destruction or degradation of the environment is humanity. By greed humanity destroys the environment in particular places; it cuts down forests, it creates vast quantities of carbon dioxide as a by-product of the things it does to satisfy its greed and it makes war for reasons of fear and greed. Continue reading

For the rain it raineth every day

When I was a young boy in Poplar I used to look out of the window on the first floor of the maisonette where we lived when it rained. Our yard was made of large concrete cement flags, bound with bitumen but the slabs were unevenly laid in this Festival of Britain development so rainwater collected in large puddles and when rain it the puddles they made bubbles.

When that I was and a little tiny boy,

With hey, ho, the wind and the rain,
A foolish thing was but a toy,
For the rain it raineth every day.

Today we are puzzled that so much rain has fallen this December; we look for reasons why so much of the places where people live are affected by floods while other places, previously fertile, are affected with drought. In most places we watch through the window of the media and do not understand whether what we see is the beginning of the end or simply a temporary change in the order of things. And so we speculate and enact out our speculations.

 

A great while ago the world begun,
With hey, ho, the wind and the rain,
But that’s all one, our play is done,
And we’ll strive to please you every day

 

Happy New Year

Descendants usually praise their ancestors: ours are likely to curse us

It is unseasonably warm in London; I suppose that it is sod’s law that we get a warm winter when energy prices are falling. This illustrates the difficulty that policy makers have when they deal with two key and interlinked areas of policy – energy and climate change.

The warm winter and the record rainfall in parts of Britain are linked to climate change; we do not know enough to be able to claim a direct causal link,  but with 2105 likely to be the warmest year on record, thin Arctic sea ice in winter, and unusual weather events are all classic precursors of climate change, according to climatologists.

It is not our problem today (apart from those affected by these events) but is likely to be the problem that our descendants have to deal with in practical terms. They will look at the talking done at meetings like the Paris Climate Change Conference which results in opportunistic money grabs by some nations and a new improved target of holding back temperature rises to half a degree less than the previous target, and wonder about our intelligence and wonder at our greed.

Descendants usually praise their ancestors: ours are likely to curse us.

The times they are a changing

I was annoyed to read that some scientists had reported that in future the British Isles will have longer bursts of heat waves and be warmer, as a result of global warming. The story was widely reported. I am sure, as far as I can be, that global warming is taking place and that the climate of these islands will be different in future from its present climate, but I do understand that when predicting the future there are literally more things in heaven and earth than are dreamt of in our science. Continue reading

Let Us Hope They Are Wrong

The Antarctic has seemed to be an anomaly in terms of climate change. Scientists always believed that the effects of rapid climate change would be most noticeable at the extremes of the planet. The Arctic and the equatorial regions of the planet showed these changes quite dramatically but the Antarctic seemed to stubbornly show no significant evidence of climate change. All however was not as it appeared, or so it appears. Continue reading