Nigel Dawkins’s “Action needed soon to avoid catastrophe” (Post, Oct 7) seemed to suggest that global warming is a rather hopeless case for us in the UK. It states that to simply become energy efficient may have a positive local effect, yet has no impact on oil consumption globally. However, what is a global effect if not the amalgamation of local impacts?
Yes, China’s carbon emissions are a huge contribution to global warming, an issue that needs to be addressed to avert climate change. But this is not an excuse for the UK to hide unnoticed in the corner, pointing the finger at China saying “but they were doing it too, Miss”. And let’s face it, who ever got away with that one at school? Blaming developing countries for their carbon emissions may make people feel better about lazily continuing with our own inefficient behaviour, but we must accept that we are not helpless – a truth that may be an uncomfortable one, but it’s staring us in the face.
Councillor Dawkins’s also suggested that oil reductions in the West lead to price drops, resulting in developing countries buying more oil. If this is the case, maybe we should consume as much oil as possible to force the developing world to use less? We all know this is a ludicrous suggestion. A mad scramble for the world’s dwindling oil reserves hardly demonstrates our country’s commitment to halting the effects of climate change.
It is true that global change is needed for a global impact, but unless individuals show they want change, be it through efficient cars or simply different light bulbs, what incentive is there for companies, governments and ultimately countries to change their behaviours?
Who are we to moan that China, India and Brazil’s carbon emissions are flying out of control if we are doing nothing to cut our own? A “do as I say, not do as I do” philosophy simply will not work.
An energy efficient UK may not single-handedly halt climate change, but we can set an example and even be a persuading factor to encourage change globally. With less oil consumption, perhaps other countries will want to take a green leaf from our emissions book, and just maybe we can make a difference ourselves.
Yes, action is needed soon to avoid global catastrophe, but it is needed by all, and that includes us.