Climate Change Begins at Home: Life on the two-way street of by Dave Reay (auth.)

By Dave Reay (auth.)

Packed with provocative case experiences, calculations and way of life comparisons, this unique and authoritative booklet makes the complexities of climatology comprehensible and demanding situations readers to reconsider their notions of 'doing their bit'. The paperback version encompasses a new preface from Mark Lynas, writer of excessive Tide: information From a Warming World

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There may only be a dwindling handful of researchers who continue to deny the existence of human-induced climate change, but they have some powerful political allies. The US administration has often cited the ‘scientific uncertainty’ in defending its anti-Kyoto Protocol stance. For them the 420,000 year record is too short, still too uncertain. As I write, colleagues across Europe are working on an ice core from Antarctica that contains an even longer record of greenhouse gas concentrations in our atmosphere – almost a million years of climate history.

Government schemes, both the carrot kind, like giving cars with passengers their own lanes, or the stick kind, like charging those without passengers, tend to fail because of cheating by drivers. In the case of the HOV lanes, one woman conned police for nearly a year by using a dummy passenger. An undertaker prosecuted for his use of the HOV defended his actions saying that the body he was carrying counted as a passenger, while a pregnant mother claimed a similar defence, her unborn child this time being the ‘passenger’.

Changing one’s driving habits is probably the easiest of climate-friendly actions in theory. By driving habits I don’t mean whether you like to wear shades and a baseball cap or have chemical toilet-scented air fresheners dangling from your rear view mirror, but when you use your car and how you then drive it. My bookcase holds several books on individual action, each containing top tips by which to cut your emissions through changing your driving habits. On paper these make absolute sense and every time I read them I nod and think “Great, that’s easy – drive smoothly, save fuel and save the planet – no problem”.

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