Wednesday, 7 August 2013

Environmental Revolution

Carrying on from a previous climate change posting. Click Here

I am aware that some people support the case for global warming and climate change. There are others who have an open mind on the subject. At the same time there are people who believe that climate change and global warming is in some part due to the activities of man.

I fall into the middle ground because for over twenty years I worked in research environment. I just use the normal research ethos of requiring a burden of proof. However, I also have a second concern. That is air quality and the environment in which I live. I watched and suffered as a child whenever smog would hang over the place where I lived. Sometimes it was there for days on end. Living close to an industrial environment with it's accompanied soot blackened buildings. Where my mother would wash clean the washing line before hanging out clothes. People adapted in small ways to the environment in which they lived. There was nothing that local people could do about it.

Now times have changed and people question changes to the environment and the air quality. We will never stop natural pollution but we should take steps to reduce the man made inputs to the level of pollution. Our rivers were once heavily polluted with chemicals and other such waste products. Unquestionably due to the effects of man. There was nothing that local people could do about it. Much improved water quality has been achieved in many places. The majority however, through the downturn in manufacturing and the closure of specific industries. Yet, every year fines continue to be levied against polluters. 

Water treatment plants are unable to deal with additional liquid effluent that is created on a huge scale whenever we get heavy downpours. Unquestionably due to the effects of man. This overflow still goes untreated into our rivers. There was nothing that local people can do about it. Other than to get political change through direct action and naming and shaming polluters. I learned many years ago, that profits will always come before protecting the environment.

We are seeing our own version of a La Révolution Française. I don't think people have realised it yet, but our generation are the forbears of a whole new revolution. A revolution that has come around as a natural consequence of the industrial revolution. Which was unquestionably due to the effects of man. I like to think of it as the 'Environmental Revolution.'

In a way we are having our own eco version of a 'Révolution Française.' This was was a period of radical social and political change that had a fundamental impact on the country. A country that was experiencing an economic crisis, and we know all about that. The modern era has unfolded in the shadow of the French Revolution. The fallout has had a permanent consequences for human history. One of those consequences we see today is environmental awareness. The Environmental Revolution is the ongoing process of switching from pollution-causing and climate-changing technology to efficient and clean technology. I owe it to my children and my childrens children to protect and preserve the environment in as pristine a condition as possible.

On thing I am sure about - is when big business spends billion of counteracting the concerns and opposition of the people - its the profit motive that comes first.

Vive La Révolution!

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