Anger Management

I would love to be more positive but realism is a vastly underrated quality, and realism is what the subject of climate change needs. Wishful thinking, platitudes and spin is not helping anyone.

There are countless things humans need to do, we are constantly told, to avoid Armageddon. The main one is the use of fossil fuels. This is highly unlikely as China is currently approving two new coal fired power stations per week; at the huge waste of time that was COP28, the oil cartels’ secretary-general insisted a line be entered into the final document text that read ‘we proactively reject any text or formula that targets fossil fuels rather than emissions’; the UK has given the green light for new drilling in the North Sea for gas and oil; the demand for electric cars is declining across the world (GM, VW and Ford combined have cancelled a total of £14billion of planned investment in EV factories); the UK ban on gas boilers has been watered down to 80% change by 2035 from the original 100% by 2025; the burning of fossil fusels is increasing according to a UN report – a 460% increase in coal production, 83% more gas and 69% more oil.

The entire thing is a farce. If the world stopped burning fossil fuels today, the economy of every single country would collapse, fuelling wars, mass starvation and riots the likes of which we have never seen. In addition, the countries using most fossil fuels are countries we have no sway over and they have zero intention of cutting back.

Coal (global share)

China 50.5%
India 11.3%
United States 8.5%
Germany 3.0%
UK 0.5%


Oil (barrels per day)

United States 19m
China 12m
India 4m
Japan 4m
UK 1.6m


Gas (global share)

United States 21.7%
Russia 12.4%
China 5.4%
Japan 3.5%
UK 2.0%

In 2030, if current projections hold, the United States will drill for more oil and gas than at any point in its history. Russia and Saudi Arabia plan to do the same. They’re among the world’s fossil fuel giants that, together, are on course this decade to produce twice the amount of fossil fuels than a critical global warming threshold allows, according to a United Nations-backed report

The oceans are another issue as they act as a giant carbon sink, yet we are destroying them so fast they will never keep up. Not only are there plastics being found in the bodies of every marine creature, water companies around the world are polluting them with chemicals way faster than they can recover and, with an increase of 80 million new humans on the planet every year, we are eating the polluted marine life into oblivion. Of course, those extra 80 million a year, on top of the 8.1 billion existing humans, means that the need for more food increases almost every day with a rapidly diminishing supply.

One final matter is the world’s forests and trees, another great natural carbon sink. As we know, the Amazon is being destroyed at the rate of 7,135 square kilometres per day – a 19% increase year on year. Increased population means more housing on green land and the corresponding hospitals, schools and shops that result in concreting over so much land that scientists can’t even calculate it.

Oh, and when you enjoy that next fireworks display, remember that globally,  fireworks produce 123,422.5 metric tons of carbon a year – the equivalent of another 12,000 diesel cars on the planet.

My point is, and l am sorry if it upsets or angers you, it’s all a waste of time. As we have been producing greenhouse gases since 1830 with a massive increase every single year, if we stopped it all tomorrow, it could still take the planet up to a thousand years to recover. The naivety of thinking we can curb the use of fossil fuels and all will be well in a decade or two is a scam to keep humans calm.

We need to learn how to cope with what is coming, and teach the next generation how to cope with a predicted 11ºF (6ºC) increase in the planet’s temperature, according to a report from the International Energy Agency.

Is there any light at the end of the tunnel? There’s a glimmer as science could come to the rescue. There is exciting news of a lithium replacement in car batteries in that zinc can be used and that would be far cheaper and less harmful to source. Technology is moving fast on carbon capture schemes which catches more than 90% of carbon emitted from power plants and industry and burying it in the ground like nuclear waste. There are now eleven under construction and 153 in development around the world. The UK and others are looking at building several mini nuclear reactors to replace the filthy coal and gas fired power stations and reduce emissions. So there is a glimmer but they really need to get a move on.

We need to curb it, but – far more importantly – we need to prepare.

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