Huge lifestyle changes are needed to avert disaster

Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change announced humans have warmed the atmosphere

What will Global Warming mean for our children and grandchildren? - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Catastrophe is now as visible in reality as any Hollywood epic or passages from the Old Testament. Just as some people rejected belief in the vaccine and died, there are people who believe everything can carry on as normal, but it won't. I am 81 years old - Global Warming may be OK for my lifetime, but what about my children and grandchildren and yours?

Electric cars offer little help - the carbon footprint to manufacture the battery corresponds to the first 20,000 miles of travel with a petrol engine according to analysis available on the internet. My car has only done 13,000 miles since 2015! So ideas that we will switch to electric and carry on as before are very misguided.

Councils are passing resolutions to reduce carbon emissions, while nearly half are also giving planning approval for increased roads and expanded airports which will increase carbon emissions. East Devon is switching to electric vehicles.

We do need to return to "normal", but what was normal? When I was growing up 70 years ago, I would go for long bicycle rides on main roads, where traffic was a tiny fraction of today, holidays were in England and we went by train, Europe was studied in Geography, fast food was whatever was rustled really quickly in the kitchen. Cars were smaller; changing gear in an Austin 7 without giving offence to a lady passenger was the mark of a gentleman!

Forest fires have burned trees, so carbon absorbers were carbon emitters; hot weather needs more air conditioning; smelting iron ore to make steel needs coal; mining Lithium in Cornwall for batteries needs energy. Disaster movie writers have a huge resource of material, which we could watch in air conditioned cinemas after being double jabbed. How about a story in which a Cornish Lithium mine digs too deep and starts a volcanic eruption? This is really not funny.

Maybe The Lord is ahead of us with another earthquake in Haiti; who knows which volcano will spring into life next? Hurricane Ida reached New York from the land, but gathered enough water over the East River to drown people. It is all in the Old Testament. Early Christians 2,000 years ago were expecting the end of the world at any time, so who knows? Probably not for a long time yet, despite recent predictions - I recall a Canadian cartoon with a placard reading "repent, repent, the world ends at midnight - 1.30 in Newfoundland".

Some time ago I joked that dinosaurs died out because signals from their brains did not reach their legs and tail fast enough. But we need information from our collective scientific brains to reach people who will take action rather speedily. Fewer cars, less traffic, lowered heating, more pullovers, less meat, more vegetables, paper bags (not plastic), walking further, air travel a luxury, every neighbourhood a caring community... wasn't it like that 60 years ago anyway? There wasn't so much "stuff", but were we less happy?

TV closed down after 10.30pm in the 1973 oil crisis, so good programmes were shown earlier and rotten tomatoes binned, which was not all bad. We need to be ready for huge changes to our lifestyles; either life-changing decisions we choose to reduce global warming, or worse life-changing disasters as the planet retaliates!

Don't blame God. He made the planet, but the problems are not a claim under the warranty; they are clearly down to operator error.

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