Guest essay by Eric Worrall
Some Greens seem to be waking up to the fact that the climate cause is sinking, and are attempting to shift attention back to more traditional environmental issues.
According to the Independent;
The world is in danger of taking its eye off the ball on environmental issues such as air pollution and soil erosion following a landmark deal to tackle global warming in Paris last month, the head of Friends of the Earth warns.
“Climate change poses a big threat to humanity that the Paris Agreement will go a long way to curbing, despite some major flaws,” said chief executive Craig Bennett.
“However, so much effort has gone into the agreement there is a risk that other hugely important issues are being neglected,” said Mr Bennett.
“Air pollution is killing 50,000 people a year in Britain and our nature has been badly degraded. We wonder why we get flooding in Cumbria – well soil erosion didn’t help; the water poured straight off the uplands. And we’re still seeing appalling levels of deforestation around the world,” he added.
Why do I think Craig Bennett’s statements represent a demotion of the climate issue?
Craig Bennett sounds like he thinks the Paris agreement solved the climate issue, and that he is simply talking about other important issues which have to be addressed. But the Friends of the Earth website tells a different story.
Paris climate deal is a sham
PARIS, FRANCE, December 12, 2015 – The climate deal to be agreed today is a sham, according to Friends of the Earth International.
“Rich countries have moved the goal posts so far that we are left with a sham of a deal in Paris. Through piecemeal pledges and bullying tactics, rich countries have pushed through a very bad deal,” said Sara Shaw, Friends of the Earth International climate justice and energy coordinator.
A detailed policy analysis of the Paris Agreement will be available at http://www.foei.org/what-we-do/paris
“Despite the hype, the Paris agreement will fail to deliver. Politicians say it is a fair and ambitious deal – yet it is the complete opposite. People are being deceived,” said Dipti Bhatnagar, Friends of the Earth International climate justice and energy coordinator.
“Vulnerable and affected people deserve better than this failed agreement; they are the ones who feel the worst impacts of our politicians’ failure to take tough enough action,’” she added.
It would obviously be preferable for leading greens to confess they made a mistake about the “importance” of climate change. Nevertheless I see this as a positive development. As the recent Gold King Mine Disaster shows, there are real environmental issues which should be receiving more attention.
Perhaps if the EPA were less obsessed with addressing the climate non-issue, someone in management might have had the time, to properly supervise the EPA staff who thought it would be a good idea to uncap a flooded, heavily polluted mine.