Effective policies re global warming, climate change, urban design, sustainability and landscape architecture

Scotland's Old Red Sandstone was laid down in hot, dry, arid conditions - about 400 million years ago. Homo sapiens evolved about 4 million years ago and is not responsible for this climate change

Scotland's Old Red Sandstone was laid down in hot, dry, arid conditions - about 400 million years ago. Homo sapiens evolved about 4 million years ago and is not responsible for the climate change from hot arid desert to cold wet coast.

The expert science behind the theory of global warming is unimpeachable and unchallengable: thermometers show temperatures are rising and tape measures show glaciers are retreating. But several important questions have uncertain answers:

  1. What percentage of global warming is caused by burning fossil fuels and felling rain forests?
  2. What percentage difference would result from the measures advocated by reasonable scientists?

The answers to these questions would be useful. My guesses are (1) humans have caused only a small percentage of the global warming in the last 20,000 years (2) the measures currently under discussion, though I am in full support of them, would have next-to-no-effect on climate change. If we are serious about doing whatever little we can do to lessen climate change then we should consider the following moderate measures:-

  • Stop world leaders from wasting their time and our money on conferences in Kyoto, Copenhagen etc, or, if this proves difficult, make them spend their time using Copenhagen’s wonderful bicycle network instead of its limousines, its cavernous conference halls and its spikey cocktail bars
  • Ban the consumption of meat
  • Make it illegal to drive children to school – at any time in any country
  • Stop wasting hydrocarobons on road transport and air travel (making every place a holiday destination would help)
  • Stop war and stop making munitions and use the money to build giant solar energy farms in dry deserts
  • Extend Chinese population control policies to Africa, along with its mineral resource policies
  • Use  suburban gardens for home-grown food and vegetables, especially in America and Australia
  • Facilitate voluntary euthanasia
  • Legalize heroin, cannabis, cocaine etc – to get more tax revenue to spend on protecting rain forests – and stop the waste of resources on ineffective drug enforcement policies in rich and in poor countries
  • Vegetate most walls and most roofs in most cities of the future
  • Put 300 mm of insulation in most roofs, floors and walls
  • Train more landscape architects and urban designers
  • Replace the World Bank and the UNDP with Jamie Lerner
  • ‘In the prison of his days teach the free man how to praise’ (W B Yates)

Image courtesy Earthwatcher

14 thoughts on “Effective policies re global warming, climate change, urban design, sustainability and landscape architecture

  1. Christine

    Global warming has produced some poignant and some clever images….[ http://www.ebaumsworld.com/pictures/view/223478/ and http://www.groovygreen.com/groove/?p=3840 ]

    However, perhaps more than anything (and despite the criticisms) fashion label Diesel’s ‘Global Warming Ready’ campaign demonstrates that as a global society perhaps we have yet to imagine or grasp the reality of the climate change future? [ http://www.notcot.com/archives/2007/02/global_warming.html ]

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  2. Tom Turner Post author

    What wonderful photographs! Why didn’t I stick with the hobby of my teens (photography) instead of wasting my time trying to influence the design of gardens, landscapes and towns?

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  3. Tom Turner Post author

    I think the combination of words with images is a key aspect of landscape and garden design. But they have to be linked! Oozing words and oozing images is of little use without the linkage.

    PS I am a little proud of the marsupial pics I took in 2009.

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  4. Tom Turner Post author

    We are fortunate that nothing was decided at Copenhagen, because the measures being discussed were worthless.
    I can’t think how to bring it about, but what the world needs is a major disruption in oil supplies. A real crisis would soon bring about the necessary research into new technologies and we could easily reduce our energy consumption in the short term by stopping foreign holidays, air conditioning, central heating and the sale of bottled and canned beverages.

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  5. Whitney Hedges

    My Idea for disruption of major oil companies is to for an alliance online, were individuals can buy a single share in a named public oil company such as Exxon. then simply buy the voting majority of the oil giant, and change policies in favour of green tech. not necessarily running the company into the ground but changing the direction of its resources, so as to be motivated by the communities needs and our environment rather than for shareholder greed and executive greed…….Naive I know but..

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  6. Tom Turner Post author

    I don’t know enough about company law for this – but the idea is very enterprising.
    Another possible solution would have been to let Saddam Hussein take control of all Middle East oil: I think he would have found a way of raising prices and limiting supplies.

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  7. Tom Turner Post author

    The quote is from an impeccable source: Saudi Arabia’s former oil minister and sage, Sheik Yamani, and the fact that Saudia Arabia is doing everything it can to persuade the world that Global Warming is not happening may be an indicator that they agree with his predictions about peak oil. The Saudis are worried about oil demand falling and their country returning to dust. I think it is a case of ‘when, not if’. Those great cities being lost in the sands could be a beautiful sight, like David Robert’s paintings of Egypt. http://www.museum-tours.com/museum/roberts/wall10/robert10.htm I hope I live long enough to see it happen.

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  8. Christine

    I would like to add to your list (above) reducing the ‘heat island effect’ where possible. Have been doing some interesting reading on global warming. CFC’s in particular aerosols are more efficient heat absorbers than carbon.

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  9. Christine

    Yes. No doubt! I suppose almost all of Europe is more convinced of the idea of global freezing than global warming at the present point in time?

    Climate science is quite complicated. Do you suppose anthropogenic global warming might be interacting with the natural climate cycle to produce the weather we are experiencing?
    [ http://knowledge.allianz.com/en/globalissues/climate_change/global_warming_basics/global_warming_definition.html ]

    “A temperature rise as fast as the one we have seen over the last 30 years has never happened before, as far as scientists can ascertain. Moreover, normally the Earth should now be in a cool-down-period, according to natural effects like solar cycles and volcano activity, not in a heating-up phase.”

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