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a few convenient myths...
You can download and print the information below in the form as a beuatifull illustrated A5 Flyer: Guide pages
Climate change cannot be denied any more, and governments, politicians and business have been forced to acknowledge the problem and offer various 'solutions'. But their solutions follow the very same rationale that brought about climate change in the first place, and support the biggest myth of our times: that 'business as usual' can continue and that technological fixes and minor changes to the way we live and organise our society will be enough to solve the problem. This irresponsible way of dealing with the great threat of climate change has made many people believe a few very dangerous but convenient myths. Here are just a few we want to expose, but we urge you to think seriously next time some one proposes any quick fix solution. Remember, if it sounds too easy to be true... it’s probably a convenient myth!
Cars are problematic not only due to the energy they use but also because of the destructive consequences of a car-dependent culture. A so called 'efficient' car, like the Prius or a car that uses biofuels (see side two), like the Focus Flexi-fuel, might use less energy or a different kind of energy than the standard car, but: how much energy goes into producing these cars in the first place, and how much energy or emissions do they really save? Taking into account that in order to tackle climate change we need to reduce our emissions drastically, does the difference between using one kind of car and the other really make a difference? Moreover, would 'green' cars help to stop road building and congestion? The only viable solution to the destruction that our car-dependent culture has brought and is still bringing about is not to 'fix' the cars but to get rid of them: produce fewer and fewer cars and stop building roads. Why do we keep alive the myth of the 'green' car instead of embracing the pleasure of a world without cars in which bicycles, pedestrians and public transport become the priority and in which congestion, pollution and road-building are drastically reduced?
Biofuels are increasingly mentioned as a great new weapon in the fight against climate change. But do they live up to their promise? Actually, the truth is that biofuels aren't just not that great, they're really pretty terrible. Here's why: Biofuels are made from plants. These plants need to be grown, harvested, transported, turned into fuel, and finally delivered to a filling station. So intensive is this process that according to a recent BBC article it uses “30% more energy than the finished fuel produces”. In other words, we're using fuel (and much of this is currently fossil fuel) to make... less fuel! And that's not all. The article continues: “The grain required to fill the petrol tank of a Range Rover with ethanol is sufficient to feed one person per year”. Where, we may ask, is all this fuel going to come from? Well, Africa and South America, of course. And if you're thinking, surely that means more starving Africans, more rainforest destruction... then you're starting to agree with us that Biofuels get a big thumbs down (for more information see www.biofuelwatch.org.uk).
Carbon off-setting enables you to reduce your guilt... but does it really reduce your contribution to destroying the planet? Climate change is real, and the threat it poses to life on this planet is really unimaginable. So unimaginable in fact, that it seems we just can't take it seriously. Which is why we're playing around with it like it was a diet; save a few calories here, then treat yourself to a little biscuit. Change a light bulb or two: wonderful, now I can fly to Greece for the weekend! Sadly, it doesn't work like that. The atmosphere already has 36% too much CO2, so things like tree planting are needed to try and repair – over a long period of time – some of the damage that's already been done. Carbon off-setting can not be used to justify doing more damage.
We're sorry to appear to be the bearers of bad news... but the way we look at it, it isn't bad news at all. We now have the opportunity to rebuild our world in a way that treats individuals, species and the environment with care and respect. And that means a much more pleasant world generally. It's a bit like giving up smoking; at first it seems like you'll miss it for ever, then you realise you can walk without panting. Can you imagine how good a world without cars, pollution and destruction would be?
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