Posts Tagged With: Climate Change

Climate and it’s relevance to this election

With the snap election fast approaching, the UK is in a midst of debate. This election is different as it’s a snap election, and due to the implications of Brexit, it’s dividing the nation more than ever. With other parties loosing out and stressing to their voters to either vote Conservative or Labour, we need to be sure on why the environment should be an important factor of any election.

By the time the next election rolls around in 2022, the climate could have risen by 1.5C. This is the level that it was agreed not to be reached at the Paris Summit in 2015. If we keep burning coal, gas and oil at the rates we are currently, we would have surpassed this temperature by this time.

Naturally, the biggest issue here is that it can be changed. It is not inevitable. If we become more hands on and increase our efforts of lowering emissions, the effects will pay off immediately. With parties vowing to end fracking and fight for a greener nation, we need to ensure our votes are carefully thought out. If climate is at the top of your personal manifesto, then listen up.

It is so important that we, as young people, vote for who has the best manifesto. Avoid voting for a party purely because you do not want someone from the opposing party to get a seat. This is how individuals end up regretting their decisions, as well as things going horribly wrong. Over a million young people are not on the electoral roll, and our vote makes a huge difference.

Register to vote at: https://www.gov.uk/register-to-vote

Photo Credit: David Bagnall/Alamy, April 2014

By Amanda Elliott, Communications Officer

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The government is forgetting about climate change

It is no doubt that the thing everybody in the UK is talking about this week is Brexit. Article 50 has been triggered, and the process is beginning. Whether we like it or not, it’s happening, and unfortunately, that’s that.

All of the merriment surrounding this lead me to ask myself; how will Brexit effect the environment? Upon research, I found that it will, quite considerably too.

The letter in which triggers Brexit does not mention the word climate once. Not. Once. It was also announced that there would be no research into the effects of Brexit on our environment by environment minister George Eustice. Just some of these examples show how low climate and environment is on the political list of priorities, this became even clearer when the offices in which were used for the now abolished department of climate change were used for Brexit.

Leading on to other nations, the mention of climate in political parties is almost void. The exposure it has gained, unfortunately, was negative, coming from Donald Trump. Trump has essentially disregarded climate issues from his entire political agenda, branding it fake and scare-mongering.

The sad fact that remains, lands on that there isn’t a great deal we can do about it. In the UK, the media is heavily controlled by Westminster, the lack of climate change related media reflects this and suggests bad leadership. What can be done to make the world understand that this problem will not just go away?

At this point in the proceedings, there genuinely isn’t much that we can do, except for making changes in our own lives and leading campaigns within our natural demographics. The argument we can make stands – if the media and government takes more interest in this very REAL problem, would some issues begin to get resolved?

By Amanda Elliott, Communications Officer

Photo Credit: Michael Beckwith 

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Some businessses are helping prevent global warming: here is how they’re doing it

A greenhouse gas is a substance that causes the greenhouse effect or as we all know it, the process of climate change. Greenhouse gasses are emitted into our atmosphere, acting as radiation and it warms the planet’s surface.

Greenhouse gas emission levels are heightened by a lot of things we do including: the transport we use, the way we produce and consume our food and deforestation. A huge contributor is the manufacturing sector. This sector produces raw materials and goods that we use every single day, we probably couldn’t survive without half of it.

These factories produce two kinds of greenhouse gas emissions:

  • Direct emissions: greenhouse gasses that are emitted at the factory/facility
  • Indirect emissions: greenhouse gasses that are associated with the facility’s use of energy, but it’s not on site.

In recent news, it has been reported that China (the biggest greenhouse gas emitter in the world) was reducing their coal power projects in a bid to use more renewable energies that won’t have a damning effect on our planet. With this movement leading the way, we have looked into the ways other businesses are trying to protect our planet.

1. Energy reduction

Big buildings are the biggest energy users in the world. This is textbook. Businesses have taken action to create certifications that ensue realistic energy reduce goals that will, in time, reduce the amount of energy they’re using – from 12% reductions to 100% reductions.

2. A green commute

Some workplaces are setting rewards for workers who have a ‘green commute’. They are being encouraged to bike to work, use public transport (even though public transport isn’t the MOST green way to travel, if 20 people use a bus/train as opposed to 20 cars? You see the difference) or even walk, instead of using cars and paying congestion charges as well as parking charges.

3. Developing a response

The effects of global warming are being felt in some regions of the world already. In more urban, MEDC, populated areas – this doesn’t feel like the case. In spite of this, businesses have been creating their responses to when these changes do start to happen. It’s allowing them to have a better understanding of how climate change will effect their business and themselves. Baby steps.

4. Assessing carbon footprint

When an organisation investigates how much pollution they are creating, they can gain a lot more scope into how they need to reduce said pollution emissions. A greenhouse gas emission assessment is actually a thing – a business can get one to determine where their changes need to be made once a figure is found.

5. The carbon tax

Basic economics tells us that putting a tax on an action reduces that action. The London congestion charge was introduced to reduce traffic (and car pollution) in the capital. Alas, it worked. In the US, a firm must have a permit for every tonne of carbon dioxide it releases into the atmosphere. Therefore, this introduces a price on pollution through a permit – which eventually leads to the prevention of global warming.

These simple steps are just some of the things that can be done to reduce global warming. If a large factory can do it, you can too.

W/C 23rd January 2017 sees #ClimateChangeWeek2017 at Canterbury Christ Church University. A week dedicated to raising awareness and having some fun with it to. Full details of events on our social media pages.

By Amanda Elliott, Communications Officer

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Goodbye 2016, hello 2017!

There is nothing like the excitement of a new year. A joyous occasion that brings us all together, gives us a new lease of life and in some ways, allows us to start again. After an amazing 2016 at the SGO – we’re ready to make 2017 even better.

2016 was disliked by a lot of people. We lost a lot of great talents, world politics became what can only be described as a bit of a, mess and the general mood was just not good. Our planet has suffered. Record temperatures were taken – with each of the first six months of 2016 recorded as the warmest in a modern temperature record which dates back to 1880, according to NASA. Later assessing of the climate concluded that 2016 was the hottest year on record.

Some positives did come from 2016. There was an 8% decrease in carbon emissions compared to 2014/2015, a 4% water consumption decrease and overall reuse has doubled from 2% to 4%. A small start, but progress is progress.

However, a new year breathes new life. We have a chance to make this year different, and start making a change to being more sustainable. With many people changing their diets in the new year (and hopefully sticking to it) and billions of new years resolutions – we’re already halfway there.

At the SGO, we have so much planned for this year in terms of events to get students and staff university-wide more involved and more importantly, more sustainable, starting with climate change week from the 23rd to 27th January.

More details will be shared as time goes on. We’re in for a very exciting year!

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The good, the bad and the ugly

The notion of saving our planet has had quite an impression on world media in the last month or so. Awareness is being raised for climate change on so many different platforms.

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5 Things You Didn’t Know About Climate Change

Upon the release of Leonardo DiCaprio’s new documentary film, Before The Flood, I have started to worry about climate change. Admittedly, it’s been an issue I am aware of, but I had never really thought about how huge the effects would be, the film made me realise this. In a nutshell, carbon dioxide is poisoning our air and seas, tropical forests are being cut down which causes mass death of different species, dying trees emit their stores of carbon dioxide adding to atmospheric greenhouse gasses, causing global warming.

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Hollywood Meets Environmental Change

Celebrity is no doubt an interesting concept. A vast majority of us are hooked by celebrity stories in the paper daily, wanting to know what scandalous thing they’ve got up to next and more often than not, said celebrity gets a red hot spotlight on them that isn’t so positive. Understandably, this isn’t always the case. Unbeknown to the press, celebrities sometimes serve a function and use their fame in a positive manner.

When you hear Leonardo DiCaprio, you think of Jack Dawson and the fact that he finally won an Oscar this year.

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SGO: An introduction to climate change

Leonardo DiCaprio’s Oscars speech got the world talking about climate change, environment, pollution and what we can do to stop it. It is amazing when celebrities talk about how important sustainability is because they are very influential and their word is taken seriously. So, I would like to use this opportunity and talk a bit more about climate change and more exactly to clarify what it is and what causes it.

Climate Change CC US Geological Survey Continue reading

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SGO: Sustainable media; how journalism can help to save the world.

The media represents an influential medium, but the problem is how is it using this influence? Lately, the media has been associated with negative aspects, such as phone hacking, sensationalism, giving too much attention to celebrities, promoting violence and unethical stories. This encourages the audiences to be interested in these types of stories, presenting them as being informative and useful. However, if the media has an impact on people’s opinion in a negative way, could it have a positive influence as well?

Inspire WE ArticleThe WHOLE EARTH? exhibition is a collaboration between an environmental photographer (Mark Edwards) and an environmental journalist (Lloyd Timberlake), taking sustainability straight into universities.

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For those of you who missed Michael Morpurgo at the WHOLE EARTH? launch…

…here’s a video which captures part of the excellent launch day activites. Another video and a podcast of this opening speech and the public lecture that followed are on the way, but in the meantime, here are a few photos.
09 15 Whole Earth Launch 04    The exhibition is currently being displayed on Anselm Lawn, North Holmes Road campus, Canterbury Continue reading

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