There Is Hope

November 7, 2021

The young activist has quickly acquainted herself with the Glaswegian sense of humour as she has been getting in the spirit of things at one of the dozens of protests calling out the inaction of politicians, as world leaders attend the Conference of the Parties (COP26) climate summit in the city.

Footage shows the 18-year-old at Festival Park in Govan chanting: “You can shove your climate crisis up your a**e, you can shove your climate crisis up your a**e!”

As you can probably tell, Thunberg isn’t exactly convinced that politicians are doing enough to protect our planet.

Addressing the crowds gathered across the River Clyde from the COP26 venue, she said: “Change is not going to come from inside there – that is not leadership, this is leadership.

Thunberg has condemned the inaction of politicians. Credit: Alamy

“We say no more blah blah blah, no more exploitation of people and nature and the planet.

“No more exploitation. No more blah blah blah. No more whatever the f**k they are doing inside there.”

In September, Thunberg mocked Boris Johnson by quoting parts of his speeches on climate change and adding ‘blah, blah, blah’.

The Prime Minister himself referenced the campaigner’s remarks during his speech to the COP26 opening session earlier today (Monday 1 November).

Boris Johnson gave a speech at COP26 earlier today on 1 November in Glasgow. Credit: Alamy

He said: “I was there in Paris six years ago, when we agreed to net zero and to try to restrain the rise in the temperature of the planet to 1.5C, and all those promises will be nothing but blah blah blah – to coin a phrase – and the anger and impatience of the world will be uncontainable unless we make this Cop26 in Glasgow the moment when we get real about climate change.”

Thunberg arrived in Glasgow yesterday (Sunday 31 October) by train and will take part in two large protests through the city later in the week.

Speaking in Festival Park, she said: “This COP26 is so far just like the previous COPs and that has led us nowhere. They have led us nowhere.

“Inside COP they are just politicians and people in power pretending to take our future seriously. Pretending to take the present seriously of the people who are being affected already today by the climate crisis.”

Featured Image Credit: Alamy

The above is from LAD Bible, a British news source of which I trust.

As much as I admire Greta Thunberg and her fiery angry spirit, and I do believe that she and every following generation has a right to be angry, I do consider her to be something of a twit. She seems to be very big on being judgmental, and extremely short on offering up solutions. Sure, she is young yet, and as are most young people, she is very reactive. Speaking as a concerned Canadian citizen, I am appalled at my government’s track record on climate change. I too am extremely concerned that we are approaching the point of no return at break-neck speed and may have already passed it. Back in the late 1990s, I was trucking through the U.S. state of South Dakota and I had stopped on an exit ramp to have a pee, another truck stopped behind me to do the same, the other driver and I had a bit of a chat about the bugs on our wind shields, the goo was awful, bugs on top of bugs atop more bugs. The other driver commented that he had never seen them so bad, neither had I, but at the time, I was becoming concerned with climate change and was wondering about the phenomena of the sixth extinction. I had not yet made the connection as to how the two things were tied together. Now some 25 years later, I cannot help but notice the dieback of insect life that I told that driver in South Dakota would likely take place. Here in Canada during the summer months as the evening sets in from around 1900 hours until about 2200, the bugs come out and during this period, it becomes very annoying to drive because of the mess they make on your windshield. However, during the last 10 years there has been a notable drop in the insect populations. The part of this that disturbs me the most is the damage being done to our pollinators, bees.

 The groups of chemicals that make up neonicotinoids are the problem for the bees as are regular herbicides, fungicides, and pesticides that are killing off the insects. The obvious solution is to stop using them; however, just stopping using them does not fix the problem. There is hope though, in Britain at the University of York, researchers have developed a type of switchgrass that can detoxify residues of the military explosive RDX, this switchgrass has the potential to be further modified to be able to detoxify just about any other toxic substances. The U.N. recently published a report saying planting trees will not save us, this felt like a gut punch to me, the problem is really in two parts, 1) newly planted forests cannot carbon sink the excess co2 already in the atmosphere, and 2) the trees themselves are dying from climate change. The thing here is, during the winters the trees should be freezing through thus protecting them from rot, but as the winter seasons become warmer, the trees are not freezing and during the coldest months begin to rot from the inside out.  

Although our forests are not the lungs of the planet as was once thought, our oceans are, and they too are in serious decline. The overall picture is rather bleak as young Miss Thunberg points out, yet still there is more hope than not. As we know the planet’s two ice caps are incredibly important to planetary warming because they do two things, 1) they reflect light/heat back in to space and, 2) sea ice does not retain its salt content when frozen, it ejects it back in to the water and it is this function that is the most important because this motion acts as a giant pump that circulates water around the planet and disperses heat from the equator. We know that these ocean currents are slowing and that has serious implications whether they are like those in the film “The Day After Tomorrow” or other longer-term ones remain to be seen.

The capture and sequestering of CO2 and some planetary engineering are the things that will give us time to redevelop our economies. All three things are possible today. In April of 2021, a researcher at Perdue University developed the whitest shade of white possible; it reflects 95.5% of all light. Its original purpose was to be used as a type of air conditioning, but what if we repurposed it to be used as an artificial ice cap? What if every balcony, rooftop, car roof in every city, town, and village around the world was painted with this stuff, and also tens of thousands of square kilometers of breathable canvas was painted with it and laid across the arctic tundra?

The oil industry unsurprisingly has given carbon capture something of a bad name. They have started using the available technology to capture their own emissions and they are attempting to store said carbon underground in the wells they are using. The practice here seems cynical and a bit hinky especially as many of the abandoned wells they are using, as storage areas are not well sealed or maintained. Better news on that front is a Swedish company called Climworks Ag operating in Iceland has developed a method of extracting CO2 direct from the air and storing it in the volcanic basaltic rock of the island itself, which because of the porous nature of the rock is the perfect place to store it indefinitely. They can as yet only manage 4,000 tons annually but are aggressively scaling those numbers up. In my opinion, Miss Thunberg and the kids of today have a right to be mad, but instead of whining about what may have been taken from them, they instead should be fighting like hell for the hope of tomorrow and be advocating for those technologies that will bring those dreams to light.

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