Welcome to the Blog of David Crowther. Here will be posted

comments concerning current issues which are relevant to our

work in the area of sustainability. It should be read in conjunction

with the News section of SRRNet website.


October 29

Today is Cyrus Day when we remember the life and works of Cyrus the Great, founder of the greatest empire that the world had seen. He is particularly known for the first human rights statement. This, and his empire, was based upon tolerance – tolerance of the religion of others and the customs of others – and the treatment of all people as equal. Sadly 2500 years later we have regressed and intolerance is now a feature of everyday life. Come back Cyrus and teach modern people how to behave!!!!




Boris Johnson – the loquacious British prime Minister – has summarised the  forthcoming meeting as being concerned with 4 issues: coal, cars, cash & trees. While this seems a catchy slogan it is made in a context in which the UK has significantly failed to meet the commitments made at the last COP. So maybe first on the agenda should be keeping to commitments. Sadly there is much talking about what needs to happen and what will happen but very little actual plans to make anything happen. And this of course is the main problem with addressing climate change. We all have an understanding of what the problems are and what needs to be done to address these problems – even our politicians understand this as demonstrated by the commitments they keep making. Equally we all know that this cannot be achieved without some lifestyle changes – in other words interfering with the comfortable lives of the developed world. Nothing any politician wants to do – in case they lose votes! Some issues however we know need to be addressed and realistically speaking no-one knows how to do so. But we all now that a necessary part of any plan is the implementation aspect. Without a plan for implementation all the commitments remain just hot air – contributing towards climate change rather than addressing it. So what we really need to see from the forthcoming meeting is a commitment – a commitment to produce plans to implement some of the promises made. We will see!  


Next time we will examine issues raised by Boris Johnson to see if they are a realistic way of addressing the problem.


Post 2 12/10/2021

COP26 - Coal, Cows, Cash & Trees 1: Coal

So coal has been described as an issue to be considered at the meeting. But this is really just a catchy way of stating that non-renewable sources of energy are an issue to be dealt with. So also included are oil, gas and wood burning. Maybe also nuclear energy although no-one really wants to deal with this as most developed countries rely upon this for much energy production and do not have viable alternatives in sufficient quantity. The idea being  promulgated is that if we get rid of all our methods of energy production which rely on burning something then all our problems will be solved. So the world must transfer to cleanly produced electricity and everything becomes sustainable. This is of course too simplistic but is the mantra that politicians are relying upon. Sadly this ignores the basic laws of physics and takes no account of the environmental effects. It also does not seem to take account of the fact that a large part of the world does not yet have access even to electricity – never mind cleanly produced electricity. But never mind cash will solve anything – see my forthcoming post.


It is really sad to learn that the leaders of the world care so little about the future of the planet that they are trying to pressurise the UN to alter their report to show that fossil fuels do not make such an effect on the climate. The effect on the present seems to be more important than the future of the world. That is the legacy of the world which we have created and what our leaders will be remembered for! Are we really content with this?



Post 3 23/10/2021

COP26 - Coal. Cows, Cash & Trees 2: Cows

This illustrates one of the problems with all analyses. It is confusing effects upon climate with health issues. Clearly there is an issue with obesity in the developed world and eating beef contributes to this. And this has many health issues. But realistically the problem is not eating beef but rather it is eating too much rather than what we eat. And let us not forget that the fact that we eat so much beef is based upon the fact that there are so many cows eating their way through rain forests etc. But these cows are a by-product of the dairy industry. If we want milk, yoghurt, cheese etc then we need cows – and they must produce young, a significant proportion of which will be male and useful only for eating. So we should be eating less dairy products and then there will be less beef. And we should be eating less in general anyway! So let’s focus on the real issues!

Post 4 26/10/2021

COP26 - Coal. Cows, Cash & Trees 3: Cash

This is the vital one – it is expensive to address the requirements of climate change. And promises are nothing without action – and this is all we have had. Already the developed countries have failed to meet their promises to provide aid to developing countries and this looks set to continue. Indeed the British leader (Boris Johnson) has made a lot of noise and delivered nothing. Aid to developing countries announced for developing countries is not real and is actually foreign aid already promised and now designated as for climate change. And the big announcement for domestic aid amounts to very little in reality. Yet he sits there and says that he is worried that COP26 might not meet its objectives so other countries should follow the British example. Hypocrisy? Delusion? Lack of any real care about the future? Or does he really know something no-one else knows?

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