"We must work with Nature - Not against it"
- 10 Jan 07, 02:40 PM
There has been a lot in the news today about the EU's plans to combat the causes of climate change in Europe. There are some dire futures predicted for many Euro countries. For PEuT, in the early summer of 2006, we interviewed the European Environment Agency's Executive Director, Professor Jacquie McGlade. Here are some notes I took from that i/v.
* Most of the CAP not written with cc in mind.
* Growing season in Europe has increased by 10 days in places - maybe 2 seasons in 1. Europe has to see its landscapes [that it's so fond of] in different ways. CC is more than the simple practice of farming.
* Many in Europe are seeing small changes - but these together generate a wake up call. Important that our planners [ for cities etc] understand that relatively small decisions now can have big implictions. We have "built" our selves into a corner and although 10% of Europes surface area is protected for wildlife, in the future these might not be in the right place.
* We have to mitigate now to give Europe time to adapt, so that meaningful adaptation and changes can occur within individual cultures. Speed of cc is the worry, slowing it down by imediate action will give Europeans time to adapt within their culture.
* Netherlands with a highly urbanised population might have to accept it will lose a lot of land to the sea anbd move its population away from the coast.
* Switzerland, France, Austria, Italy - all losing glaciers in the mountains and forecasting problems with their winter tourist industry.
* Spain, the weather bell of Europe, will get hotter and drier. If this continues with the pressure on farmers to produce tomatoes etc..it [Spain] will fragment and lose its resilience.
* Some of the future economic development of Scandinavia is based on building on firm perma frost..which is melting.
* French vine yards have applications in with the EEA to grow grapes in Southern Sweden.
To combat these [cc] effects, we must "Work with nature, not against it....We must move with the world [roll with the punches]. The earth is "a heartless and restless planet - it doesn't care about us [we] - must re-connect with nature and see the signs of nature and the weather.
London is vulnerable - "those who work on the Thames barrier will tell you so"
"We must be more realistic with the futures we can expect"