Dear Editor, the latest UN report on world action to halt climate change makes for depressing reading. Their findings showed that governments are not doing enough to prevent the planet seeing disastrous rises in temperature that will quite literally cause hell on earth. We’ve already seen that this year with the hottest summer on record in Spain which led to the inevitable fires. People will remember the terrible one that we had here in the mountains. It was terrifying for people living here, worse still for the animals that perished in the flames. I hope that through your pages you will highlight the findings of the UN scientists so people know where they stand. In effect we are pretty much on our own. Governments aren’t doing enough and others like that idiot Putin are making the situation much worse.
It will be down to us to make the changes from bottom up. I would urge people not to vote for politicians who do not make a clear and unequivocal commitment to doing everything in their power to halt this race towards destruction. Maybe in your paper you can offer some pointers on what people can do to make a change, rather than those half-baked editorials on how to save money or dress for winter. Lord knows, people need it. Some of the reactions I read online to the climate change report were frightening. People insinuating that they were making it up. It was as if they’d been brainwashed by that cretin Trump. What the UN was stating clearly from examining data is that many countries do not have credible plans to reach the goals established in the Paris summit in 2015.
On a more positive note I would like to say that my wife and I enjoy your nature pages. We particularly like reading about the Iberian bears and the efforts being made to secure a future for this magnificent animal. Please continue to keep us informed.
Yours, Richard Makin
Dear Richard, thank you for taking the time to write in. We have a story on the UN report on p6. Like you we were deeply saddened by what we read and how the world is not on course to keep temperatures well below the 2% rise needed to prevent serious damage to the planet. We should point out that some governments are doing more than others. In Spain the move towards renewable energy is happening quickly – some would argue not quick enough. Spain is in a unique position through its climate and size. It could be the renewable energy powerhouse of Europe, not only producing 100% of its energy from renewable sources, but also an exporter to EU countries. The article in our paper last week on the BarMar pipeline is evidence that the government is thinking along these lines.
As you point out, the transition from an economy reliant on fossil fuels has to be done more quickly. We can see in Valencia that there are many solar farm projects pending approval, which the regional government is promising to speed up. And that is where we can make a difference. One of the most effective things that we can do as individuals is to have solar panels installed at our properties. By generating electricity at home we can reduce our own bills as well as doing our bit to produce renewable energy. After much dithering, I am now looking to get this done at my home. It is long overdue.
Another thing is to buy fresh food from local markets. Most towns and villages have their market day. It is a great way of getting fresh produce from local suppliers. There is no packaging and it hasn’t come from the other side of the world. You will also save money.
Vehicles are some of the biggest contributors to atmospheric pollution and poor air quality. If you have been thinking about making the change to an electric or low emissions car now is the time to do it. There are still free points for charging cars in some areas too, as reported last week by Torrevieja town hall.
Buy a bike. It’s not an option for everyone, but it’s a great choice for some people. I got a mountain bike five years ago and am extremely glad I did so. You can get very economical options from sports shops like Decathlon, with a basic model starting at around €220. For me it’s had a very positive effect on my life. There are many journeys that I used to do by car which I can now do by bike. It saves me money – as much as €20 to €30 a month on petrol, it has made me fitter and it means I’m not polluting while I’m on my bike.
Just a few suggestions, Richard. And not a thing about baking (or half baking) in the missive.
Thank you for your support, all the best, Dave Jones