I've been watching, on television, the Government Question Time in the house of Commons. For those of my readers in the states, here is the Wikipedia entry about what this is;
"Question Time in a parliament occurs when members of the parliament ask questions of Government Ministers (including the Prime Minister) which they are obliged to answer."
Now, not only is this procedure a delightful demonstration of intelligent debate, for the most part, going on within government in full view of the public but the topic for today was Energy and Climate Change. When question number 16 came up "What recent research into the scientific case for man-made climate change has been commissioned?" The Minister for Energy and Climate Change Joan Ruddock mentioned ongoing research by the one of the world's foremost independent climate research organizations, The Hadley Center, as well as various governmental initiatives to keep abreast of the science. The most amazing bit of this was that the opposition conservatives, full of spit and vinegar on all sorts of other issues pertaining to energy in the UK, had not a single challenge or question! No demagoguery on behalf of the fossil fuel industry, no ludicrous proclamations that climate change is some sort of a hoax based on the psuedo science bought and paid for by the fossil fuel industry or even more ignorantly because it's snowy in the winter, in short the well proven science of climate change is not even worth debating in the houses of government, there is more important work to be done. And the most incredible thing is that we are in the run-up to an election to choose which party will rule the country! What a breath of fresh air that is.
It is quite astounding how rational the governmental process can be when it is not bought and paid for by corporate lobbyists. When was the last time we saw members of the US senate or congress debating real issues in full view of the public? I would be willing to bet that most of them wouldn't be capable of it. Remember the prompter in George Bush's ear for the presidential debate.
Intelligent debate happens at question time here in the UK usually every week and the BBC is full of programs that involve investigation of critical issues by intelligent impartial journalists. The BBC still has a large science reporting staff. Fox propaganda wouldn't recognize real science if it tripped over it. CNN has drastically reduced it's science staff since it's early days under Ted Turner. It is no wonder that so many Americans don't believe in evolution or human induced climate change.
What have you done today to lower your impact?
We are washing away the foundations of our existence on every front. It is high time we move from crashing about on the planet like a bull in china shop and find a way to go forward with intent. We must find systems of living based on sustainability. The systems and tools exist, it is up to each of us to adopt them.
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