Climate Change: Controversy Rages on
Looking Back to the Day of Action on 12th December 2009 During the Copenhagen Meeting of World Leaders about Climate Change
What Did it Change?
I'm going to tell you a bit about climate change from my own perspective, with my experience of a candlelit vigil, my poem, and various commentaries, and some interesting facts about climate change. For a few years now we've been experiencing extremes of weather - hotter and colder than the norm, and also drier and wetter than usual, with fearsome storms. There are supporters and cynics of the current thinking.
The arguments still rage on: There were over 33,000 different entries on the internet about this when I Googled it in 2009, and in 2014 there were about 1,030,000 results; by mid-2020 this had increased to 630,000,000 results - that will give you some idea of the degree of heated interest it has sparked, if you will excuse the pun.
On 12th December 2009, during the Copenhagen meeting of world leaders, many organizations and individuals throughout the world united to support much stronger measures to reduce climate change. This Day of Action took the form of millions of people coming together in groups all over the world, switching off their electric lights, lighting candles and having a minute's silence. They hoped by their sheer weight of numbers to persuade these world leaders to reach an agreement about carbon reduction and all measures needed to slow down climate change.
The first smaller Global Day of Action had taken place on 3rd December 2005 - at a time when Greta Thunberg, that amazing teenage climate change activist was only 2 years old. It seems that it is only now, in 2020, that the world is really taking climate change seriously, and as the Coronovirus lockdown eases, people are more aware of the difference to the atmosphere and wildlife that has come about because of lower motor exhaust fumes, less air travel and factory fumes which in turn has reduced air pollution substantially.
Obituary - May 2013
The research scientist whose research of the Earth's protective layer of ozone led to the discovery in 1982 of a hole in the layer caused by depletion by man-made chemicals. This led to political action because of the long-term danger to life on earth from ultraviolet solar rays, including an increase in skin cancer, cataracts of the eye and genetic changes.
On 12th December 2009 I Attended a Climate Change Candle-Lit Vigil
It was, shall we say, an enlightening experience - this is what it was like:
Our particular vigil took place in Crouch End, North London, in a community hall.
We started with the lights on, at 6.0 pm, and there were a few speeches about climate change and sustainability. Then we turned off the electricity and just had candles glowing in jars to light the hall. We sang songs which our home-grown musicians had written, then I read aloud my poem (see below), then we sang another carbon-reduction song to the tune of the Proclaimers' "I Will Walk Five Hundred Miles and I Will Walk Five Hundred More" - and that was really fun: everyone sang their hearts out and the musicians all joined in - It's just such a good song, and whoever fitted new words to what was then the new 2009 hit song did a good job.
At 7 o'clock we stood for a minute's silence, with the lights gently flickering, thinking of all the other people and groups doing the same thing across the world, sharing our thoughts and light and willing that there would be a good outcome in Copenhagen.
This was followed by some tasty food. I helped a bit to serve it out, and did some washing up, so i'm not just a pretty face. The music and entertainment continued with a few good singers and musicians until about 10 o'clock, and the whole thing was a very touching experience.
Just one small bitch: everyone pronounced it Copenhaygen, and not Copenhaagen - So-o-o British!
Oh, and another one: my poem below is now out of date, as it all happened on 12th December 2009, now long gone
I would Walk 500 Miles by The Proclaimers - Here's the Music on YouTube
When we sang it at the Candlelit Vigil, we put our own words to the music. It's such a great tune that everyone loved singing to it.
Copenhagen - My Poem
This is a poem I wrote to remind people about the candlelit vigil across the world during the Copenhagen Convention in 2009
I hope you like it:
Let your candles burn tonight
The world needs our support
Let your candles shine so bright
Our leaders need support
It's our job to spread the light
The world's poor need support
Keep your candles glowing white
Our children need support
Add your voice to the climate fight
Our wildlife needs support
Hope and pray with all your might
The world will give support
As people round the world unite
And join in their support
Hold the ideal in your sight
Hold your intention really tight
And as our candles burn tonight
Light up the world with gentle light
©Diana Grant 12 December 2009
But What is Really Happening to Our World Climate? Are we Warming or Cooling? I Don't Know If We Are Coming or Going!
In 2020 The Weather Blows Hot and Cold
Although there seems to be a lot of unusual weather about, so you could definitely say that Climate Change is happening, it is certainly not all in one direction:
- melting icebergs
- sub-zero temperatures
- flash floods
- bush fires
- deep and long winters
- Very extreme weather in 2020
The news at the end of August 2012 was that there would be a world food shortage and consequent price rises, caused by ruined crops, and, in some cases, complete failure of crops. Since then, and spreading into 2013, there was exceptional weather in many countries, from heavy floods causing death and homelessness, killing livestock and ruining crops, a long and freezing winter with record low temperatures, and in other parts of the world, storms, bad hurricanes and tornadoes and tsunamis. Food was scarcer, leading to higher prices.
The news on 2nd May 2013 on the BBC was that, due to the record late Spring, fruit trees and crops were about five weeks later than usual. The trees did flower, but the harvest was much smaller than usual, although of a higher quality.
During 2013 the Polar ice caps started melting at an alarming rate, causing sea levels to rise, inundating land and affecting sea life. On 10th November 2013 the Philippines were devastated by the strongest hurricane ever recorded, with wind speeds up to 200 miles per hour.
Extreme weather conditions from the end of 2013 to 2014 have hit the USA with some of the lowest temperatures ever recorded there, and the UK, with the wettest winter ever recorded (but surprisingly mild in temperature) and one of the hottest summers ever recorded in Australia, with bush fires becoming commonplace. Meanwhile in Beijing, China the smog was so bad that they issued a severe smog warning and video screens in the street which are usually used for advertising instead showed the only sunrise the inhabitants were likely to see in mid-January 2014.
Since then there have been huge tornadoes, tsunamis, and crisis after crisis. 'Where will it all end?' I ask myself.
If you ask me (which is inadvisable, as I am a lawyer, not a scientist), the coin is still up in the air!
Think before you take that plane journey - is it really necessary?
The jury is still out about what we can do to halt the climate change, but, on a belt-and-braces principle, we would be kicking ourselves - or rather, our grandchildren would be kicking ourselves - if we don't even try.
What's the point of switching my computer off every time I leave it idling if people are still travelling by plane several times a year with no compunction, leaving dirty great carbon footprints? It seems to me that the rich might be able to do a lot more than they do.
What's Your Input for Saving the World? Try This Poll - Do you think your modest efforts will help stop climate change?
What do you think is the most important way to reduce carbon emissions, and do you even think it is necessary to do so? Do you think the recent reports by a few scientists that climate change and global warning is merely or mainly a physical phenomenon which has not been caused by human beings is correct, or do you think they were just 'spoilers', timed to coincide with the Copenhagen conference?
Do you believe that your own activities are contributing to reduction of global warming?
Links to the Ongoing Story of Climate Change
- Climate change | Environment | The Guardian
Various articles about Climate Change Juy 2020
- Fracking 'likely cause' of quakes - BBC News 2 November 2011
This is not very good, is it?: It is "highly probable" that test drilling for shale gas triggered two minor earthquakes in Lancashire, a study concludes.
Recycle - give it away, sell it, revamp it, cannibalize it, compost it, keep it out of landfill.
Reduce your car or plane trips. Why not walk or phone or even video-conference?
Grow some of your own food, swop seeds and plants, join communal gardening and allotment projects
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.