Since yesterday, the papers have been full of guidance on what an individual should do to fight climate change. For yesterday, the UN published the stark report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, arguing that we must now try to stabilise the increase in global temperature at 1.5 degrees C - not the Paris Accord’s 2C… if we want to avoid catastrophic damage.
It’s suggested that we eat much less meat and dairy and stop beef entirely; that we switch to electric cars; that we walk and cycle much more; that we just consume and spend less. All this is wise and sensible. I will do much more in my personal life and forever eschew the Hereford-based Rule of Tum’s delicious beef burgers. (They do very tasty veg burgers as well).
But one of the very most effective ways we can fight climate change is to protect the rainforests. The destruction of the rainforests is one of the very biggest causes of rising CO2 - bigger in size than the C02 put out by all the world’s cars and trucks. That’s an amazing fact. The World CarFree Network judges that globally cars and trucks contribute 14 per cent of the annual output of CO2… whereas most analysts now put rainforest destruction as making up 15 percent. An appalling 32 million acres of rainforest - at least - is cut down each year.
The Size of Herefordshire is one of the most effective ways to prevent rainforests destruction - protecting as we do a huge area of Amazon rainforest in North east Peru. Whether it is offsetting flights, or just putting the world to rights, support the Size of Herefordshire is a must.
Many people haven’t realised the urgency of the threat to our ways of life. The IPPC gives just 14 years before the 1.5 degree C level is reached, if we carry on as we are. And there are many knowledgeable experts who think that the IPPC report is too soft. Says one: if the current level of CO2 in the atmosphere is 410 ppm - the highest level for the past million years in which human society developed - why should we think that 1.5C is bearable? In the past, 410 ppm is associated with much higher temperatures.
I have never felt more that the work of the Size of Herefordshire is more valuable.
Co-ordinator, The Size of Herefordshire