Climate change cartoon


This is a new cartoon – not a commission, just one I drew.

I’ve noticed how difficult how difficult it is to get people interested and animated about climate change compared with other headline news, despite the fact that it is probably the biggest challenge facing us. I wonder why this is.

Anyway, not the most remarkable drawing, but I hope it gets the message across. Inspiration came from this tweet by Oxfam. They have a new report on the subject, which is here: World’s richest 10% produce half of global carbon emissions, says Oxfam.

Update: This cartoon is now available for subscribers.



Image: bees. Admittedly they could be any small flying-type thing.

The decline in the number of bees is something I feel strongly about, so I signed a petition today. I think most of us, isolated from nature in our suburban worlds, don’t realise how important bees are to us. I know online petitions only go so far in changing things, but it is something at least. If you’d like to join me I have posted some links below.

I’d like to do more in the way of environment-themed cartooning, but I find it incredibly difficult.

Avaaz – 48 hours to ban bee killers (petition)
Friends of the Earth: The bee cause
Latest news about pesticides from FOE

Holiday photograph 2

harbour cruises

In these days of increased environmental awareness we must all do our bit, and none more so than purveyors of the traditional ‘harbour cruise’. This modern-day example consists of a rowing boat powered by a helium balloon, which is estimated to reduce emissions by up to 110%. “We limit trips to one person per boat per trip per time,” said a spokesperson, “and typically you’ll expect to cover about ten metres every hour. You can stay out there as long as you like – give us a call on the mobile when you’d like to be reeled in.”

Question for study groups
Do you ever feel like you are sitting in a quite literal rowing boat powered only by a quite literal helium balloon?

Note to THE TEAM (bloggers / commenters / readers, and, to a lesser extent, spammers. DO NOT READ if your job title includes the words ‘Award’ and / or ‘Judge’.)
Can we get away with posting holiday photographs with not particularly in-depth commentary and a study question? I wouldn’t like all of our increased efforts to be derailed by a lapse into trivial content.

Report from the London climate change march

Thousands of people have taken part in marches around the world to highlight the issue of climate change. This is my report, though iit must be emphasised that I am really a very poor example of a climate change marcher for reasons that will become apparent.

climate march

Above: Me on the climate change march. I look very serious in the photograph as one looks stupid enough taking a photograph of oneself standing in the street as it is without grinning inanely.

Mine was not a particularly effective contribution, seeing as I:

  1. Started the march half way through
  2. Started the march several hours after everyone else
  3. Had no banner or anything else to signify that I was conducting my own one-man demonstation

I did eventually catch up with the marchers in Grosvenor Square. It didn’t seem as big as some of the Make Poverty History marches, but it is difficult to judge figures. The news reports are saying 10000. It must be borne in mind that it rained very heavily for much of the day which must have affected attendance.

climate march

Above: There were all sorts of weird and wonderful protesters. There were lots of ordinary people there too, but they don’t make such interesting photographs.

climate march

Above:It was good to see some Christians there – I would of course have seen many more if I’d attended the service held beforehand (or indeed the march itself). This is the banner from the Christian Group ‘Operation Noah’. That actually is Noah in the foreground.

climate march

Whilst various speeches happened at one end of Grosvenor Square a group of protesters did some drumming at the US embassy end whilst the police watched from the other side of a barrier. As the message was delivered through the medium of drumming I can’t tell you exactly what it said, but it was along the lines of ‘Something must be done about climate change’.

climate march

Above: Photograph of the speaker George Monbiot taken with a camera that was plainly not up to the task with the low light levels. His was the one speech I listened to from a reasonably close vantage point, having meandered through the crowd to take the above photo. I found what he said thought provoking, though I’m not sure to what extent I agreed with all his conclusions about, for instance, the taking of ‘direct action’. I need to do some more reading. I don’t know whether there is a transcript of the speech online, but this recent blog post contains some of the same themes. This blog has some quotes from yesterday’s speech.

Other links:

  • Some more good thoughts from a blog I stumbled upon on Technorati.
  • Some photos of the march. As you can see it really was very wet for most of it.

Important reminder: UK residents have until 12 noon on Monday to vote for Sustrans Connect 2 (more cycle and walking paths where they will make a real difference) on the £50million Lottery Whathaveyou. You can vote once by internet, once by phone and once from your mobile. The landline phone voting only costs 10p.

Climate change service and march in London

climate change service and march

There is to be a ‘campaign against climate change’ march in London this Saturday, the 8th of December. A service is being organised beforehand by various Christian groups.

See any of these websites for details: Ecocongregation, SCM, Christian Ecology Link or Operation Noah. I got the poster above from the Ecocongregation site.

Campaign against Climate Change is the website for the campaign as a whole.

Thanks to Paul for reminding me about this in the comments.

Climate change

end of the world

On a related subject, today is the start of the UN climate change talks in Bali. Here are some links to do with this and other green issues:

1. Bali: make it count – Christian Aid
I agree with Christian Aid that we need to make significant reductions to our CO2 emissions. They are calling for an 80% reduction. You can send an e-mail via the Christian Aid website to Hilary Benn to make your feelings known. I suspect that an 80% reduction will mean big changes to the way we live our lives, but to my mind it is essential that we do it for the sake of the planet and particularly those who live in the poorer countries.

2. Sustrans Connect2
There’s a big television-lottery-vote thing happening, and one of the possible things to vote for is more cycle paths and walking paths in places that will make a real difference all over the UK. There is, if I understand correctly, fifty million pounds to go to the chosen scheme. Whilst I loathe and detest big television-lottery-vote things I am of the opinion that more cycle paths and walking paths will cure a reasonable percentage of societies ills. I’m not urging you to vote necessarily, but if you do vote it is my strongly held view that this is a very good thing.

3. Green Electricity Marketplace
This site will tell you whether the ‘green energy’ claims of the various electricity suppliers are a load of nonsense or not. I haven’t looked at it owing to busyness and apathy, but you can do better than me.

Update: Inspire Magazine :: Church leaders warn governments about climate change impact

See also
: Climate change service and march in London (post above the one above this one).

Christian Aid cut the carbon march

christian aid

Christian Aid are about to undertake what they describe as the longest protest march ever in the history of, well, everything. It is in aid of Global non-warming. There are no vacancies for marchers, but there is one vacancy for a driver to drive an electric vehicle around Britain at 4mph. To me this seems like quite a good deal. You get all the fun of being involved but without the blisters. At 4mph you can take in details like flowers in the hedgerows etc. If you see something interesting slow down to 3mph for a bit. Heck, you can always speed up to 5mph for a bit to catch up.

If you don’t get this job (and most of you won’t as there is only one vacancy) there are various big rallies and small teas you can go to. You can join a group on the Facebook too. It’s all in aid of campaigning for the supremely important cause of stopping the world’s poor being having their lives ruined by the selfish actions of the rich, ie us.

Brief report from the environment conference

world problemsToday I went unexpectedly to the Chelmsford Diocesan environment conference. I did not intend to go, but owing to various circumstances I ended up there. It is a not-that-long but not-that-interesting story, so I will not tell it. And very good the conference was too. For me the need to take action on environmental and justice issues rather put yesterday’s discussions into perspective. Hence my hastily scribbled list, which is not intended to be accurate, or correct, or good.

Of course it is easy to get overwhelmed by the pressing needs of our planet. One of the conference speakers, when faced with the question ‘But what can we actually do?’ replied by saying ‘Do what you do’. In other words, do the thing you normally do in life, but do it in such a way that will help the world to operate sustainably and will help to get the message about environmental issues out there and will generally do as much good as possible. For this reason I will continue to do a few drawings and rambly blog posts, but I am going to try to address environmental issues a bit more often.

I have decided to take a small bit of additional action in one particular area though. I think we should have some cycle racks at our church, so I am going to see whether I can, by asking the right people, make some cycle racks happen at our church. I think having cycle racks at church would mean that more people might cycle there, which would be a good thing. If anyone reading has experience of commissioning cycle racks for a church then I would like to hear from you. Alternatively you might know a church with really really good cycle racks and you might know how they got them. I talked to a man from Sustrans, and he said that Sheffield Cycle Racks are the best ones. I don’t know whether there are special people who install such things or whether you get a builder to do it or mix your own concrete using a home made recipe. I am so clueless on the subject you would hardly believe it. My ignorance is plain for all to see.

Greetings to Paul, who I met at the conference, though I knew him from the internet. Paul offered me his garden for my occasional cartooning purposes, which was a very kind gesture.

Gardening news just in

mini greenhouse

Today was a day for attending to the woeful state of the garden, which has been allowed to fall into rack, ruin and disrepair because because we have been busy with getting cats and doing all the travelling we could manage in the six weeks before getting cats.

I assembled a mini greenhouse. The above illustration is meant to give you a taste of the sort of complexities involved. It was not easy I tell you. I do not know how these things are designed and made, but it seems to me that there are no testing stages between a mini greenhouse design leaving the drawing board and the boxes being shipped off in bulk to Argos. They do not make them with the intention that you should actually be able to put them together.

We also went to the garden centre to buy some plants. I bought a melon seedling. It is very unlikely that we will successfully harvest very many melons given that everything we will grow will be in plastic pots in a mini greenhouse, but for 99 pence it is worth a try. Failure brings no shame, but success will mean I am the talk of the gardeners of Basildon. Such a prize is worth striving towards.

Oddly enough Katie on the Wibsite assembled a mini greenhouse today too. I’ll ask you the same question I asked her, which is as follows: Can the sun’s rays penetrate through the plastic cover of a mini greenhouse, or do I have to take the cover off every day? It is a seethough plastic, but quite thick as seethough plastic goes. If you can advise on this or anything else I would be grateful.

The Great Global Warming Swindle

The Great Global Warming Swindle

This programme was on Channel 4 this evening. A summary of the views expressed by the programme in my own words:

  • Global warming is real, but not manmade.
  • The warming of the earth causes the CO2 variaton, not the other way around.
  • Human beings are in the single digits of co2 production. A lot more is produced by volcanos, dead leaves and in particular the sea.
  • The sun is the main cause of the temperature change.
  • In the 1970s we thought there would be global cooling and we turned out to be wrong.
  • A lot of people have a vested interest in global warming being true.
  • Why should we make the developing world use the most expensive technology when we have benefitted from the cheap polluting kind.

However, having done a litle bit of research there is reason to be sceptical. The progamme was made by someone called Martin Durkin, who has a history of being anti-the environmental movement. After a previous programme he made for Channel 4 the station to issue an apology as it turned out that the programme was nonsense.

Here are some links from the newspapers:

The programme was quite persuasive, but I am fully aware that it is possible to make a persuasive film saying all sorts of things to suit ones own agenda and still be wrong.

I’d be interested to hear other people’s views.

Update: Further news reports.