The climate situation that non-renewable sources of energy has placed the world in, as we are constantly reminded a critical scenario. It seems very strange to me that we ignore this reality when complaining about the aesthetic impact of such solutions as wind farms to this problem. Recent comments from various people about the proposed giant wind-farms in Ireland have particularly incensed me. Wind farms have the potential to meet 10% of Britain’s renewable energy needs. Yet where people are already potentially feeling these effects of man’s impact on the environment already is in the poorer nations, those not primarily responsible for its causes. In Kenya for example there are increasing instances of drought. Discussing this topic The Telegraph’s Geoffrey lean interviewed Mohamed Adow, from a pastoralist family in the dry north-east of Kenya. He says he comes “from the front line, where the impacts of climate change are real and devastating”. In the past, he told Lean, severe droughts came once a decade; now they happen every few years, adding that his father lost 60 per cent of his cattle in the last drought. Indeed the whole of Africa potentially faces a similar impact on what is already a water scarce region. This is refelected in a IPCC statement which comments ‘extreme climate events such as floods, strong winds, droughts and tidal waves’ are the main threats to Africa from climate change. Across the globe also, as a result of these affects farmers, such as Mary Prabhu who Lean also interviewed from India no longer know when to plant crops causing them to fail.
Furthermore the word’s continuing addiction to non-renewable energy sources such as oil makes the implementation of renewable energy sources such as wind power ever more difficult and has caused, collectively a far greater aesthetic impact than we can imagine. The Valdez, and more recently BP Oil spill is just one example. In the example of the BP disaster aswell as the initial aesthetic impact of millions of gallons of black crude oil spreading on the surface of the gulf stream it has created a equally devastating, but hidden degree of damage to the environment at the bottom of the sea. This may take many years to reveal its true impact. This includes potential and complex affects on sea corrals and animal populations such as dolphins. Basic science will tell you any impact on one element of a natural ecosystem will consequently impact another. Just six weeks after the BP disaster wildlife officials say at least 491 birds, 227 turtles and 27 mammals, including dolphins were found dead along the US Gulf coast.
As member’s of developed nations who have had a critical role in making a hugely damaging mark on the environment we also have the ability, but furthermost the responsibility to combat these issue and its effects. It’s time people face reality. It would be ideal if we could turn back the effects of climate change but we have to react to the present situation and try to help those we have affected through no fault of their own. While our landscape is affected aesthetically the impact on peoples environment in the third world profoundly affects their lives, in addition to the environmental impact of events such as oil spills here and we cannot be ignorant to this.
While we can concede there are doubts about climate change and the severity of its effects, if the science is indeed right then in addition to the impact in the Third World future generations of our own country will also be severely affected. Surely this is too risky to gamble on.