The Great Debate UK
from UK News:
The government has approved the third Heathrow runway, in the interests of jobs and British competitiveness.
The third runway -- something airport operator BAA pledged it would not seek if it was granted permission to build Terminal 5 -- will open up a sharp political divide, with several Labour MPs, the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats opposed to the idea.
A cross-party parliamentary group is expected to be formed this week to press for the construction of an airport in the Thames estuary, an idea that has the backing of London mayor Boris Johnson, and protest groups like Plane Stupid and Climate Rush say they will hold protests.
Which side are you on in the Heathrow debate?
from The Great Debate:
He wasn't present and he isn't even in office yet, but Barack Obama was the elephant in the room at last week's European Union summit on economic recovery and climate change.
The 27 EU leaders knew they needed strong agreements to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and give their recession-hit economies a big fiscal stimulus to make themselves credible partners for the U.S. president-elect.
Andrew Simms is policy director and head of the climate change programme at the London-based New Economics Foundation. The opinions expressed are his own.
Nothing reveals the thin veneer of civilisation like a threat to its fuel or food supply, or the cracks in society like a major climate-related disaster. But that, increasingly, is what we face: the global peak and decline of oil production; and a global food chain in crisis due to multiple stresses including imminent, potentially irreversible global warming.
from The Great Debate:
European Union leaders this week face a crucial credibility test of their ambition to lead the world in fighting climate change, just as President-elect Barack Obama is making it a top priority for the United States.
Will the EU give real teeth to its pledge to cut greenhouse gas emissions by at least 20 percent by 2020, draw 20 percent of their energy from renewable sources and cut energy consumption by 20 percent over the same period, or will it fall short?
A thought-provoking new book on Christianity's "lost history" holds that one of the central causes of 14th century religious persecution may well have been climate change. You can read my interview with author Philip Jenkins about "The Lost History of Christianity: The Thousand-Year Golden Age of the Church in the Middle East, Africa and Asia -- and How It Died" on the Reuters website here.
"The Chronology of Christian sufferings under Islam closely mirrors that of Jews in Christian states," he writes, noting that "Around 1300, the world was changing, and definitely for the worse."