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War Spirit Needed for Climate Fight, U.K. Green Party Head Says
2011-01-20 06:00:00.1 GMT
By Alex Morales
Jan. 20 (Bloomberg) -- The spirit of World War II, when
Britons banded together to cut food and fuel consumption, is
needed to help the country fight climate change, Caroline Lucas,
leader of the nation's Green Party, said today.
Efforts to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions blamed for
global warming at a time when the government is reducing
spending to curb its deficit have created a new "Home Front,"
requiring war-time thrift and efficiency, Lucas said in a study
she commissioned from the New Economics Foundation.
During the war from 1939 to 1945, British homes pared coal
demand by a quarter, reduced motor vehicle use 95 percent, and
saved 110,000 tons of scrap metal a week. By April 1943, enough
kitchen waste was saved to feed 210,000 pigs a week. While food
consumption declined 11 percent, health indicators improved,
according to Andrew Simms, author of the report.
"If we are to overcome the threat of climate change, our
country will need to move onto the equivalent of a war footing,
where the efforts of individuals, organizations and government
are harnessed together and directed to a common goal," the
report said. "Only this will provide the urgency, energy and
creativity we need to avert disaster."
People with memories of World War II should be tapped for
their experiences in reducing dependence on scarce resources,
and mobilizing the public to do likewise, said Lucas, who in May
became the country's first member of Parliament from the Green
Party. Schools, universities, churches, charities, police, fire
and health services all have a role to play, she said.
The study suggested measures could be taken including
campaigns to eat locally-produced seasonal foods and displaying
publically the efforts taken by government to conserve energy.
"The changes now underway in our climate, if unchecked,
pose probably the greatest threat to Britain that we have ever
faced," Lucas said. "Putting off difficult issues has a habit
of making them far more costly to deal with in the long run.
Climate change is certainly in that category."
For Related News and Information:
Climate-change news: NI CLIMATE <GO>
Top environment stories: GREEN <GO>
Most-read environmental news: MNI ENV <GO>
Renewable Energy Stories: NI ALTNRG <GO>
--Editor: Reed Landberg, Randall Hackley
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