Welsh UKIP leader Nathan Gill has caused a stir by claiming that climate change is not caused by humans.
Speaking to BBC Wales, Gill said ‘we don’t agree that man is responsible for changing the climate.’ He said it was ‘complete stupidity to think by sticking a bunch of wind turbines all over Wales that we are somehow going to stop the weather from changing.’
This contravenes the evidence emerging from scientists who have studied the subject of climate change in depth. NASA point to the fact that analyses of ice cores have revealed that atmospheric carbon dioxide levels have leapt to nearly 400 parts per million, after only passing 300 for the first time in human history in 1950, to suggest that climate change has been directly influenced by mankind’s industrialisation.
Scientists suggest that much further man made climate change would be catastrophic, with North Carolina State University noting that carbon dioxide is affecting the growth of nutritious plants. The widely held view from the scientific community is that a rise of 2 degrees in global temperatures due to manmade climate change (we are currently at 0.8 degrees) would be disastrous for humanity.
If the majority of the scientific community is right, then a move to renewable energies would be sensible. Whilst UKIP remain opposed to renewables, the Green Party has committed to invest in a public programme for green energy in its manifesto this week, which seems a logical step in combating this serious danger.
UKIP also threaten the fight against climate change by their determination for Britain to leave the EU. Mark Rogowsky, writing for Forbes, argued that a solar plant covering one eighteenth of the Sahara desert would be able to power all of Europe and Northern Africa. This sort of project would need global co-operation, and the EU is a step towards bigger thinking, as it draws together countries to solve common problems.
Climate change, despite the words of Gill, is clearly a man made phenomenon, and it is the biggest long term issue facing the world. Renewable energy is the best solution to the problem, but can also solve the economic difficulties afflicting countries. Britain, for one, is burdened by a huge national debt, caused in large part due to our reliance on imported fossil fuels. Large scale investment in renewable energy will do more for future growth than trying to slowly reduce the national debt, a policy that is not actually having its desired effect.