Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Green on Green

Guardian picture: Lewis wind farm

This article explores the tension between conservation and climate change policy in the context of the Lewis wind farm proposal I discussed earlier this year.

It mentions that the Isle of Lewis's peat bogs, now protected by the Scottish government's decision not to allow the wind farm, will be vulnerable to climate change, but fails to mention that the more low-lying parts of the islands will likely disappear under water due to sea level rise. This will occur on a slower time schedule than any continued warming, and the extent to which it occurs is not fully known. Read the article by Jim Hansen here for a good discussion of the known historical precedents. But if we fail to reverse CO2 increases, it will occur.

Funnily enough, I've been asked to go help with a carbon footprint of some Maine islands. Islanders are more worried than ordinary folks, and they should be. Low-lying islands everywhere should be concerned.

But so should conservationists. There will be very little point left to a whole century's worth of conservation since John Muir and Gifford Pinchot began the movement if we allow the climate to change as drastically as we expect it will change. It might as well never have happened.

Green v green

The rejection of the Lewis wind farm this week highlights how environmentalists are lining up against each other in countryside battles. Mark Lynas reports

* Mark Lynas
* The Guardian,
* Thursday April 24 2008

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