Monday, 9 February 2009

What the government has been gassing on about

I was reading through some back-dated news online and looking at what the government had been doing since Brown has been PM when I stumbled across one particular article that caught my attention. It was about the government's proposals to cut down greenhouse gas emissions by 80% by 2050. Doesn't that seem to be a huge goal?, I thought. And the more I did think about it the more it seemed really ambitious, which is not a bad thing especially as it's about saving the planet bla bla but it also seemed as if the government may have set themselves yet another goal that they would not reach.

A couple weeks after this, I looked up a communications company profile and looked at available placements. The application form for their graduate placement scheme included a short essay on a variety of subjetcs and to my total amazement one of the subjects was government gas emissions!! I took this as a definate sign to apply and after some research this is the article I submitted:

By declaring that greenhouse gas emissions will be reduced by 80% in the next 41 years, the government has simultaneously declared what seems to be a very ambitious and improbable goal.

However, rather than focussing on the potential failure of this 80% target, although a substantial percentage will most likely be achieved, should not society be buoyed and encouraged by the mere suggestion of such an ambitious goal?

By increasing the previous 60% target does it not show how the government is attempting to tackle climate change seriously, as well as demonstrating a higher degree of reliance and faith in society to reach the proposed target, even if it does seem high?

With the next generation being born into a world preoccupied with the damaging future effects of global warming and climate change, they will certainly make the goal seem more attainable than in 2009, when the current ‘everyday man’ is perhaps having to make a determined effort to change and cut down on energy excesses.

Despite this theory, recent decisions made by the government only fail to make that target seem unattainable. For example, the aviation industry is hugely problematic regarding greenhouse emissions. On top of this, Heathrow’s third runway has been approved (albeit from a very narrow vote) by the same government that should be leading by example in their attempts to cut down on emissions that harm the atmosphere. Consequently, this decreases the feasibility of reaching the target.

The Independent has mentioned that the Conservatives have not ruled out expanding airports in the south-east. Comments like these, from a potential future government (realistically at some point between the next election and 2050), fail to raise enough hope to make the ambitious 80% goal attainable.

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