JellyBaby's Blog

Archive for the ‘World’ Category

The tiny island nation of Kiribati is not one that many are aware of. Out in the Pacific ocean, it is a beautiful collection of islands, surrounded by tropical blue seas and golden beaches that has remained off the tourist radar. In the not too distant future, it could be off the tourist radar for good, as rising ocean levels threaten the country and mean that the inhabitants are having to make very real decisions about their future. The children of Kiribati may not grow up there – their parents are having to decide whether to move to neighbouring Fiji or emigrate to New Zealand.

The plight of Kiribati is one that I’ve been aware of for a while. One of my favourite books, Exodus, was inspired by the story. The author, Julie Bertagna, read about the islands and the threat of the sea, and decided to write a novel set one hundred years away, in a world where rising sea levels have consumed most of the globe. Here in the UK, the idea of our hometowns being drowned is very much a worst case scenario; something that Hollywood producers would make films about. In Kiribati, it’s not fiction.

As government leaders meet in Copenhagen to discuss climate change the usual debates have arose as to whether global warming is actually our problem. Many believe that climate change is natural and any efforts we make to try and reduce it are pointless. Yet others say that it’s humans who are responsible. Our rising dependancy on oil; our obsession with gadgets, cars and convenience foods are a threat to the world and to the future.

I’m not at all scientific so the different debates confuse me to no end, but I do feel that we all need to take responsibility. I believe that becoming energy efficient benefits us all, whether or not it has any difference on climate change.

Take the car as an example. We are constantly being told that we shouldn’t use our cars all the time; it’s wasting oil, it’s causing pollution. There are many  alternatives. Public transport for example, or car-pooling to work or school. These alternatives may help the environment, but they also help us. Petrol is so expensive that using the car for short or pointless journeys is a waste of money. I recently had a long journey to make and I was wondering whether to take the train (not my favourite form of transport by any means) or drive (avoiding waiting in cold train stations, more convenient). I discovered that if I took the train, using my young person’s railcard, it would be about five pounds cheaper than the cost of petrol to and from my destination. With Christmas coming up that small saving really made a difference.

In our homes it is just as important to adapt our lifestyles. Making small changes to our homes such as using energy efficient lightbulbs; insulating our homes or getting double glazing fitted may cost money but in the long term can actually save money on electricity and heating bills.

  • An energy saving lightbulb could save £40 before it needs replacing.
  • A new fridge freezer could take up to £36 a year off your bills
  • A better dishwasher could save you £12 a year.
  • Insulation can save up to £400 a year
  • Double glazing could save you around £135 a year

There are even grants available in order to help you get started. For more information visit this website.

So even if you are a global warming sceptic, there are still benefits to living an environmentally friendly life. Even if we find out that global warming is one big myth you’ll have saved money; and if you discover in ten years that our lifestyles are having an effect on the atmosphere you’ll know that you’ve done what you can to save the world. It’s a win win situation, isn’t it?!