Cross channel traffic is often termed exports and imports to the EU; this is offensive and deceitful. Within a 'single market' and 'customs union' there are no imports and exports, there is only internal trade.  The tragedy and threat to human and environmental health is the total unnecessary need.  It's time based shuffling for inefficient manufacture and marketing. 

Why is the Health and Wellbeing of the Children of London, Kent and the South East at Risk?

The Roll on Roll off ferries operating between Dover and Calais currently number 2.6 million operations per year.  A conservative estimate of the fuel consumed, (just for the motorways associated with the M25, and those between London and Dover), is 2.1 billion litres annually.

Since the Maastricht Treaty, which is formally known as the Treaty of the European Union, was signed on the 7th. February 1992, the traffic through Dover has increased by 145%. 

Around the same time period the first reports of the IPCC's, (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change), emerged.  They warned of the need to reduce fossil fuels, (Mitigate against there use), but they also advised that member states Adapt their methodologies of operation to energise sectors, without recourse to fossil fuels, this included sequestering carbon from the atmosphere by natural and anthropogenic 'sinks'.

The UN is a flawed body politically, so while the scientific advice from the IPCC is coherent, the politics, considering the gravity of inaction are abhorrent.  The EU leads this tainted and flawed political thinking, Brexit is an opportunity for rectifying this, and developing constructive climate policies, commensurate with our independent responsibilities.  

Photograph courtesy of Meg Shepherd Foster

Adaption in the UK could be the Catalyst for the next Global growth.

The economic predictions of many commentators who study International Finance are for an impending descent into  a Global Perma Slump.  Slumps can be international, regional, or confined to one economic sector and these are more manageable with the cure or reversal within the gift of a single affected Government; but Global slumps are brought about by below par economic performance by a major currency, or currencies and the effect was  described by Alvin Harvey Hanson, (a Keynesian Professor of Economics at Harvard University 1887 to 1975), as, "Secular Stagnation."  Secular, is an economic term , as well as having religious connotations, and is economically defined as, "A fluctuation or trend, occurring or persisting over an indefinitely long period;" which would be exampled by The ‘Hanson’  trend recognised in 21st century terms as, “world economies subjected to prolonged periods of substandard economic performance, punctuated by growth achieved by political injections of monetary and fiscal stimulus.” 

Hanson's  'Perma Slump'  was started by the Secular Stagnation of the 1930's, and ended in most countries, by the arms drive to defeat Germany and Japan in the second world war between 1939 and 1945.  In 2019 the major fiscal stimulous, large enough to trigger Global growth would be a simultaneous trigger through the worlds economies.  Adapting the UK to meet a 2 degrees C rise in global temperatures needs a move from London centric population distribution with its necessary infrastructure changes, freight and passenger movement to be sustainable with those infrastructure changes, and to hardwire manufacture and recycling into efficient conjoined enterprises,  with minimal CO2 emissions; and eliminate atmospheric and terrestrial pollution.

 

 There are examples of Freight and Passenger Adaption on the Dover/Calais page, the construct of these would follow the IPCC defined Adaption below, which in turn mirrors the ambitions of the Global Commission on Adaption led by Bill Gates, Ban ki moon and Kristalina Georgieva.  Adaption isn't an alternative to Mitigation, its a partner, without which climate change is the threat we fear.

 

Adaption is basically changing the physical characteristics of the terrestrial areas of the UK, to meet the challenges, (but also reap the benefits), wrought by the advance in global temperature by 2 degrees C.  These can be small adjustments, undertaken by individuals, and, or local communities, but to be effective they need political direction and a National plan.  This cannot be successfully undertaken by an EU which controls the sovereign powers of its member states, in fact this is not just an opinion of this blog, but a requirement of the IPCC advice on major Adaptive change.

The IPCC defines adaptation as the, “adjustment in natural or human systems to a new or changing environment.  Adaptation to climate change refers to adjustment in natural or human systems in response to actual or expected climatic stimuli or their effects, which moderates harm or exploits beneficial opportunities.  Various types of adaptation can be distinguished, including anticipatory and reactive adaptation, private and public adaptation, and autonomous and planned adaptation."

Paramount to the major adaptive processes are the last four words of the definition, "autonomous and planned adaption." Autonomous being defined as; "A State, or Nation, having the freedom to govern itself or control its own affairs;" and, "Planned", as an overall planned  'Adaption' of that autonomous State, or Nation.  It is easy to see why this is a requirement of Adaption, even looking at a small area of the terrestrial globe, which the EU occupies.  The environmental differences between one state and another are immense, as are the economic will and capability of undertaking the changes necessary to replace fossil fuels and maintain global temperatures within the bounds of 2 degrees C.  The IPCC's division of anticipatory and reactive adaption is simply a recognition of work we can undertake, based on either prediction of how warming will effect our surroundings, or a problem we have allowed to develop because of past inaction.  Anticipatory adaption would be the building of a new Thames barrier to prevent flooding of the city and surrounds of London, based on the prediction of sea level rises.  The Adaption Blog describes how this can be linked to heavy goods movement which would not be fossil fuel dependent, but have environmental benefits as well. 

 

Reactive adaption is addressing the here and now, Governments need to act with urgency, while at the same time observing the criteria of actions which MODERATES THE HARM while EXPLOITING THE BENIFICIAL OPPORTUNITIES.  This is the Autonomous Government planning and financing a strategy, which will obviate the climate and health threat of atmospheric pollution, while replacing the threat with a system which does not, overall, penalise the population.  i.e. Do it better and cheaper.  Let's look at the problem highlighted at the top of this page.  

In the UK 21st century Transport and Traffic is impairing and shortening young lives, as well as accelerating climate change; freight movement must be Adapted to suit the 21st century's humanitarian and sustainable needs.

The  UK has, post Brexit, a unique opportunity to undertake the most fiscally rewarding adaption programmes, both in our National Interest, and through aid directed to The Global Commission on Adaptation, seeking to accelerate adaptation action and increase political support for building climate resilience, in the poorer parts of the world.  The UK has, through strong Commonwealth connections a head start in these small economies.

The Global Commission on Adaption

Led by :Ban Ki-moon, 8th Secretary-General of the United Nations
               Bill Gates, Co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
               Kristalina Georgieva, CEO, World Bank

The UK already supports the Global Commission for Adaption and their latest report identifies five areas where their global expertise can create the difference.

There are five things the world should invest in over the next decade:

  1. Warning systems: For the vulnerable island and coastal communities in particular, early warnings about storms, very high tides and other extreme weather can save lives. Better weather monitoring and a simple app for fishing communities in the Cook Islands, for example, allows them to plan according to the sea conditions

  2. Infrastructure: Building better roads, buildings and bridges to suit the changing climate. One project in New York City has set out to paint rooftops white - a heat-reflecting strategy to cool buildings and neighbourhoods

  3. Improving dry-land agriculture: Something as simple as helping farmers to switch to more drought-resistant varieties of coffee crop could protect livelihoods and prevent hunger

  4. Restoring and protecting mangroves: Underwater mangrove forests protect about 18 million people from coastal flooding, but they're being wiped out by development. Restoration projects could protect vulnerable communities from storms and boost fisheries' productivity.

  5. Water: Protecting water supplies - and making sure that water's not being wasted - will be vital in a changing climate

 

 

The commission, led by former UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, World Bank chief executive Kristalina Georgieva and Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates, argues that it is an urgent moral obligation of richer countries to invest in adaptation measures that will benefit the world. See the report on Global Commission for Adaption website

The Global Commission on Adaptation seeks to accelerate adaptation action and increase political support for building climate resilience.

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