“The frequency and intensity of extreme weather events has increased, and is set further to increase, in many parts of the world, as a direct result of anthropogenic climate change” Charles, Prince of Wales, 20-Nov-2013
So that ends the discussion amongst his loyal subjects and confirms that the human population is truly the cause of climate change – through increases in CO2 levels (from fossil fuel combustion, burning wood and making cement), increased atmospheric aerosols (with ozone depletion) and changing land use (especially deforestation, building construction and animal agriculture).
Now this scenario is not too hard to accept since it is easy see huge areas of the world being developed for food production, manufacturing, transport or accommodation. Even in little Britain there are pressures for more homes, more roads, more railways, more airport capacity, more consumption … and the government is supporting these negative developments under the misnomer of Growth. Yet Grandads are not alone in seeing that these developments can only increase the climate change problem. Building more homes and their support services will generate more CO2 and use up more land .. not just through the construction phase but for ever. Especially since all the homes to be built are far from carbon neutral – despite government promises that by now they would be. Everyone living in these extra homes will need food, transport, gas, electricity, water, etc. Growth equals making the problem worse. Yet no British politician would dare make population reduction a policy commitment. So even if the carbon footprint per person can be reduced this will be negated by the growth in the number of people. And Britain is forecast to have a greater population growth than its European neighbours.
We have a situation where the problem is known but the acceptable government solutions are ineffective. And worse still – even if all the approved measures were implemented in full the negative effects on the climate would continue to increase.
So, as that previous royal commentator King Canute pointed out, no one can stop the tide no matter how powerful they are at a human level. Now that humans have boosted climate change to its present levels they have no known mechanism for reversing the trend.