Ealing Friends of the Earth

Climate

Fossil Fuels, Fracking & Renewables

How it's happening

Global warming (or climate change) is caused by a build-up of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases in our atmosphere. The gases trap heat by forming a blanket around the Earth – like the glass of a greenhouse. These gases stay in the atmosphere for many years. And as they build up, the planet’s temperature rises.

A warmer world leads to a more extreme climate – with more severe droughts, floods and storms. And as the world warms up, feedback-loops can accelerate warming: melting polar ice means less of the sun’s heat is reflected back into space.

Greenhouse gases build up in the atmosphere mainly due to the burning of fossil fuels – coal, oil and gas – and by cutting down forests. Greenhouse-gas levels have rocketed in the last 100 years.

More information and what can be done

A) Educate yourself and others – These organisations provide convincing evidence about the climate emergency:

  • The United Nations says “climate change is the defining issue of our time and we are at a defining moment. Without drastic action today, adapting in the future will be more difficult and costly.” The UN set up the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in 1988 which brings together scientists from all over the world. 
  • Our doctors, through the BMA (British Medical Association), say climate change poses threats to public health.
  • The WWF (World Wide Fund for Nature ): “Climate change is the greatest environmental challenge the world has ever faced”.
  • NASA (America’s space agency, that put men on the Moon, landed rovers on Mars, and monitors Earth from space) explains the evidence, causes and effects of climate change

B) Live more sustainably – Replace fossil fuels with renewable sources of energy (such as wind, solar and geothermal energy), halt deforestation, plant trees, adopt a more sustainable diet with less meat, drive less, limit the amount of time flying.

C) Support environmental organisations – Join one, and then if you can: spread the word, take part in campaigns, invite a speaker or even start a new local group at your college, workplace, church or community association: