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Blog Action Day | The heat is on

Posted by: , Posted on: - Categories: Climate Change

When it comes to climate change, things are hotting up. 

I don’t just mean in the way many people are aware of – that is, that global temperatures are getting warmer and the world needs to act now if we are to prevent that rise reaching dangerous levels.

I also mean that the debates, the politics, the levels of understanding and the amount of time and resources governments, civil society and ordinary people are putting in to climate change are on the up.

For that reason, there’s a huge amount more to DFID’s and the UK’s efforts on climate change than the tiny areas I work on – and the need to tell the bigger story is the reason readers haven’t seen a post from me since May.

I’ve been working instead to pull together a new DFID climate change group blog. As today’s Blog Action Day is focussing on this very subject I thought it’d be the perfect time to kick it off.

We’re a mix of staff working on the policy side of things from London as well as advisers based in the country offices where we work.

I’ll hand over to the new bloggers to introduce themselves, but check back here shortly to see get the inside view of what the UK government is doing on the frontline of climate change.


This blog features as part of Blog Action Day and the Act on Copenhagen campaign

Join the Blog Action Day discussions on climate changePledge your support for an ambitious global deal at CopenhagenAct on Copenhagen - The UK Government's ambition for a global deal on climate change

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  1. Comment by Ajmir Imtiaz posted on

    Vicky, That is great that you doing a great job,

    I got a question always in my mind to be answered, What role does human activity play in the current global warming ''What is the basic steps forward to act on current global warming''.

    Kabul, Afghanistan

  2. Comment by Vicky Seymour posted on

    Many thanks for your interest in this really important subject, Ajmir.

    I wondered if I could clarify what you were asking about the role of human activity. Were you trying to find out more about the evidence that human activity is causing global warming? Or was your question more about the role we as individuals can have in preventing climate change? If the latter, you may be interested to see the UK government Act On CO2 website, at, which gives UK citizens advice on what we can do to reduce our own carbon footprint.

  3. Comment by Colin L Beadon posted on

    Vicky Seymour,
    The main problem is the one nobody wants to face.
    True, many of us could cut back on the amount of energy we each use, less driving, less eating, less flying et al.
    So we cut back, as much as we possibly can, until, we are just about living like tribal people in the Amazon, and using our two feet much more, instead of mechanical carbon burning transport, etc.
    But the rapidly growing world population is taking up all the slack we are creating by our careful dillegence, walking, turning off lights, not flying, not taking trips on huge energy consuming pleasure cruisers; you can kill youself attempting to conserve energy in hundreds of ways.
    Now I have written several times about world population control, but nobody wants to broach the problem, as though, there is really nothing that can be done.
    If that is the case, then the prognosis,.... I don't really need to finish this sentence.
    Colin L Beadon.

  4. Comment by Colin L Beadon posted on

    Human energy consumption goes up exponentially with the world population explosion. You don't have to have any degree to understand or appreciate that. Both James Lovelock and Sir Fred Hoyle amply detailed, explained, and warned us about this over thirty years ago.
    World population control, reasoned out amongst nations, is really the one and only bottom line to offset starvation, mayhem, disease, unimaginable pollution and war. Nothing else really matters in comparison. Only so many fish can live in the limitations of a fish tank. The Earth is a finite fish tank.
    Colin L Beadon

  5. Comment by Vicky Seymour posted on

    Many thanks for your comments, Colin.

    I agree with you that population dynamics are an important factor for countries to explore as they plan how to mitigate and adapt to climate change. You may be interested in looking at the UN Population Fund website,, where there is a section on the linkages between population and climate change. The UN are also publishing a paper in November on "State of the World Population 2009: Gender, Population and Climate Change".

    However, low carbon development, both in developed and developing countries, does not mean changing our lifestyles for the worse but in fact provides a whole new set of low carbon opportunities, as well as reducing carbon emissions. These include: increased efficiency (generally resulting in lower costs) and new jobs; new industries and innovation; increased energy access and security; and local environmental, health and social benefits (such as reduced air or water pollution, and preventing environmental degradation).

  6. Comment by Ajmir Iimtiaz posted on

    Hello Vicky,

    Thanks for the brief, Yes, I was trying to know what are the basic steps of being a responsible citizen for acting ''NOW" for global warming or climate change. What are the basic practices!

    The web which you written above is more enough for start of this agenda. More question will come soon after studying and getting whole idea of global warming. It might be a good project for a while for me.


    Ajmir, Lashkar Gah

  7. Comment by Colin L Beadon posted on

    Vicky Seymour,
    I have been to the site you suggested. It has not given me anything I did not already appreciate through my own observations. It does not really matter how much people llving today decide to cut back. The slack we all make will be taken up by the millions of births across the world a year. Every new mouth needs to be fed, for instance, besides those mouths of people still living. And so the energy demand needed to grow more crops, wash them, pack them, ship them, goes on going up, and up. That is just in the instance of food alone. But what about the energy needed on all the new cook stoves, when the sun has set ? And the energy needed to get the children to school, to make their books and computers. Look, every way you turn, more and more energy is needed to serve an ever- growing world population. Haiti, for instance, is a basket case. They had to use up all their trees to accomplish any form of life.
    Now they are life - dependent on a never ending 'handout'.
    So the most important world problem is to tackle population control by hook or by crook, or we will continue to see global warming and the rise of CO2, food shortage and everything else we don't like, no matter what little ways we find to reduce our energy demand. Even to make wind chargers of sola pannels,and all their wirings and regulators, needs huge amounts of energy for their construction, and servicing.
    The demand for energy has to be greatly reduced. Small island, and their towns, use much less than megacities in every way. Small towns have small populations, but there too, as they grow their energy demands grow. Small towns grow because their populations grow, don't you see this ? Colin

  8. Comment by Chris Cox posted on

    There is much that the electronics industry could be doing to reduce the energy footprint of consumers. The rise in low-power, ultra-portable laptops ("netbooks") is a welcome trend, with low-power devices making their way onto the desktop as well, such as the Asus EeeBox. Despite this, computer retailers are still selling PCs based on specification and price, and manufacturers are cutting corners in order to deliver the machines that consumers are (indirectly) demanding. Thus we have the problem of consumers using vastly over-specified, power-guzzling PCs to browse the Internet and send email which would be the perfect application of a low-powered machine.

    One of the first places for corners to be cut in the building of a cheap PC is in the power supply unit, with many small system builders able to buy PC cases with power supply included for less than £10. While these power supplies may not be rated to a particularly high wattage, their poor efficiency means that a cheap 400w supply will often draw far more from the wall to generate the maybe 250w it needs to output at full load than a good-quality (and therefore more expensive) unit, which may have a peak efficiency of as high as 90%.

    These inefficiencies probably add up to more across the country than the combined effect of switching off every PC rather than leaving it in standby (otherwise known as "sleep" or "S3") which only consumes at the most 3w, which makes a mockery of all the public awareness ads promoting hitting the "off" switch - unfortunately, I doubt there's any way of getting that message through to the public as a good quality power supply costs upwards of £50.

  9. Comment by iva posted on

    One of the main things that can be done to reduce our carbon footprint is to have ubiquitous high speed broadband for everyone. It is amazing how many journeys that can be saved by access to the etherworld. Anyone with any sense can see IT.
    Fight the telcos and the copper cabal and help get fibre to everyone. You know IT makes sense. Say NO to BET in rural areas, laying new copper is a scandal. Lay and light fibre, and cut down on carbon emissions because the rural people can do so much more online if they can just get connected. Plus revolution in auto industry. Hope Copenhagen conference will bring major outcome..!

  10. Comment by Colin L Beadon posted on

    Have you found a way to slow down the human world population yet.
    The Earth is getting hotter, and many more houses have been built, and many more cars have been imported, on this island since you first posted.

  11. Comment by clair posted on

    Many thanks for continuing to highlight what is a very serious world problem. It is good to see that levels of understanding and the effort that ordinary people are putting into climate change is increasing. It is in part thanks to blogs like these that can be easily understood by us ordinary people!

  12. Comment by Jess A. posted on

    Many thanks for continuing to highlight what is a very serious world problem. It is good to see that levels of understanding and the effort that ordinary people are putting into climate change is increasing. It is in part thanks to blogs like these that can be easily understood by us ordinary people!

  13. Comment by John Leigh posted on

    Climate Change is effecting us everywhere, we are experiencing colder winters and hotter summers, for example here in North Cyprus we just been hit by a hurricane, this phenomenon was unheard of many years ago, the temperature in contrast I believe the UK experiencing artic subzero conditions. Yes the UK government is doing its bit to help the environment, and Europe as well, however countries like the US and China and other developed country are not doing enough to alleviate the problems they have been the biggest contributors. If these countries don't cut their emission then we can kiss this earth goodbye.