• Question: Do you belive that the Human species has reached the tipping point interms of combating global warming and 'saving' the planet?

    Asked by alphadanny96 to David, James, Mike, Suze, Will on 21 Jun 2011.
    • Photo: James Marrow

      James Marrow answered on 21 Jun 2011:

      I don’t think we’ve reached the tipping point, but the problem is knowing how close we are getting to it. It’s a bit like walking along a cliff-edge in the fog – we know there is a problem out there, but we’re not quite sure how far away it is. The climate changes very slowly, so even if we start making changes now, it will take a long time to recover or stabilise the problem. The more information that we have on the climate, and the more understanding that we can get of how the system works, the better the predictions will be. Good and reliable predictions are needed to convince people that they need to change their behaviour, and scientists need to help provide this.

    • Photo: William Eborall

      William Eborall answered on 21 Jun 2011:

      Unfortunately I don’t think we’ve reached the tipping point yet either :/ I think the biggest battle we have is persuading people to change their behaviour. And I think this is were scientists come in. Persuading someone that they don’t need a Range Rover when they live in a flat city will never work, so it’s our job to make the car more efficient, or to use a fuel which is sustainable and won’t contribute to climate change.

    • Photo: Suze Kundu

      Suze Kundu answered on 21 Jun 2011:

      Hi Alphadanny96. I’m with Will. We need to show people that there are other alternatives out there, and that it’s not such a far fetched idea. They are very real ideas!

      There is so much going on around the world in various labs, all trying to combat the effects of global warming. I was chatting to a guy at work today, whose brother used to work in wave energy, but instead he is now researching ways of spraying water up into the air to form clouds that are able to reflect the sunlight light back out to space, rather than allow it to fall to oceans, etc, and heat our planet up even more.

      It’s different to the way that we’re all trying to find an alternative energy source, so that we stop adding to the greenhouse gas layer in the atmosphere, but it’s still about trying to minimise the effects of global warming.

      Did you know that cow burps contribute the most to global warming by belching methane? This is a family show, but it does also come out of their bottoms in bum-coughs (ahem!), but it’s actually the burping that creates the most methane. Methane is a really good greenhouse gas, as it traps LOADS of heat inside our atmosphere, which is BAD for the environment, so this same guy was saying that kangaroos apparently have a similar digestive system to cows, only they don’t produce anywhere near as much methane. Apparently it is because kangaroos have a bacteria inside their guts that use up the methane, so it doesn’t get released into the air as kanga-burps. They should really look into getting the cows to have some of those in their gut! It could be like an Actimel advert, but for cows. Friendly bacteria in their tummies!

      Anyway, what I was trying to say was that actually, no. We’ve got a long way to go yet, but it’s possible that if we all team up, we might just save the planet yet 🙂