The weather during November was noticeably warmer and drier than usual. Those visiting the countryside could realise that many plants started to flower earlier than usual and that insects that by this time of the year are usually dead or hiding remained active.
Some species of butterflies were especially common in areas where nectar-rich flowers such as those of the ivy were in bloom.
This unseasonal weather should get us thinking about the United Nations Climate Change Conference 2009 which is set to start next week in
Copenhagen. The aim of this
conference is to get the leaders of all the countries of the world to agree on
how to fight global climate change and to
ratify any agreement reached during the conference before 2012 when the Kyoto Protocol
of 1997 expires.
There is general agreement nowadays that climate change is taking place and that immediate action must be taken to reduce the amount of carbon dioxide being produced by the burning of fossil fuels which are responsible for the rise in global temperature. Fossil fuels are the main source of energy production in both the developed and underdeveloped world.
In 1997 the USA was the largest consumer of fossil fuels but it has now been superseded by China and India both of which are arguing that their per capita consumption of fossil fuels is less than that of the United States and that therefore they should not be bound by the same commitments to reduce carbon dioxide production as developed nations.
Combating global warming is of importance to
because climate change will have
a negative effect on the Maltese islands. The rise in sea level will claim low
lying areas and will reduce the amount of water in the sea-level aquifer on
which we depend for much of the water we consume. Extreme weather will be more
common creating havoc and hardship to all and the change in rainfall patterns
will cause serious problems to the agricultural sector. Malta
The Maltese government is responsible for the implementation of international pacts and agreements but it is the responsibility of everybody to avoid waste of energy and reduce energy consumption and thus lessen the production of damaging greenhouse gasses.
This article was published in The Times on 2 December 2009.