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Al Gore urges Gibraltar to become climate change ‘role model’

PUBLISHED: October 22, 2012 at 5:52 pm  •  LAST EDITED: October 31, 2012 at 8:56 am
Environment, Gibraltar  •  9 Comments


Al Gore urges Gibraltar to become climate change ‘role model’

• Al Gore delivered a well-received speech in Gibraltar on Sunday


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By James Bryce

FORMER US Vice President Al Gore has challenged Gibraltar to become a role model for countries around the world after praising the Rock’s green credentials.

The prominent climate change campaigner alluded to Gibraltar’s strategic role in military history by claiming that the threat of global warming represented a similar challenge, during Sunday’s Thinking Green conference.

The Nobel Peace Prize winner spent an hour-and-a-half outlining the risks posed by climate change before answering questions from the audience.

“History has been made on this Rock when it has faced challenges, and now it is doing it again,” the former US presidential candidate said.

“Gibraltar has an opportunity to become a role model and to inspire others by proving that it can be done.

He added: “Gibraltar has a young and enthusiastic leader who is willing to give climate change the attention it deserves and you are setting an example to others around the world.”

The conference was also addressed by Juan Verde, an advisor to President Barack Obama, who urged Gibraltar to become completely sustainable.

Describing climate change as ‘a real and present danger’, Verde said: “I think Gibraltar is small enough to become fully sustainable.

“You can’t do that in America because it would take decades, but here you could do it in a matter of years.

“Gibraltar is as great and good as it wants to be and it’s clear to me that it’s game for the challenges faced by climate change.”

Environment minister Dr John Cortes described the conference as an important day for the Rock and claimed Gibraltar could become an incubator for innovation.

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Iestyn ap Robert

October 22nd, 2012 7:48 pm

Oh, yes, old Al will come and give a talk about climat change alright, if you bung him one hundred thousand bucks… Plus fly him in on a private jet.

Stuart Crawford

October 22nd, 2012 7:57 pm

Gibralter should take a look at the latest developements in PV technology. There’s a small company in upstate New York that has developed a way to double the o/put and more than halve the production costs of PV panels – the big boys are queuing up to licence these innovations.

Iestyn ap Robert

October 23rd, 2012 9:05 am

PV technology is all very nice, but if Gibraltar really cared about the environment they could do well to start with the basics, like treating their sewage rather than pumping it raw put into the Strait. Unless, of course, there is an environmental case for pumping raw sewerage directly into the sea?

J Molitor

October 23rd, 2012 3:27 pm

Al Gore and those like him that push politico-scientific theories are not to be believed, let alone followed. Most scientific studies do NOT support his/their public “concerns
for upcoming environmental catastrophies”. Socially attractive
gains much $$support from the rich who want to be $upportive of “saving the World for the next 1000 years” & also PAT Al Gore, et al, handsomely = HOT AIR ! Ask him how big is his house for 2 people, and what his utility costs/month are?!
Read Michael Crichton’s “State of Fear” for more factual view.

Stuart Crawford

October 24th, 2012 11:01 am

J Molitor,
fact – the ice caps are melting and world temperatures are rising as well – nothing to do with theory.

The FT does’nt do scaremongering reporting – it is a very sober and factual news source – my favourite newspaper bar none.

It ran a piece about desertification about 3 years ago now showing just how devastating this is going to be.

By 2050 forget living in North Africa or the whole of southern Europe right up to the Pas de Calais. This desertification is happening right now. It always amuses me that when I mention this very real problem there is always a deathly silence because Brits never considered this when buying property in places like Spain. Within 10 years or so all properties will start to see a drastic fall in perceived value and that’s before you even consider where over 250 million people will live!

Ieestyn ap Robert – failte celta,
How will Gibralter power sewage treatment with oil rising and rising? This new development will supply the power.

Or, even better why does’nt Gibralter look into composting all organic waste. Instead of flushing toilets – what a waste of water – provide something like 10 gallon plastic containers for each toilet which can accept all kitchen waste as well. daily rounds of picking up all full containers which of course have snap fit tops. Fully automatic composting system with only a single operative to oversee, just as happens with sewage treatment plants today.

Massive savings in not having to build expensive sewage treatment plants. 30-40% of all water used in homes is for flushing toilets and the waste product from composting is no such thing but a valuable material that improves soil fertility. And then of course you will have a supply of methane produced by the composting process which is used to power the whole system.

This simple system is ideal for Gibralter as it is a small area. Of course the civil engineers will be furious as they see part of their gravy train disappearing.

There are no negatives to adopting this policy at all – which is why it almost certainly will not be entertained.

It ain't Cricket

October 26th, 2012 8:25 pm

@Stuart Crawford

Ermmmm!! Just one fact for you to digest. Gibraltar uses salt water to flush toilets, brackish water for the sinks, and fresh water for drinking and bathing in. Also what would Gibraltar do with all that compost from organic waste since Gibraltar has no agriculture other than private teeny weeny gardens, and thats just a lucky few? Should Gibraltar then spend millions as it already does in having all their rubbish recycled in Los Barrios, Spain, for Spanish gain?
You will also be glad to know Gibraltar has served itself of a desalination plant for years, something that the Costa del Sol could well start doing to save on fresh water consumption, particularly for the golf courses, what a waste! The fact also remains that it would be a mammoth task as well as futile, seeing that there is nothing to compost for, to go up and down stairwells, or lifts picking up containers with snap fit tops of course, because most Gibraltarians live in flats in high rise buildings, not houses, unless of course they started building cess pools under the blocks of flats instead of garages.

Im afraid Gibraltar is stuck with its civil engineers, who will continue snugly in their posts, for years to come.

Mr. Crawford, it is back to the drawing board for you. :)

Cheers.

It ain't Cricket

October 26th, 2012 8:58 pm

And Robert….Gibraltar’s sewage is a veritable drop in the sea compared with the surrounding cities of the Bay of Gibraltar. Not that one wrong makes a right, but at least we dont mix our fecal waste with the storm drains and drop it straight into the neighbour’s beach like La Linea has been doing for the past three years! Western Beach Gibraltar is a no go with the ecoli sky high, especially if it happens to rain, and the Gib Govt has to keep a constant watch on the sea water around there. It used to be a no problem beach before someone had the bright idea of dumping their storm drains right onto it. Its all in print in the newspapers in the area, you can read all about it, The Gibraltar Environmental Group has been having a great hue and cry about it for the past three years. Having said that I agree that it is time Gibraltar should get itself sorted in that respect, even though their semi treated waste gets pumped well away avoiding any human getting contaminated.

Iestyn ap Robert

November 1st, 2012 7:59 pm

@Stuart Crawford. What about burning the solids to make electricity or perhaps biodigest it and produce gas. They are looking to build a new power station soon so perfect opportunity to do something innovative. Out of box thinking required.

@It aint Cricket. Gibraltar can’t talk the environmental talk but then not not walk the environmental walk. La Linea depositing their shyte on Western beach doesn’t somehow make it OK for Gibraltar to pump hers out into the Strait. Oh, and it’s not about getting it far away from humans, it’s about the environment (unless of course, as I have written above, you can make an envirnmental case for pumping it out to sea).

Stuart Crawford

November 2nd, 2012 11:40 am

Hey Cricket,
Salou drew too much water from it’s aquifier which meant that sea water penetrated and all drinking water had to be purchased – try washing in salt water.

It cost Salou €300 million to put things right. So why did Salou have to spend this much – because all the water pipes were corroding – back to the drawing board for you sunshine.

Cricket have you ever heard of commercial trading – the Spanish in Andalucia grow lots of fruit and vegetables under plastic, some is grown hydroponically but much is grown in the original sandy soil to which they add yes you’ve guessed it – compost, which they have to buy in – a ready market on your doorstep.

Desalination plants use fossil fuel to power the whole process. You may have noticed that the price of fossil fuels are rising and will continue to do so until it all runs out. Do you know what the cost per litre is for desalinated water and how much a litre will cost just a few years down the line?

Valencia built Europe’s largest desal plant but here’s the thing – farmers can’t afford the price demanded and that’s today!

So pumping the semi-treated waste well away from people is OK by you – what a stupid statement to make. Have you any idea at all about the problems with human waste and what it contains and how it gets into the food chain very easily – oh I get it you don’t eat fish – so that’s OK then. I used to live in the Netherlands and for centuries Dutchmen enjoyed the delicacy of eating fresh raw herring fillets, I had a few expat friends that also enjoyed them. Trouble is that all kinds of stomach disorders began to appear thanks to all the crap that the Swiss and Germans pumped into Rhine which empties into the North Sea.

Don’t these apartment blocks have elevators, are Gibraltarians so lazy they can’t manage to put the containers outside for pick-up.

The reasons for Gibralter’s prosperity are disappearing by the day, all the dodgy financial cowboys are going to be legislated away very soon, no matter what ‘Call Me Dave’ says. I’d say that Gib has a mountain of problems coming along and cost efficiency is going to become critical for it’s survival – you better climb out of your box and take a good look into the near future.




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