Chris Huhne has spoken of the dangers of glacier melt while attending the Point to launch a short story writing competition on the theme of climate change.
The Secretary for Energy and Climate Change told an audience of budding writers:
“There is a very serious risk already of glacier melt in the Arctic area which is slowly increasing sea levels which also has the potential to switch off the gulf stream. If there is a very substantial amount of fresh water dumped onto the North Atlantic that can have a dramatic effect on climate.
In fact in the opposite direction to most the rest of the world which will be warming, our climate will begin to look more like that of Newfoundland – which is what it ought to be if it wasn’t for the warming effect of the Gulf Stream.”
“I think that writing is an absolutely key vehicle for communicating the real enormity of what is happening.”
The competition, sponsored by Eastleigh Borough Council, will form part of this year’s Winchester Writers’ Conference and Barbara Large MBE the conference director, was on hand to encourage people to take part.
The judges Sandy McLean, Dr Clare Saunders and Dr Nick Woodman also took time to explain what it is was they would be looking for in the entries.
Two prizes of £250 are up for grabs for the best short story or essay under 1500 words on a climate change related theme– one prize is reserved for the best entry submitted by an Eastleigh resident and the other prize is open to all comers.
Afterwards, while speaking to Eastleigh News Mr Huhne described how his department was doing its bit to help tackle climate change by dropping the use of ministerial cars adding that despite his cabinet status he was still cycling whenever possible.
The evening also presented an opportunity for regular Eastleigh News contributor Matthew Myatt to tackle Chris Huhne on the subject of …trees!
The environmental campaigner asked Chris Huhne if he would take a look at planning application laws in respect of the felling of trees by councils, whom he claims often ignore their own planning guidelines that forbid the cutting down of trees amenity trees or mature trees to allow for planning to go ahead.
“I want him to make it that councils cannot approve their own planning applications if trees have to be cut down. Mr Jones from Eastleigh would not be allowed to cut down a mature healthy tree in his garden to build a garage in his back yard let alone a historic amenity tree but councils can ride rough shod over their own rules. “
Mr Huhne agreed that this was an important and very valid point and he would look at what could be done to protect all trees from planning applications from both local councils and business.
For further information on the competition or to download an application form click here or contact Jane Altounyan at Eastleigh Borough Council, on 023 8068 827.