On the back of the climate change protesters in London this month, inspirational Swedish teenager Greta Thunberg yesterday addressed MPs at the UK Parliament. And she scathingly shredded our responses to the crisis.
The UK has, admittedly, done a little more to tackle the issue than many other countries, but compared to what is needed our response has been, quite frankly, pathetic.
There is still no political will to tackle climate change. Politicians would rather the protesters just disappeared and everything could go back to business as usual. But, no matter what they would like to think, unless there is drastic change, one day it won’t be business as usual any longer. Not for any of us. Their response to the protests? This is bad. People are being inconvenienced.
I’ll tell you what the end of the world isn’t, it isn’t people tutting because their bus is a bit late because of protesters. It isn’t people getting angry because other people who care passionately about the world and its future are telling them uncomfortable truths. It isn’t people being ‘inconvenienced’. And it isn’t some already rich and privileged people having to pay themselves less to ensure that millions of ordinary people aren’t made homeless and destitute by rising sea levels, devastating weather patterns and disappearing farmland.
I cannot tell you how angry that makes me!
‘One day, my boy, all this will be yours’
As Greta Thunberg said, climate change is not a matter of opinion, it’s real. It’s a fact. It’s science.
And it’s not someone else’s problem – it’s your problem and it’s my problem. Every one of us needs to do more:
- Turn down the heating. Maybe wear something warmer.
- Switch off lights you aren’t using.
- Don’t leave taps running.
- Use recyclable bags rather than plastic. Re-use ones you already have.
- Plant a tree in your garden. Two if you have space.
- Refill containers rather than buy new ones.
- DON’T buy bottled water!
- Avoid plastics wherever possible.
And badger politicians and manufacturers to do more:
- Go on protests such as Extinction Rebellion. Help to raise the profile of this issue.
- Use public transport wherever possible. There are bonuses – here in the UK it’s often cheaper to buy long distance train tickets in advance than it is to drive, and you get the bonus of being able to relax and read or listen to music or whatever floats your boat rather than sit in a ten mile tailback on the M1.
- Sign petitions – politicians are more likely to act when they know they are being scrutinised.
- Fossil fuels will destroy the world. Let no politician tell you that renewables are not viable, because they are. And they are already economically viable, too. Only vested interests pretend otherwise.
- Badger manufacturers to do the right thing – write to them and tell them you will no longer buy their products unless they are environmentally / ethically sound. If enough people do that, even those who really do not care will be forced to act.
- And look at the Food Miles when you shop. Don’t buy food that has been transported halfway across the globe – buy a local alternative. And if that means you have to do without a particular food you fancy, well, is that so important? There are so many alternatives available.
Even if you don’t do this for yourself, do it for your children, and for their children.
Let nobody fool themselves. If we do not seriously tackle the issue now – as in NOW – then the consequences will be spreading deserts, rising sea levels flooding large areas of land, more devastating forest fires, wars over water and food supplies, and possibly other consequences too terrible to contemplate.
Now that’s what I call inconvenient.