The Climate Emergency

Yesterday, history was made in the UK with Parliament passing a motion declaring we are facing a climate emergency, although if you look at news websites this morning you might be forgiven for thinking nothing had happened. Is that an omen?

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Are we going to see some meaningful action, now? I’d love to think so, but I strongly doubt it. The Political Right is in thrall to Big Business and vested interests, while the Left is more inclined to measure things by employment. As usual, there will be hand-wringing and lip-service paid to the ideals of cleaning up the mind-blowing mess we have made of this planet, and then all sorts of excuses why we can’t actually do anything that makes a difference.

The usual reasons are that it will impact upon economic growth and that it will cost jobs.

Not that there will be any of either of those when Earth begins to resemble Mars or Venus.

Yes, there has been some progress in some areas, but it all seems to be driven by activism and protest. This is why we need them more than ever. Without the School Climate Strikers, without Extinction Rebellion, last night’s debate in parliament would not have happened. It did so only because M.P.s were pushed into it.

All of the impetus so far for companies to change their policies with regard to the likes of excess packaging, changing plastic straws to paper, removing plastic from cotton buds and the like has come from activists, not from the government. From public pressure.

And so we must not only keep up that pressure, but ramp it up further.

If the government were really serious about tackling Climate Change, the first thing they should do now – do today – is to cancel the Heathrow airport expansion.

But they won’t. They will argue we need it for economic reasons, and therefore that earning money is more important than halting climate change.

In short, they will demonstrate an absolute disregard for the planet. I’d love to be proved wrong, but I won’t be.

32 thoughts on “The Climate Emergency

  1. A group of high school students went to see Senator Diane Feinstein and expressed that they are worried about climate change and pushed her to support The Green New Deal. Ms. Feinstein who is in her 80’s told them they didn’t understand, that politics was all about compromise. They told her they were the ones who would have to live with the choices and compromises today’s leaders would make. Unfortunately this demonstrates that even a liberal politician like Feinstein doesn’t fully grasp the enormity of the situation. It will take drastic action right now for the planet to be saved. And I think without a full scale replacement of all the power in power, nothing but small changes or token measures will be put in place.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I totally agree. Politicians are conditioned to avoid change (which is ironic, under the circumstances) for all sorts of reasons – the corrupt ones don’t want to risk having their snouts pulled out of the trough, and the others worry they will stir up stuff they won’t be able to control or understand. Anyway, nothing drastic has happened so far, so obviously it’ll be alright, huh?

      Liked by 1 person

  2. It boggles the mind, Mick, to see how politicians are so willfully ignoring solid evidence that we are putting our planet–and thus humankind’s future–at risk. What is it going to take to wake them up . . . and will they awaken in time? This must be a people’s crusade. It could bring us together–if more people will just take their heads out of the sand. Thanks for a clear and cogent post.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It really does need whatever the equivalent is of banging their heads together (preferably, banging their heads together – literally!) to get them to take action. My prediction is very little will be done, and then the protests will become seriously disruptive, and potentially violent. And that will alienate a lot of people. I don’t see it ending well, I only see it ending.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. There are days when I think the planet–and all the other species that inhabit it–would be better off if we humans were gone. And that’s a distinct possibility. How arrogant we are to think we’re more entitled to the earth than other creatures. I fear you’re right, Mick: this won’t end well.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. It is arrogance, Donna. It comes through so often, not least in the way we simply label so many plants and animals as ‘pests’ or ‘vermin’, to be got rid of because they somehow get in our way.

          Liked by 1 person

  3. So many people are putting their heads in the sand on this issue and it’s terrible! I am recycling but I’m only one person. Thanks for raising awareness here and I’ll share the post to help get the message to more people too.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Governments are so blatant with their disregard for the environment, and it seems it been this way since the beginning of time. I’m with you on your powerful last sentence “they will demonstrate an absolute disregard for the planet. I’d love to be proved wrong, but I won’t be” Great post, Every little bit, every little push, I think does help somewhere.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. You are so right Mick. Climate Change unfortunately isn’t about politics, it’s all about economics and commerce and the big businesses won’t do any more than they have to legally. No company is going to invest or spend any of their hard-earned profits on the planet without being forced to. Very sad.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I really don’t know where we go from here, Jonno. Ramp up the protests, pile pressure on the politicians. I don’t know whet else there is other than direct, possibly violent, action. And if nothing is done, that will surely happen.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. The days when our children are not in school perhaps say something about the issues of the day. Here in NZ there was a school “strike” by pupils to draw attention to the need to do something about climate change. This week the children are off for the day because of a teachers’ strike (both primary and secondary). I doubt of these actions will solve either problem, but they create problems for working parents.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The strikes are a thing in Europe, and their impetus seems to be growing. It certainly draws attention to the issues and I think they have done their bit in raising awareness. It was these strikes that first brought Greta Thunberg to the world’s attention and did as much as anyone or anything else to force the government to declare a climate emergency.
      Personally, I hope they both continue these actions and have a greater and greater presence, since out generation seems unwilling to do anything constructive about it at all. Most of the children attend demonstrations about the climate emergency, so from a practical point of view this makes no difference to their parents.

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