Letter to the Media: Stand Up for the Planet on 1st December

The letter below from Trish Marchant was sent to the media on 20th November 2012.

The annual national climate change march and anti-fracking demo takes place on Saturday 1st December (see Campaign Against Climate Change, assemble noon at Grosvenor Square). Is it too late to save the world? You had better hope not. Just recently it was reported that the world is warming faster than originally thought and climate change is accelerating as feedback loops start to kick in. (New Scientist magazine, 14th November 2012). Even the USA is starting to realise that Hurricane Sandy was no random event and similar extreme weather patterns are likely to happen more often (Business Week, “Its Global Warming, Stupid”). This is the beginning of changes to our planet that we must act now to mitigate.

The previous Labour government deregulated the banks, and the Tories called for further deregulation. We are paying the price. The Coalition has brought in austerity measures which the Labour opposition support in almost every detail. Those of us who make up 90% of the public tax payers, and are the source of all company profits, are being sidelined and pressurised and many are being forced into poverty. We are paying the price. Meanwhile the environment is being offered up for slaughter by the big three political parties in some misguided charge to inflate the economy at all costs. We will end up paying the price.

There is hope if we think sustainably. The term “sustainability” is often used to mislead and confuse us, it is rarely explained. The basic idea is we should live in such a way that our children and grandchildren can live in the same way. That is not to say no to change, living in a cave, or new technology. Indeed technology can be a solution to many of today’s excessive consumption. Think video conferencing but maybe not a new iphone every year, think solar, wind and biomass as an energy source so we can ditch coal, gas and nuclear.

But a truly sustainable future requires government support and funding which tackles the core causes of climate change and despite pre-election promises this government has failed miserably to promote the change we need to be. New airports, support for fracking and nuclear power, the permanent loss of green belt and wild spaces through relaxed and undemocratic planning rules, all leading to the degradation of air quality, our local environment, and damage to wildlife which will be hard to repair. And the long term cost of dealing with the effects of climate change will be much greater than the sort term gains we may or may not see now as a result of this frantic government’s policies.

Climate change and sustainable living is pretty low down most agendas just now, if you are trying to juggle energy bills, debt and rising food costs its hard to put the planet first. But if you consider that even now we can still minimise the worst effects of climate change by demanding action from our government, as campaigners all over the world will be doing in December, then it may not be too late.

Join the march on 1st December and remember, acting on climate change is not just for Christmas.


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