There is not only a very urgent need to raise awareness of the way in which Climate Change threatens humankind, but also to take action to deal with it. That has been QE’s mission ever since its inception.
As many of you already know, QE aims to help build sustainable lifestyles by raising awareness of the challenges presented by global warming and Climate Change, and promoting steps that can be taken to mitigate them.
“Sustainable” changes in lifestyles means changes which satisfy the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to satisfy theirs.
QE’s newsletters, talks and projects reflect its aims. Although only from a local base, it joins with other groups, local, national and international, to do what we can to avoid the “tipping point”. I.e. the point at which melting polar caps, rising sea levels, loss of forests, ocean acidification and thawing permafrost interact as a “combined feedback loop” to create hothouse Earth. Hothouse Earth: our home.
The first major international meeting on climate change was the World Climate Conference in Geneva in February 1979, organised by the World Meteorological Organization. Since then the talk continues and the inaction persists.
We have seen the complacency of COP 23 and COP 24: the Planet’s governments recognised the challenges but failed to unite to take urgent and significant action to deal with them, in many cases negotiating only to preserve their own self- interest.
It is encouraging to hear a leading well known figure of Attenborough’s generation dub recent protests as “a massive and necessary wake-up call”; a wake- up call that demands “rapid and dramatic action, which only concerted government action and a green industrial revolution can deliver”.
It is also encouraging to have the Committee on Climate Change recommend the UK phase out greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. That target is far too far away to reflect the urgency reported recently by UN scientists who warn that humanity has entered the danger zone: the Planet is fast “moving towards a sixth wave of extinction, which unlike the previous five, is driven by humankind”.
It is therefore laudable that any group, be it of children, adults or ancients, presses the need for action now. Such pressure is to be welcomed; providing of course that it is peaceful.
The UK is in pole position to lead COP 25 (Chile, 2nd to 13th December) for meaningful, dramatic and concerted action. Our performance switching from
fossil fuel to zero carbon energy in the period 2012 to 2018 is among the best on the Planet. We can therefore speak from the high ground.
QE maintains that it is not only wise, but essential to press the members of our Parliament to lead the action: it is they who pass the laws which mark the way in which we do so. Only united, global action will parry the thrust of Climate Change. This Planet is our home. We have nowhere else to go.