Chris Broome’s analysis is spot on. Sheffield Climate Alliance, Friends of the Earth, Greenpeace, the Green Party and many other green groups have been campaigning for 40 years, but petitions, marches, letters to MP’s have largely been ignored by those in power, and greenhouse gas emissions have continued to rise. It has taken the radical action of Extinction Rebellion to get the nation talking about the issue of climate catastrophe and both Parliament and Sheffield City Council have been forced to admit that there is now a Climate Emergency.
Extinction Rebellion’s first demand is that the Government must tell the truth about the impending climate and ecological catastrophe. This is still not happening, and the media are continuing to ignore the matter. This is far more important than Brexit or Boris Johnson!
On May 27th it was announced that scientists have discovered alarming increases in the concentration of methane in the atmosphere. Methane is a gas far more potent in its ability to heat our planet than carbon dioxide. Scientists report that this increase in methane threatens to eliminate all the anticipated gains of the Paris Climate Agreement, so we are back to square one. Yet the media chose to ignore this story.
Since declaring the emergency Sheffield Council have promised to move electricity supplier to a green provider and have appointed a cabinet member for Climate Change. I hope this will now lead to big changes in approach and that Sheffield will be known for planting trees rather than chopping them down, reducing traffic rather than widening roads for it, cleaning up our air rather than letting its citizens suffer from illegal levels of pollution, and increasing our biodiversity rather than spraying our streets and parks with toxic chemicals.
The Government have not yet managed to announce a single policy that will improve the situation.Indeed by pressing ahead with airport expansions, HS2 and increasing VAT on solar they are pushing fast in the wrong direction. The solutions are all available, we just need politicians who are willing to act and not be influenced by the oil lobby. The mega-rich shareholders of oil companies have far too much influence on our decision makers.
When this country goes to war the Government has no problem in finding the money for missiles and bombs. We must now move to a war footing to safeguard our children’s future, by halting biodiversity loss and reducing greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2025.
1. Unexpected surge in global methane levels. https://www.climatecodered.org/2019/05/unexpected-surge-in-global-methane.html?spref=fb&fbclid=IwAR2v_QikPFL4Jt4N_Fkr04kCFaLBVKJ7furVjFWmERSI4RrTO2fLd79_GLQ