31st July 2019
Your front page on 26th July celebrated the hottest temperature recorded in Sheffield since 1882. It was treated as if 35.1 degrees C was to be warmly welcomed. It is in fact a dire warning of what is to come. The Star missed a golden opportunity to educate readers about our overheating planet. It was not just Sheffield where temperature records were being broken. Europe was suffering an extraordinary heatwave. In Siberia forests the size of Portugal are burning out of control. As few people live there, they have been given little attention, but they are an alarming symptom of climate breakdown. Siberia is over 10 degrees Centigrade warmer than the average for the last 30 years. The forests have become a tinderbox and are burning at a rate unseen in the last 10,000 years. The permafrost is melting, exposing the peat which ignites and burns down into the soil. This is releasing enormous amounts of Carbon Dioxide, roughly equivalent to the total emissions for Belgium for a whole year. This, in turn, will further heat the planet, producing a dangerous feedback loop resulting in ever-increasing temperatures.
Climate scientists have made it clear that more and more extreme weather is expected. When this happens please remind your readers that to avert the collapse of our civilisation, we need a complete transformation in our society. We must stop burning fossil fuels as soon as possible and start living in harmony with nature. We have all the solutions already, we just need the political will to do it. There is no time to waste. This is a climate emergency.