“The climate isn’t top of my list…” A message to parents and grandparents.

Regular Sheffield Star letter writer Jayne Grayson wrote this.

“If I am honest the climate really isn’t at the top of my list. Sorry if that upsets others but going away for two weeks of sun at Christmas is the top of my important. Keeping a job in this time of uncertainty, making sure my son passes his GCSEs, saving up enough money so we can retire early and not have to work till we are 75, those matter to me more.

Yes we do our bit, we recycle, we have cut meat out as much as we can, we leave the car at home and walk more, that’s my bit to help if it’s not enough sorry but there’s more things I care about right now.”

Here’s my reply.

Jayne Grayson tells us that she has a son about to take his GCSE’s but she doesn’t care about the climate. It is clear she is out of touch with climate science.

The failure of COP26 means that we are hurtling towards the planet overheating to 1.5 degrees. Instead of planning to reduce emissions by  45 per cent by 2030 as scientists say we need to, we are on a path to increase them by 16 per cent by that date. World leaders showed they cared more for the interests of the fossil fuel companies than the future of our children. In 2030 Jayne’s son will be in his 20’s and in the prime of his life.
Once the planet exceeds 1.5 degrees warming we can expect many feedback loops to kick in. Indeed some are already happening. For instance, methane is bubbling up from the melting permafrost in the arctic. This methane has been locked away for millennia but will now contribute to further heating the planet. Unless we change course, eventually, there will be so many feedback loops that the planet will keep heating up regardless of how well we control our emissions. Food will become scarce as crops all over the world fail. Cities will flood and civilisation will collapse. 

The planet is a bit like a human body. It can cope with a fever. But if a human continues to overheat, eventually the vital organs fail and they die. That is what we are doing to the planet. 

I’m sure Jayne loves her son, so if she does not want him to have to face this future she should act to demand world leaders take the necessary action to prevent it. This is not about whether we sort out our recycling or rinse our dishes. This is about Governments completely changing our societies, moving quickly from fossil fuels to renewables, insulating all homes and buildings, providing decent public transport so we don’t need cars, taxing frequent flyers, planting millions of trees, revolutionising agriculture, stopping new roads from being built and contracting, not expanding airports. 
You don’t have to glue your face to the road Jayne, but it seems the Government will only listen when they are forced to by the overwhelming voice of the mass of the people. Parents and grandparents, if you love your children, get involved in the movement to stop climate catastrophe today. 

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