Turn off the carbon tap NOW!
As climate change causes fatal weather conditions in the US, Europe and China, Ann Link makes a heartfelt plea for government and business to take real action on our carbon emissions.
Despite increasing weather extremes in other parts of the world, life here in the UK seems relatively normal – but we cannot go on as if there is no emergency. We need to turn off the CO2 tap now to avoid the worst of global heating. One study estimates that for a 90% chance of avoiding 1.5°C of warming, the world must reach net zero carbon emissions by 2023 – less than two years way.
Every tonne of carbon emitted will warm the world for centuries to come. Most of our energy still comes from fossil fuels, and the UK government still plans to continue on that path for decades, (despite statements to the contrary) – as evidenced by:
- Road building plans
- The lack of a home insulation scheme
- New gas and oil extraction licences
- Plans for airport expansion
- Only investing 12% of what is needed to tackle the climate and nature emergency.
CO2 concentrations continue to rise despite international climate agreements
Greenhouse gas emissions continue to rise inexorably, not responding to international agreements. And we are being left unprotected from floods, storms and droughts because there is little investment to help us. We need radical change now, from government and business.
So what can we do individually to help? Here’s my list of suggestions:
- Tell as many people as you can – in person and online – about the climate emergency
- Take personal action to reduce your household carbon footprint: reduce meat eating, cut flying, insulate your home!
- Keep contacting politicians – don’t give up, keep up the pressure
- Keep holding big business to account – make clear that greenwashing and empty promises aren’t acceptable.
- Look after your own wellbeing – join something, act together!
For background and references see Dr Martin Meadows’ excellent article from the last TTL newsletter here. Also see the subsequent statement from the government’s own climate change committee which seems to back up everything Martin said in his article here and here.
We are already in the period of crisis and upheaval many of us have predicted. It could not be more urgent to act.
Dr Martin Meadows will be speaking at Lewes Climate Festival on Sunday 19 September at the Linklater Pavilion, Railway Land Wildlife Trust.