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We are at a turning point for survival

October 16, 2018 8:31 PM
By Keith Melton

(From our GLD October 2018 newsletter)

From the heart! Message from Vice Chair Campaigns

I have never felt more strongly that we are at a turning point for survival than I do right now, survival for the human species and large parts of the fauna and flora of this pebble in space that we inhabit. I am now in my eighth decade on Earth, so it seems likely that I will have shuffled off my mortal coil, long before the worst forecasts of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) come to fruition. Nevertheless, after close to 50 years of environmental activism, I still feel moved to press for change that is long overdue in the often opaque and murky world of politics, both national and international.

As I write, this country is `celebrating` - if that is the correct term? - 10 years of the existence of the UK`s Climate Change Act. In his introduction to the 2018 CCC (Climate Change Committee) report, Lord Deben, the Committee`s Chair, says "It is clear how far we have come" and then lists some of the good things that have happened in that ten-year period - a good number brought about by Liberal Democrats in Government! And now Gove is proposing a greenwash celebration.

Vince Cable - a Greener World (GreenLibDems.org.uk)However, the latest IPCC report has also just been published at its international conference held in Incheon, South Korea, and it is absolutely clear that however far we have come it is by no means far enough.

As I read in one news report relating to the IPCC report, the view has taken hold that the world-class academics responsible for the report have chosen to "…press the panic button". Quite frankly this has come as something of a relief for us environmental activists, that we do not have to suffer the brickbats that have always been lobbed at us for being the messengers to bring bad news, "…always whinging at the state of the environment, always predicting the end of the world…".

Now it is official, the United nations` Panel on Climate Change, established and empanelled for the last 30 years, has got off the fence, giving the world no more than twelve years to change its ways and keep Global Warming to less than 1.5 degrees C above pre-industrial levels, otherwise many tipping-points may be triggered and we will then have runaway Global Warming. So, we environmental activists now have much greater freedom to say, "This is what we must do first", presenting issues and campaigning in positive terms, instead of having to say glumly, "We won't survive unless we change our ways!"

The march for a People`s Vote on Saturday provides Green Liberal Democrats with a significant opportunity for spreading this positive message with many like-minded people. We will probably be in the midst of a group of Liberal Democrats. We will be distinctive, wearing our "Green Liberal Democrats in Action" hi-viz jackets and carrying placards. We need to use this chance to enthuse our fellow protesters that this is about much more than "just" Europe, important though that is. If we allow this government to pedal back from joint European action on Global warming and environmental standards in the name of bigotry and incompetence we will be compounding what is already an existential threat.

Let`s use this as a major Green Campaigning exercise.

Keith Melton - October 2018

+ Zero Carbon report

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