Climate Change Armistice 100 legacy : Statement to Bristol Council 13/11/2018
By Mary Page
Subject: Statement to Full Council 13/11/2018 in relation to MOTION 2 - DECLARE A CLIMATE EMERGENCY
To whom it may concern, please accept my Statement to Full Council in relation to MOTION 2 - DECLARE A CLIMATE EMERGENCY
We have just commemorated ArmisticeDay100, where a century ago millions fought and died so we could live. I'm sure the future they imagined they sacrificed would be a better one than they themselves had known. Granted, gone are the smogs, the open sewers and rationing, but what is the future we are now leaving the next generation to come? Unless we act now, in another 100 years, it still, will be one without clean air, clean water or clean food.
On the air we breathe, data collected by the Council itself shows illegal levels of NO2 in the city, and your own report cites around 300 deaths a year in Bristol are linked to air pollution. We are suffocating ourselves at the bottom of an ocean of poisonous gasses.
On the water we drink, many of us will have seen the distressing scenes of the BBC Drowning in Plastics programme where our water sources are overflowing with both flotsam and jetsam. We now know of the negative impact of micro-plastics in our pastes and potions, as well as the micro-fibres from man-made fabrics in our washing machines, which is creating a polluted toxic soup in our oceans. The first research is now in, that just as there is plastic found by marine biologists and conservationists in the stomachs of marine birds and animals, so it is there in the faeces of some humans.
On the food we eat, after reaching my half a century last month, and moving my father who has dementia & Alzheimers into a care home, I found a project the 9 year-old me wrote about DDT being found in the animals in the polar ice-caps. Yet what has really changed? We now hear of research that links that pesticide to the rise in dementia, and of compensation payouts over the use of neonicotinoids in Germany related to impacts on the honeybee. We are literally and wilfully continuing to poison our ecosystems with scant regard for the sanctity of wildlife, let alone that of humanity.
We have to ask ourselves, why are we allowing private companies to take and use all our our public and shared essential-to-life resources, to line the pockets of just a few individuals. We find half of the world's wealth is now owned by just 1% of the population, and we see a return of a philanthropic economy. If we do nothing the rich will just do as they did before and pay for the mitigations and adaptations to move their homes to clean air zones, drink filtered water and consume organic fresh produce whilst leaving the poor to suffocate in an invisible dust, wade in the stinking swamps and choke on a chemical and toxic gruel. Traditionally climate change has been seen as the issue of the chattering classes or the champagne socialists, but in reality, it's still the poorest who are dying in the environmental battle trenches...
I don't need to give you any more facts, as it's all there in the IPCC reports and your own experience. I add just one, that here in the UK the humble hedgehog has declined from over 30 million to just 1.5 million in my lifetime. So what I am asking of you is the courage to act, it really is now or never. As with the greatest respect, most of us are now of an age where we will not live to see the results of our actions, but I hope that in a 100 years there will be people who say they will remember us for changing the future, giving up some of the things we are used to having today, in order that we give our children and our children's children a future that is worth fighting for.
So as those millions, who died on the battlefields 100 years ago, look down on our so-called civilised society, don't let those deaths for a better future be in vain. Don't let a collective amnesia of the past, allow us to recreate the mistakes we thought we had corrected. We are in clear and present danger, and it's our duty to fight to protect our beautiful planet for future generations. I implore you to support the motion.
Name: Mary Page, Bristol Resident,