Monday, 16 March 2009

Age of Stupid - take action now

I went to the premiere of ‘Age of Stupid’ at the Tyneside Cinema in Newcastle last night. It’s a film looking back from 2055 to now and asking why we did not do anything about climate change while we still could.

The key message for me was the timescale we have to work with. It isn’t enough just to set a target of 80% cut in carbon emissions by 2050 and work slowly towards that. Apparently, unless carbon emissions peak by 2015 and then are reduced rapidly – the global temperature increase will be enough to release greenhouse gases trapped in permafrost and the ocean depths, and climate change will be unstoppable.

2015 – that means action, not just commitments, need to be taken by the Government elected at the next General Election, by the European Parliament elected this June and by the current US President. It is the biggest threat we have to face and every political and policy decision taken from now on, must move us towards a local carbon economy.

The Stop Climate Chaos Coalition, a multi-NGO the protest group backing ‘Age of Stupid’, are pinning their hopes on the UN Climate Change Conference to be held Copenhagen in December. And they are looking for people to lobby government.
I’m happy to support them – but I know the only real way to get politicians to take action is through the ballot box. If they feel their vote is threatened, they’ll listen. So my message is – vote Green in the upcoming European elections, in Mayoral elections, in local elections – at every opportunity. You might not get a Green elected (every time, though it sometimes happens) – but whoever does get elected should get the message.

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