Tendring Topics………on line
The appalling earthquake in
reminds us of the potential destructive power of nature. In a few minutes thousands of human lives
were lost and hundreds of buildings flattened.
The power of the quake shook houses and caused panic in Calcutta hundreds of miles away. It also shook Everest the world’s highest
mountain causing avalanches that cost yet more human lives.
In Western Europe, including the
Kingdom, we may feel free of danger from
earthquakes but the warnings of the world’s scientists about the effects of
global warming are becoming more and more urgent. Instead of recognising that climate change is
largely the result of mankind’s misuse of the bounties of nature we blindly
continue draining existent oilfields and finding new ones. Now ‘market forces’
demand that we. turn ‘ ’s green
and pleasant land’ into an industrial wilderness by fracking for oil and
gas in subterranean beds of shale. We
have been warned that governments should take immediate action to seek out and
develop sustainable and non-polluting sources of energy – the use of wind, sun,
the waves and the tides – and phase out the use of fossil fuels. The evidence of the effects of global warming
are all around us - unprecedented
typhoons and hurricanes, floods, bush fires, droughts and periods of unseasonal
extreme weather conditions. The arctic
ice is thawing every year, the glaciers are retreating and the world is facing
climatic catastrophe. The general election
is now less than a fortnight away.
No-one would have guessed from the televised debates between the
political party leaders that our country (and the world) is threatened by the
inexorable and accelerating progress of climatic change. Most are much too busy scoring political
points against their political opponents, and earning the votes of the gullible,
by making impossible promises that will turn out to be no more than
aspirations. David Cameron, Ed Miliband
and Nick Clegg all accept the reality of global warming and its consequences –
but all are prepared to ignore the warnings, at least until after the election,
because ‘there are no votes to be
obtained by banging on about climate change’. England
Nigel Farage is at least honest in his intentions. Denying the warnings of the world’s scientists, he doesn’t believe in the reality of global warming or – if it is taking place – that it is anything to do with human activity. He’d drag the last barrel of oil and cubic foot of gas out of existing wells and encourage the frackers. He’d withdraw financial support from wind and solar farms.
The only party leader who has tried to highlight the real and urgent problems arising from an over-exploited natural world is Natalie Bennett, Leader of the Green Party. Below you’ll see a copy of an email that I have received from her that sets out her, and the Green Party’s priorities. If you believe that The Greens are fighting for a cause in which you believe, don’t be persuaded that ‘a vote for the Greens is a vote wasted’ If everyone had said that about the fledgling Labour Party at the beginning of the 20th century, Labour would not now be competing with the Conservatives for power. ‘This above all, to thine own self be true’.
This year the most important climate talks in history will take place in
Leaders from around the world will come together to decide the world’s course of action in addressing the most important issue of modern times.
Yet, despite the looming threat of a climate crisis, during this election you could be forgiven for thinking that the threat had lifted.
The truth is, politicians from the other parties simply aren’t speaking about climate change. In fact I was the only party leader to raise the topic during the three and a half hours of Leaders debates.
You and I know both know that the science is unequivocal – fortunately we have the plan to tackle the crisis.
The Green Party is the only party calling for the urgent action required and at the heart of our pledge to protect the environment is our conviction that we must also reconfigure our world to work better for people.
We will cut public transport fares – because everyone should be able to afford to get to where they want to go – and because the air pollution caused by cars is a crisis that must be tackled.
We will invest in home insulation – because no one should fear family members getting ill or even dying from the cold – and because we want to cut carbon emissions.
We will generate 80% of our energy from renewable sources by 2030 – because we know we must leave four-fifths of known fossil fuel reserves in the ground.
We are using three times as many resources as our planet can sustain - we must change course, and we can.
I, like you, want to leave a better future for our children. I want the next generation to look back on what we did at this time and think ‘my parents’ generation did something to protect our world’. I want them to be proud of us.
To keep climate change on the agenda and to continue our fight for social justice we must elect more Green MPs.
We can do this if we have a strong Green voice in parliament - but we need your help now more than ever with a Green vote on May 7th.
Leader, Green Party of
Well, I’m a postal voter and have already posted off my vote for Chris Howell,
Clacton’s Green Party Candidate. I hope that at least some regular readers of
this blog will also vote Green!