This article is brought to you by Bromsgrove Climate Action.
IN THE Netflix blockbuster comedy, two astronomers go on a giant media tour to warn mankind of an approaching asteroid (a metaphor for the climate chaos we are currently experiencing ) that will destroy planet earth.
How do we have a social contract with nearly everyone to look away and ignore this existential crisis?
Distraction is part of the answer – the pandemic and other items which all media forms consider newsworthy.
What else can we expect when the media reflects its owners’ views and at least one (Murdoch) also sits on a fossil fuel company board.
Fossil fuel companies make enormous profits whilst knowingly polluting the planet by buying off the media, politicians and financial system.
They pretend to be involved with green schemes but are intent on expanding extraction activities – ‘green washing’.
As individuals, the simplest and most effective thing we can do is to talk to other people – friends, family, and work colleagues about the problem.
We can also divest our saved money, switch to a clean energy provider, reduce consumption of meat and dairy, and choose green travel methods.
Ultimately we have the power of the vote and must use it wisely.
Many would consider cycling short local journeys if not so exposed to motor traffic.
The Dutch had to fight their car lobby but within five years it changed infrastructure so bike lanes were abundant.
We must convince our local politicians of the need and persuade them to set up trials.
It comes down to communication – we must have good mechanisms to reach decision makers to express visions for improvement.
Things are very different a cycle ride away in our ‘sister county’ Herefordshire – a new Citizens Assembly guides the council with policies to tackle climate Breakdown. Some forward-thinking places across Britain have used Citizen’s Juries in a similar way. Whatever the mechanism, we need a means to involve the wider public in the discussion.
The UK Government must play its part to avoid ‘asteroid wipe-out’ by making significant investment in a Green New Deal.
We need to invest public money – at least two per cent of the UK’s gross domestic product (GDP) every year during the 2020s to cut carbon emissions while raising living standards and creating at least 1million well-paid, future-proof jobs.
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