LETTER: Climate change needs to have a higher priority

Have your say.
Have your say.

Inspired by Christian Aid’s national campaign to put Climate Justice back on the political agenda, members of local churches Wirksworth and District have recently signed a petition addressed to all political parties to: express our concern about climate change and in particular its effects on the world’s poorest people (those who have contributed least to greenhouse gas emission); effects already being felt and more severely threatened in the future.

They call upon you to ensure that Climate Justice is given a high priority by your political party and features prominently in the party’s manifesto for next year’s General Election.

There is no doubt that climate change, caused in large part by human activity in burning fossil fuels, remains the biggest long-term threat to humanity, notwithstanding the more immediate and dramatic threats such as the Ebola virus and the successes of Islamic State in Iraq and Syria.

The problem is that although the threat of Climate Change is longer-term for most of us in richer parts of the world, its effects are being felt now in places like Malawi, where drought has severely disrupted food production.

And measures to reduce emissions must be applied NOW, not in 2050, the date chosen by the politicians as the mythical time when the economy will be strong enough. Rather, the measures should have been introduced years ago, when the threat of man-made climate change first became apparent. Is it the usual political response to crises: Too little, too late?

Those who are unconvinced of the importance of man-made climate change, or who wish to be updated with the latest information, are invited to a talk by Professor Bill McGuire on Tuesday 11th November 7.30pm in Wirksworth Memorial Hall, organised by Transition Wirksworth. Bill, who lives locally, a distinguished academic, writer and broadcaster in the field of climate change and other global threats, has entitled his talk: Climate Change - from Bad to Worse. Does that title mean we have left it too late to stop our planet from going into catastrophic and irreversible climate change?

Or, is there hope that people can work together to stave off disaster and ameliorate its worst effects? Come along and find out.

Rev Bob Rhodes.

Christian Aid Representative – Churches Together in Wirksworth and District.