I am writing this Blog on the day the Conservatives open their party conference in Birmingham. Earlier this morning I was reading my Twitter feed and came across this article on our new Prime Minister, written by George Monbiot for The Guardian. It describes her fondness for Neoliberalism, which she apparently shares with the likes of Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher.
For those who want the short answer: "Neoliberalism is contemporarily used to refer to market-oriented reform policies such as "eliminating price controls, deregulatingcapital markets, lowering trade barriers" and reducing, especially through privatization and austerity, state influence in the economy"
Our destiny, according to this belief system, is to turn nature into money. If you point out that the ecological collapse this causes will destroy every aspect of our lives, including our economy, neoliberals reply that resources are, in effect, infinite: minerals will continue to be found, ecosystems will renew themselves.
This led me shortly thereafter to another Guardian article where I read about how Environmental charities are mobilising their millions of members to take on the UK government over what they say is an attack on nature in the push for growth. The charities’ campaign asks members to contact their Conservative MPs to leave them in no doubt of their opposition to the proposals.
Then along came a third article, also from the Guardian, also connected to this emerging theme, describing how Climate Change is even more intense than many scientists had anticipated. (Which for people who care about these things was already scary enough!) It cites various examples of how this is being evidenced in our daily lives and in world events, from droughts to floods to hurricanes to melting glaciers and to rising sea levels.
The thrust of the article is simple: We have to act now. Climate change is real, it's happening now, and it's only going one way. Simple physics dictates the consequences of the steady rise in our planets temperature.
"First, hurricanes are heat engines, powered by large expanses of hot ocean. The ocean is absorbing over 90% of the excess energy trapped in the Earth system by human greenhouse gas accumulation, and this means more available energy for more intense storms. Second, a hotter atmosphere can hold more water vapor, which (along with hotter ocean water and stronger winds) translates into more rain. Third, higher sea levels from accelerating land ice melt and ocean thermal expansion mean additional supercharging of storm surges relative to established coastlines and low-lying land. All of these supercharging mechanisms will continue to worsen as global heating itself worsens"
Although we cannot easily remove the greenhouse gases already released into the atmosphere there are a number of things you can do, right now, about slowing down the release of more:
Sign the petition being supported by RSPB, National Trust etc mentioned above.
Sign our petition to get the 4,500 houses proposed for Hall Farm stopped.
Contact SOLVE Hall Farm to help get more people to sign our petition.
Join SOLVE Hall Farm at the University of Reading Open Days and make your voice (bell, whistle, drum, saucepan etc) heard.
Subscribe to the Guardian (and support more good journalism on issues that matter ;-)
I hope to see you at Whiteknights Campus on the 8th and or 15th October if you can make it :-)