Letter on the importance of tackling the climate emergency

A man sitting in Primrose Hill looks at smog over London

A man sitting on Primrose Hill looks at smog over London - Credit: PA Images

Obsessive wealth accumulation fuelling climate change

David Hughes, media officer, Havering Green Party, writes:

Alan Norris in Recorder opinions July 30, writes that ordinary people are the ones who will have to pay for the cost of climate change.

I’d add that it is nearly inevitable unless we take action, that our children and grandchildren will suffer privations and much less fulfilling lives than us because of climate change and the more difficult economic challenges they face compared to the two post war generations.

Redressing the balance in our society and “levelling up” is a great tag line for a dishonest government but in reality they have no interest in putting their privilege in jeopardy. But our democratic process does at least allow for the possibility of social change.

Thre days of recycling workshops are taking place in Havering as part of Recycling Week. Photo: Recy

Recycling can help with sustainability - Credit: Archant

Climate change offers no hope of reversal.

But what is unforgivable is the level of entitlement of wealthy people and particularly the contempt some powerful people have for the environment, its inhabitants (us) and their profligate use of resources.

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If we foolishly continue to allow ourselves to be duped into thinking what is good for the rich and powerful is good for us then we are complicit in compounding the impoverishment and subjugation of our grandchildren that climate change entails.

Space tourism is a particularly crass example of entitlement. Even though the rocket fuel of Bezos’ Blue Origin produces only water vapour, it nevertheless leaves it in the upper atmosphere where it has a negative impact on climate change!

The other rockets in this wasteful race to pander to privilege and excess emit huge amounts of CO2, simply so that some rich and conceited person can experience weightlessness and ponder, for a few minutes, the earth from its edge!

Newham Council plans to bring in emissions-based parking charges. Picture: PA

Traffic pollution can lead to respiratory disease and premature death - Credit: PA

I’m sure I can find a picture of the earth in a frame not too dissimilar to a space capsule window and a bungee jump is pretty close to weightlessness.

All for a lot less than the cost of a house (the typical cost of a ticket) that most of us have to work a lifetime to buy!

And because these chemicals are in the upper atmosphere they not only affect climate change but detrimentally the ozone layer too.

To think we nearly saved the ozone layer! You now, that natural layer in the upper atmosphere that stops us frying!

In the meantime spare a thought for the drowning Bangladeshi farmer as oceans rise and his country sinks. More refugees anyone?

Havering was ranked as having fewer than one per cent of its residents cycling at least five times p

Cycling is encouraged to reduce traffic pollution - Credit: PA

It is up to us to take control and start to insist on political action affecting economic solutions which secure a fair and worthwhile future for everyone.

Respecting the environment and the appropriate stewardship of the planet does not mean, as some “conservative types” claim that we have to “go all medieval”.

It is the very advances of modern society that offer the following generations the chance to lead fulfilling and satisfying lives like most of us have, but sustainably now, without destroying the planet and putting behind us that out of date Victorian technology.

It takes though, your commitment to force change and force a political stance that recognises that we all have a value that isn’t based on the obsessive and destructive accumulation of wealth.