Politicians failing to address climate
Dear Sir, — The “Folio of shame: row over climate budget” story on the front page of 5th March issue of the Biddulph Chronicle shows the difficulty of convincing some of those in positions of influence of the seriousness of the situation.
Coun Joe Porter is embarrassed by his apparent failure to persuade Staffordshire Moorlands Council to allot the requested money to combat the effects of climate change. He seems to have been reduced to muttering that “throwing money” was not the answer.
These Staffordshire Conservative councillors are not the only people to put climate change low on their list of priorities for as long as they can.
Although here in the Potteries Extinction Rebellion and its allies are making an impression, some other areas are less active.
On a recent day trip to a North Wales resort the coach travelled between flooded fields and detoured round blocked main roads. Once at our destination we could walk to the promenade as the wind nearly blew us all over.
I bought a local paper and took refuge in a KFC. In the paper there were no references to climate change or pressure groups set up to deal with it. Given the evidence all around us and the fact that one North Wales village, Fairbourne, was about to be evacuated permanently this was surprising.
Yesterday (8th March) I took a coach trip to Keswick and Windermere.
Keswick coach park was next to a high-end supermarket with sandbags round the entrance. It turned out that floods had disrupted traffic to and through the town for weeks. Nobody, however, could criticise the citizens for lack of interest or inaction. The local paper carried several items on the floods and the need for defences. Keswick is more vulnerable to rising waters than Staffordshire Moorlands.
As yet action to limit the effects of climate change is limited by denial in some quarters. In others, lip service and token gestures are considered enough. Reaction across the country is uneven and it fluctuates. It looks as if each affected area is appealing on its own behalf without seeing the larger picture.
It might require further, more extensive and, indeed, permanent inundation of some coastal areas before effective measures at a national level are taken. We should consult with other endangered states, especially those near at hand, with similar experience of such problems. The Netherlands, with 500 years of fighting the sea, might give us well-informed advice. The Dutch must be wondering whether the Zuider Zee defences will be strong enough.
A lot of time has been lost but it is not too late if we face reality now.
Coun Porter can at least take comfort in the thought that he is likely to survive those of his fellow Conservatives who cannot believe in or accept a world that has moved on from 1900.
Perhaps I should give the reason for these outings. It is easy to see that coronavirus will confine us to our homes, so I am getting in all the trips I can. If it’s not one thing, it’s another. — Yours faithfully,