Call for an end to party politics on the climate!
Long-term members of CEL, Catherine Budgett-Meakin and John Mead plan to send a letter about climate change and the need for united political action to our political leaders. Would you like to co-sign it?
The idea for it came from an excellent book The Burning Question by Mike Berners-Lee and Duncan Clark who, in their final chapter, say that one of the main problems has been a lack of political leadership. Finally they ask the question ‘What can I do?’
Summarising: The key question is ‘which complex system will tip first, the climate or the human response’? The climate already has a head start…But the human system has the potential to be more fleet-footed.
The final paragraph of the book reads:
‘Alternatively, we could keep on as we are: ignoring or playing down the risks and putting responsibility for action elsewhere. But that would mean taking a monumental gamble with our children’s future, and a species as intelligent as ours surely wouldn’t do that. Would it?’
Catherine writes: ‘We are therefore inviting you to agree to add your name to the letter below (signing in your personal capacity) – we need your name and postcode. To date (Wednesday 15th January) we have collected over 170 signatures since the beginning of last week. Let’s make it 200 at least!
I will type all the names on the hard copy of the letter, which, when we have enough signatories, will be posted to our political leaders, and emailed to others. If you would like it to go to your MP, let me know, and I will send you the letter with all the signatures so that you can send it to your MP and local councillors.
Please feel free to forward this message to others but ask them to contact me as soon as possible if they wish their name to be added to the list.
Not quite an online petition: more an old fashioned letter! I plan to post the letter to the leaders and distribute elsewhere (press etc) on Friday, January 24th
If you are reading this after the deadline, please feel free to send the letter yourself. You could even do this as well as giving your name to Catherine.
Please reply to:Catherine Budgett-Meakin 23 Bisham Gardens, N6 6DJ Catherine@budgett-meakin.co.uk 020 8340 2085
17 January 2014
This letter is being posted to David Cameron, Ed Miliband, Nick Clegg, Natalie Bennett and Nigel Farage
Dear Political Leaders,
This letter comes from a number of individuals who are concerned about the almost complete absence of political debate about, or action on, climate change.
We need political leadership.
Following the recent IPCC report, it is increasingly clear that there is a vital need to move rapidly to a low carbon economy, and to cut carbon emissions as a matter of urgency, if we are to avert runaway climate change. This is the view of the overwhelming majority of climate scientists. As the Committee on Climate Change website says: If we make no efforts to cut global use of fossil fuels, global warming is likely to reach between 2-7°C this century with further warming beyond. This will have significant consequences for human welfare and ecological systems.
Since the 2009 Copenhagen conference, it has become almost impossible to engage the public on this critical issue, and there has been almost no leadership from our politicians. Meanwhile the extreme weather events (such as the Philippines typhoon, the UK storms and the North American droughts) remind us that the situation is deteriorating. The recent inconclusive Warsaw conference leaves us with further inaction and delay.
We must all strive to ensure environmental justice for future generations throughout the world: our children and grandchildren. But individual voters can do little. All we get from the politicians, the public and the media is apathy or denial. Time is running out.
This is not a party political issue: it is a moral and ethical matter, bigger and more important than party politics. We need to know that however we vote, the climate change policies will be given the same priority.
We are glad to have a Climate Change Act – but we need you to make sure it has real teeth: let us make it more potent by uniting with all those who realise that runaway climate change endangers the lives of those still to be born and the natural world on which we all depend for our survival.
Please join with each other and speak with one voice: there are vested interests in our society which will continue to undermine any strategy you might propose; but there are many who long for effective action and will support you.
Catherine Budgett-Meakin and John Mead
This letter will be copied to our respective MPs, local councillors, religious leaders, the press and others
The names below are signatories to this letter
Update 24th February, from Catherine:
John and I want to thank all the CEL members who ‘signed’ our letter to the political leaders about working together on climate change – your input really made a difference to the total (387) of signatories. We have now received letters from the Green Party’s Natalie Bennett and a hand-signed letter from David Cameron. Cameron doesn’t really address the issues in our letter so we have now responded. If any CEL members want our final letter to send on to their MP, please let me know.
The Church Times also covered our initiative quite well on February 7.
Comments on "Call for an end to party politics on the climate!"
Thank you all so much for your positive comments. If any of you have not contacted me directly with your postcode, please could you do so IMMEDIATELY, as we want to get the letter in the post by the end of this week. We have over 380 signatures, and it would be great to push beyond 400. I will report back on the website about what kind of response we get.
I do so hope & long for united political leadership as outlined in Catherine Budgett- Meakin's letter concerning the urgent need to cut carbon emissions
Yes, I support this letter.
Tjarda & Peter Murray:
We are happy to be signatories to this initiative
Yes, I support the letter you have posted. Reducing any kinds of excessive consumption is a common responsibility of human community because all of us share the same planet. We must be responsible for our every deeds since we, humankind is interconnected. Be attentive to our lifestyle in daily basis!
Thank you for putting together such a comprehensive, important and urgent initiative. As a grandma I fully support this and would like my details to be added. We have to think of the future generations. We are custodians of the world and should therefore take care of it responsibly. Sylvia
Yes I agree with what Catherine and John have written. The time for arguing and debating is over we need positive action!
As the writers of this letter I also long for really effective action to tackle climate change. You must not let the vested interests continue to undermine moves to reduce carbon emissions. There is also the serious question of social justice which must not be overlooked. Thank you Mike Membery
Thank you for putting together such a comprehensive, important and urgent initiative. I fully support this and would like my details to be added. Thank you Ros Durrant
Philip Clarkson Webb:
Congratulations on this vital initiative! I fully support it and will pass it to my MP and MEPs. Philip.
Thomas O donovan:
Kumi Naidoo,chief exetetive of Greenpeace would like some support while he is in Davos this week trying to influence politicians and ceos to stop polluting the Earth.Kind regardsThomas.
Stephanie and Jim Lodge:
Dear Catherine and John, We wholeheartedly support this petition and letter, please add our names to your list for Friday 24th January 2014. All the best, Stephanie and Jim Lodge - Postcode: SE5 8QE
I agree with all Catherine has said. If we do not heed what nature is showing and telling us the planet will be disrupted. Do not forget that Mother Earth is a living entity. One of The Living Planets. The Beautiful Planet.
Before its too late, please do the right thing. We are merely custodians of the Earth, it is not ours to abuse in the way that we are. How more arrogant can Humankind become?
Well done, great letter, let's hope it helps to bring the politicians to their senses.
I wholeheartedly agree with the letter and the comments made by other people. Thank everyone who has taken part.
I utterly endorse the letter by Catherine and John. It's not just national politicians who just don't get the message. Shropshire was once going to be a leading council in carbon emissions. Sadly no longer.
All the people in the UK, including everyone in Parliament, must give priority to reducing carbon emissions despite any urging by the fossil fuel industries.
Gordon (and Joyce) Dykes:
We thoroughly support the message from Catherine and John and hope that many other CEL members will endorse their action.
Congratulations, Catherine and John, for writing this letter. I can't understand how so many apparently intelligent people can ignore what is for me the elephant in the room. Very little space is given to the subject of Climate Change in the media. No wonder so many young people are depressed if those in power seem to care so little about their futures.
I am appalled when I read in the press about a new airport for London. Aviation is the fastest growing source of carbon dioxide. Building airports encourages flying which we should avoid.
Thank you for this important initiative - and yes please use the words 'disastrous consequences' Andrew
The furore over Climate Change has died down in recent years, but the matter is still as urgent as ever, if not more so as more freak weather events show. Please make cutting carbon emissions a major plank of your forthcoming party election manifesto.
A recent reviewer in the TLS on the causes of World War 1 suggested that the way Europe got itself locked into inevitable conflict may resemble the way in which political short-termism and inertia are locking us into climate disaster 100 years later.
I would fully support the letter. A focus on economic growth as a priority is adding to the damage caused by the lack of concern for the environment upon which we all depend. Justice for nations which suffer the consequences of western misuse of resources and action to deal with the effects of climate change supercede party politics. We need leadership from those prepared to put this country and the world above their own interests.
Excellent letter! Let us hope and pray that its message gets across to the right people. The extreme weather events around the world in the past year have kept bringing to my mind the film "Age of Stupid". I don't think enough of our political leaders can have seen it.
With climate change and the accelerating loss of wildlife I fear my grandchildren will grow up in a world where nature has been driven to the wall. World leaders need to get together and work out ways of slowing down human population growth which is driving the mass destruction of forests and natural habitat which increases carbon emissions, flooding, etc. before it is too late. I would rather have a lower standard of living than see us continuing to destroy the planet.
I think my only comment would be that "significant consequences" isn't strong enough. I think it should be "disastrous consequences" (and not just for us humans, of course) - those many of us who try to keep up with the science are all too aware of this.
I support wholeheartedly everything written by Catherine Budgett-Meakin and John Mead. We must work out an alternative to this crazy economic growth norm. We must learn from nature of which we are a part and work with nature, not against her as we have been doing mindlessly.