I was at the Climate March 2010 today (yes, I know, I could have been shutting down Topshop – what can I say, fashion has never been my thing) and at the rally at parliament, Caroline Lucas MP was speaking. She said that she was actually kind of bored of public meetings, of speeches, of debates (pointing out that only 12 MPs attended the debate in the House of Commons about Climate Change and the Cancún summit) and even (gasp!) of climate marches. She pointed out that time was short – we have, by most estimates, between 5 and 8 years before we have damaged our world to such an extent that catastrophic climate change is unstoppable. That estimate of 5 to 8 years really resonates with me right now – my nephew was born just over a month ago. We have until he starts junior school (and is the age of the children I teach now) to basically save the planet.
So how? As Caroline pointed out, we don’t have time for debates, meetings, marches. We need to act. Government need to get their heads out of their arses and act, and we need to pressure them to do it. The Centre for Alternative Technology have recently released the ZeroCarbonBritain2030 Report, which lays out, in detail, how Britain could be a zero carbon nation by 2030. Really, it seems obvious: we get to create hundred of thousands of jobs, we get to be world leaders in low and zero carbon technology, we change society for the better for everyone – oh yeah, and we help to save the planet and her 6 million residents. Everyone wins.
However, it’s becoming increasingly clear that governments worldwide are not going to act unless there is massive pressure from the public and from campaign groups. That’s where groups like Climate Rush come in, a group that Caroline Lucas paid tribute to today – and of which I’m a proud part. Our slogan, “Deeds Not Words” makes it plain where our sympathies lie. We take our inspiration from the suffragettes, who refused to give up until they had reached their goal. Emmeline Pankhurst said it beautifully:
“You have to make more noise than anybody else, you have to make yourself more obtrusive than anybody else, you have to fill all the papers more than anybody else, in fact you have to be there all the time and see that they do not snow you under, if you are really going to get your reform realized.”
These are the words that we at Climate Rush live and act by. We apply pressure through creative, elegant direct action, demanding that people sit up and take notice. If you (along with the overwhelming majority of scientific opinion – you’re in good company on this one) believe that the climate emergency cannot wait, then join us at Climate Rush and refuse to rest until we have realized the changes that the whole earth so desperately needs. We are running out of time.