Brixton resident Barbara Wilson explains why she will be joining Christian Climate Action and other Extinction Rebellion supporters in action to press the government to act on the climate emergency
The earth is the Lord’s and its fullness (Psalm 24).
The world is a beautiful place, full of wondrous creatures, plants and vistas.
Many of us delight in this variety and benefit from the rich fruits of the earth. But many have been greedy and take far more than their fair share.
The impact of this is very evident all around us – loss of natural habitats and species, a dramatic increase in global warming and devastating fires in the Amazon, Australia and currently California.
Most importantly, the adverse impact is greatest for those who have the least. Nomad tribes and their grazing stock. Pacific Islanders and others where sea levels are rising. The poor in crowded cities who have few choices about how they live.
Scientists have been warning about these adverse impacts for decades.
Many of us have responded by changing our lifestyles – flying and driving less, walking more, using less water, recycling, eating less meat.
All this helps but is not enough. Many of us have marched and discussed and written to our MPs and central government. This helps too, but it’s still not enough.
So it’s time for more dramatic and decisive action which is why I’ve joined Christian Climate Action and am making a stand with them.
As a Roman Catholic I am inspired by Pope Francis’ encyclical Laudato Si – Praise be. We must hear both the cry of the earth and the cry of the poor.
Pope Francis is very clear that we all need to consume less and help each other more – working for the common good. He too calls on governments to act firmly to ensure fewer carbon emissions and lower temperatures.
We have a great opportunity as we move forward from the lockdown which helped limit the coronavirus pandemic.
We can invest in a greener jobs and infrastructure and cut our use of fossil fuels. Aid to developing countries can help them develop green economies too. And our influence in wider global fora can also help make significant change, for example when the next Climate Change conference (COP 26) is convened next year.
I am retired, living in Brixton, and the biggest impacts of climate change are unlikely to affect me dramatically.
But I have two primary school age grandchildren. They delight in finding out about nature, whether climbing trees and admiring deer in their local country park, or reading about coral reefs, or penguins in the Antarctic.
When they are adults, I hope they will continue to delight in these wonders.
I fear that if we don’t take decisive action now that may not be possible.
Why we protest and what we want
Members of Christian Climate Action will be joining activists from Extinction Rebellion in Parliament Square on Tuesday (1 September).
The aim of this Rebellion is to demand the government debates the Climate and Ecological Emergency Bill.Together, we are calling for:
MPs to support the Climate and Ecology and Emergency Bill
Agree and enact a plan to reduce the UK’s reduce carbon emissions so that we don’t go over critical rises in global temperatures
Take into account the UK’s entire carbon footprint (including our impact overseas)
Ordinary people to have a real say on climate action through citizen’s assemblies
Reform supply chains here in the UK and overseas to protect and conserve nature