The politicians are failing us.
Even if they keep the promises they made in Paris, which is unlikely, some scientists think that temperatures would still rise by 2.7 degrees. Because beyond 2 degrees runaway global warming will take hold that means that if we cannot peg the increase below 2 we might as well do nothing at all. China says its emissions will not peak until 2030. An elementary calculation suggests that will be far too late. Christina Fugueres, the UN climate chief, says that at Paris none of the major polluters were concerned about the future of the planet at all but only their own advantage. In the UK climate was hardly mentioned in the 2015 election. Even the Green Party didn’t put it at the top of its agenda.
The present Government has undone most of even the feeble climate legislation put in place by the previous coalition, has reduced green subsidies and increased those for fossil fuel extraction. Only a week before Paris, George Osborne reneged on a commitment to spend £1bn on developing carbon capture and the first thing they did on return from Paris was to open national parks to fracking. This is despite the fact that every serious scientific study (Cornell in 2009, Harvard in 2012 and Tyndall) has reported that fracked gas is even worse than coal because of the methane emissions. Over twenty years methane is 72 times worse than CO2, just about the time we have left to save the planet. Any sane person who cares about their children, faced with the enormity of which the scientists are warning us and the little time we have left, would surely say we should put climate change right at the top of the political agenda and strain every nerve and muscle to get rid of fossil fuels a.s.a.p. But this is not the attitude of the politicians. Full of self-congratulation and complacency after Paris they show little sign of determination and urgency. Nevertheless, Paris has established the principle that after every five years nations should re-appraise their efforts. We can influence those re-appraisals but the politicians are only going to take serious action if it is clear that that is what the public wants.
Hence the need for Climate 100.
The 100 stands for 100% all out effort to get rid of fossil fuels. If a movement dedicated to this single aim can achieve success it will make it clear to the Government that they have to do far more about climate, at whatever cost. The idea of Climate 100 is to form committees in as many constituencies as possible to spread awareness and to put pressure on your local politicians. Would you like to start or join such a committee in your area?