Climate change is an emergency which demands an emergency response – from each of us

The climate is changing at an unprecedented rate because of the impact of human activity on Earth – 170 times faster than it has changed with natural forces alone. The world has certainly been hotter before now but this exceptionally rapid change is dangerous because the high rate of global warming can overwhelm the ability of many marine and land species to adapt to it and we depend on the natural world which we take too much for granted for the air we breathe, clean water, suitable conditions for growing the food we eat, pollination of most of our foods as well as the plants that underpin the ecosystems that support us, for many raw materials, for the breakdown and recycling of all organic waste matter, flood alleviation and so on. For our lives.

Close the windows in a greenhouse, conservatory or parked car on a sunny summer’s day and it doesn’t feel too hot to begin with but the temperature soon climbs to an uncomfortable and possibly dangerous level. Similarly, there is a delay operating in the effect of our so-called greenhouse gas emissions on global temperatures and sea level rise (mainly from carbon dioxide from burning fossil fuels and methane from land use changes and animal agriculture). We can expect global temperatures to become 2-30C warmer than pre-industrial temperatures and the sea level to rise 15-24 metres higher from our emissions so far based on the scientific evidence of conditions the last time the atmospheric carbon dioxide was this high. Global temperature rises now calculated retrospectively as an average over the previous 30-year period stand at a little over 10C with dangerous years already anticipated. The sea has already risen such that, for example, it will be flooding a considerable part of Somerset (assuming moderate cuts in pollution and moderate luck). Climate Central Coastal Risk Screening tool

It is important to recognize that if we wait until things are intolerable for us by that time the actions that could have stopped it early on will have become insufficient. The window of opportunity is closing fast.

In the words of the UN Secretary General, we need not only climate action but also climate justice. Political leaders must raise their ambition, businesses must raise their sights and people everywhere must raise their voices. There is a better way, and we must take it. Unprecedented sums of taxpayers’ money are being spent on the economic recovery from Covid-19. How this money is spent will be a “make-or-break moment” for the health of our planet. We have a narrow window, but vast opportunity, to rebuild a cleaner, fairer and safer world.

Each one of us has more impact than we realize. If we carry on regardless it sends a signal to our friends and family that everything is fine. It’s not. If we make a stand and calculate and take responsibility for our own emissions it sends out ripples that action is needed.

On September 25th we can stand up for our future with the Global Day of Action being organized by 25

Homes for trees needed! There is money for 200 or so trees to help provide food (hazelnuts), shade and shelter from heatwaves in our gardens and public spaces within the village, as well as food, shelter and homes for wildlife. Please get in touch by the end of August. We also hope to muster enough volunteers to plant a decent length of wildlife-friendly hedge somewhere in the village safe from stock and next to or near a footpath. We’d love to hear from you if you have suitable land. We would like to raise funds to purchase land for a community orchard and wildlife area within or close to the village if anyone has an acre or two available please?


Milborne Port Climate and Nature Action