Why Bude-Stratton Town Council should declare a climate emergency

Opinion piece by the chair of Bude Labour Party (please note that anyone is free to send in an opinion piece):

There are some things that transcend party politics, and this is one of them.

 

In September (or October), Bude-Stratton Town Council will consider a motion to declare a Climate Emergency. The decision to begin to consider such a motion came out of a Full Council meeting in July, where there was a degree of uncertainty expressed by some councillors. There was also some doubt as to whether global heating and pollution could be described as an emergency.

 

So, let’s tell the truth.

 

The Arctic is 70% melted. At this rate of melt, ice will be 100% gone by 2022. Apart from everything this implies, ice plays a major part in reflecting sunlight and reducing global heating.

 

As I write, the Arctic is on fire; unprecedented wildfires are currently raging across the Arctic Circle, with some the size of 100,000 football fields, made worse by winds spreading the recent European heatwave North, and producing millions of tons of CO2.

 

Last year, due to multiple weather events fuelled by global heating, European food production was down 20%.

 

In 2018, Britain’s grain yield was down 40%.

 

We have a complex multi-national supply system and were able to resource food from other countries, but they are under huge climate stress as well. The traditional rainy season in central South America has failed for six years, countries that export food to us are suffering drought and famine.

 

The European Food supply system is resilient enough to recover from a single summer like 2018, but not three summers in a row. Last week, record high temperatures occurred across Europe. You cannot grow crops at 46° centigrade. How many summers before we in Bude start to worry whether there will be food on the table?

 

This is one aspect of global heating. We all know there are many more.

 

People often feel overwhelmed with the complexity of global heating, and councillors may ask, ‘What can we do?’.

 

But in an emergency things are simple. We respond to the threat that is immediate to us and act because we must.

 

Together, we can play our part in preventing the actions that have caused and are causing, this ecological crisis, and we can build a community that is resilient to the climate stresses the children of Bude, and the surrounding parishes, will face in the future.

 

Yes, we need a government that will make and support bold actions in coordination with other governments.

 

Yes, Cornwall Council has declared a Climate Emergency, but we cannot wait for someone else to look to our community.

 

Lostwithiel, Wadebridge, and Camelford are among Cornish Town Councils who have declared a Climate Emergency. As more Parish and Town councils join them, there will emerge a network of local communities who will be able to work together to make decisions informed by the need to fight the Climate Emergency in their local areas –through conserving energy and their environment, through investing in local energy projects, and through telling the truth. They will be able to coordinate with Cornwall Council, who in turn will be able to seek support from government.

 

But only a Parish or Town Council will have the local knowledge to work with local people in making positive changes in their own local area.

 

This is why Bude-Stratton Town Council should play its part and declare a Climate Emergency.

 

Councillors will be committing themselves to think and act now because our children may not be able to act in the future. Declaring a Climate Emergency is a step in a series of steps in the right direction. It is the right thing to do, and we in Bude Branch Labour Party support all councillors and groups who are working towards this necessary first local step.

 

But we need people who live and work in Bude to inform councillors that they want them to declare a Climate Emergency. ‘Climate Action Bude’ has a petition you can sign (available in the Refill Shop). There is an opportunity to write letters or emails to councillors, so they understand that you feel urgent action needs to be taken.

 

In this way, we can all support Bude-Stratton Town Councillors so that they can confidently declare a Climate Emergency, play their part, and begin to take the steps that will secure our community’s future.

 

 

 

12 Comments

  • Dennis Jeffery says:

    You say the arctic is 70% melted,from when? the last ice age. As to food production, how many have a fruit and veg patch rather than a lawn with a decking area and a paved area to park their cars.

    • mel says:

      Dear Dennis Jeffery,
      I encourage you to do research on the scientific information – if you don’t know where to find it, at least go to Extinction Rebellion site where a great deal has been pulled together already – not contrived, just put in this place for reference.
      There are many other resources too of course but this is easily accessible in the transcripts of their introductory talks.

      Re decking, paving etc – this is just why we all need to be understanding the urgency and revert to a mentality in which we are involved and closer to nature instead of alienating ourselves by ‘cleaning’ our lifestyle. We are (human) animals, reliant on the stability of the natural environment, with seasonal fluctuations, which we would understand and empathise with, if we had not cut ourselves off. In this ‘advanced’ civilization we have lost touch with who and what we really are and how Nature interacts – we are not in charge – Nature is!

  • Paul Sousek says:

    Excellent article
    Thank you Steve

    Let’s open our eyes and face reality

  • Scott Boram says:

    comment amended for publication – 70% melt, the year 2022…Lies nothing but lies…do your homework people, check your facts.

  • Paul Sousek says:

    The 10 hottest years ever have occurred since 2000.
    How can anyone still be in denial?
    Join the Extinction Rebellion in North Cornwall to force a change of direction.
    https://www.facebook.com/groups/XRNorthCornwall/

  • mel says:

    Dear Scott Boram,
    You are obviously a skeptic – but can you deny the evidence before your eyes, if you watch the news, of the increase in frequency and severity of recent climate episodes? I can’t believe you have missed it.

  • Steve Haynes says:

    Hi there,

    Thanks for your comments. One thing I would like to address is Climate Science Denial. When people understandably attempt to avoid the facts, they attempt to question scientific observation. There are no ‘equal’ amount of scientific facts to rebuke the climate crisis; in 2015 a survey of all Scientific Published papers revealed a 99.9% consensus for man-made global heating – out of 69,406 publishing scientists – only 4 were uncertain.

    I know that will not convince those who would rather avoid such information, but that’s okay because they are now a small minority of the general public. In the most recent ComRes poll, 71% of Britons said that the climate crisis is more important than Brexit, and should be our new Prime Minister’s top priority.

    People can see what is happening around them now, in our own country, across Europe, and around the world. Climate Emergencies are be declared by governing bodies across the UK as councilors step-up. In Cornwall, 13 Town Councils and another 23 Parish Councils have declared a Climate Emergency, there will be more.

    It is now time for Bude-Stratton Town Councillors to do their bit.

  • JOHN TRINICK says:

    Sorry really not understanding this. Why should Bude-Stratton Town Councillors be spending time and resources on declaring a climate change emergency? Will it change anything? No! Will it help prevent climate change? No! Will it help people feel better about themselves whilst they continue to live their lives in the same way? Possibly! The town council should concentrate on things they actually can do rather than jumping on the band wagon of something they have little or no influence over. Its like the council declaring that poverty is bad, we all know that’s the case but the town council declaring it isn’t going to stop it , or prevent it. Tell me how this will actually change things and I’ll support it, if not how about concentrating on things you can change and do for the local community!

    • Paul Sousek says:

      Aaah, there is a bit more to it than that.
      The Council would not just declare an emergency, it would also bind itself to act upon it.
      In particular, it would be obliged to consider all future decisions in the light of this emergency and consider whether the decision will aid or hinder efforts to Climate Change and whether or not the decision will aid or hinder Bude area’s capacity for sustainable resilience in the face of the now certain changes in our Climate.

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