Recently, transport was disrupted in our big cities by climate change protestors. Meanwhile, outside Chester Town Hall on recent Fridays, school children have gathered away from school to make similar protests.
These are both part of wider global activities to protest against the lack of action to address the growing climate change emergency.
Amazingly, there are some folk who still claim there is no such thing as human-made climate change.
This despite the fact that every leading climatologist and earth scientist anywhere in the world agrees that it is a fact.
The reason that people deny climate change is simple: if they accept it as fact, then they have to change their ways. Often this means the world’s super-rich or big global corporations who do not want the costs associated with changing their ways, or the costs of stopping polluting altogether.
These are global challenges and need a global response. Sadly we seem to be going backwards. Predictably, President Trump has withdrawn the USA from the international Paris accord to tackle emissions. China is badly failing to address its own emissions as it continues industrialisation.
Brazil’s new President Bolsonaro is allowing much greater deforestation in the Amazon rainforest.
And the UK’s decision to leave the EU means we lose the collective strength to take on big global companies who pollute, such as those car manufacturers cheating on their emissions figures.
Yet we still need to take action individually and at home. The government pulled the rug from under the solar and onshore wind energy sectors – both of which we previously led the world. We must resist going down the route of allowing fracking, as shale gas is hugely polluting.
Public transport is too expensive and unreliable in the UK. Whether that’s buses in to town from villages like Dodleston, which has seen its services cut, or commuter train services to Manchester which are woefully slow and overcrowded, it’s all too easy just to take the car.
People won’t buy electric cars until there are more charging points in town. People won’t cycle until there are more cycle racks and the roads are safer.
If we think about all the challenges, both global and local, they seem overwhelming and we can be tempted to hide away and wish they weren’t there.
But the inconvenient truth is that we now have less than twelve years to act just to keep global temperature increases down to 1.5 degrees. The UK can and must show the way: there is now a global climate emergency. We as individuals can make a difference every day: the smallest actions can lead to global change.