Information Landmine

"The Americans keep telling us how successful their system is. Then they remind us not to stray too far from our hotel at night." - An un-named EU trade representative quoted during international trade talks in Denver, Colorado, 1997.

Monday, March 16, 2009

We don't have to be stupid

Climate change has never been my issue. I've recycled, used public transport and offset my carbon after flying, but I've never cared enough to do more, I never felt the need to do more. I've had more to worry about with refugees and racism and feeding the poor and all those other issues of social justice that make me angry and make me rant to my friends and write on this blog and sign petitions and organise demos and all kinds of things.

But last night, I realised that I was wrong.

The Age of Stupid premiered last night and I sat there and realised how wrong I had been. In 2055, it shows the world having been all but destroyed by climate change. 2055. That's not far off in the future. It is reasonable for me to expect to be alive then. I'll be barely even drawing my pension.

So, a high impact movie that really gets you, even people like me who start to think they have seen everything and nothing gets them in the gut anymore. Followed by a high impact reaction from Pete Postlelthwaite who promised to give back his OBE and never again vote Labour if plans for the Kingsnorth coal plant went ahead.

Powerful stuff, the look on Ed Miliband's face brought a sympathetic sigh from the people around me in the cinema. Even I may have felt sorry for him for a split second. However, he opened his mouth and sadly what came out of it was once again passing the buck to India and China and the UK was taking no responsibility at all.

I'm not willing to say that I will never vote Labour again, because I simply do not know what will happen in 20 years time and I'm not willing to make such false promises. But the truth remains that hundreds of thousands of people in the UK marched against the Iraq War in 2003 and not only did the UK go in, but six years later and we're still there.

Maybe it's time for us to exercise this democratic right that we hold. That principle that our government want to defend so strongly for other nations. Maybe it's time to say that if you're not going to listen to what we want, we don't want you.

Maybe we all need to see that if we don't deal with climate change, if we don't go to Copenhagen in December 2009 with the right kind of plan, then there might not be any other issues to fight.

I think Pete Postlelthwaite made a mistake when he said he would never again vote Labour if they don't get it right on this issue. But we have to hold our government to account for the decisions they make and the actions they take. Maybe, just maybe, this climate change issue might be the single issue that we should vote on.

(N.B. I shall, with the help of my mate Ben, endeavour to write something more to convince you all of the importance of stopping climate change than just my own conviction. In the meantime, watch the film. It can't hurt.

And finally... those avid readers amongst you must have been going cold turkey with a whole month without your IL fix (there must be a couple of you, surely?!).
What can I say? We've all been slightly busy with personal lives and trying to earn a crust in the last few weeks. I'm sure half the point of a team blog is that you don't all disappear at once, but that seems to be just what we did. Sorry. But never fear, my crust is now as secure as it's ever going to be and my personal life about to fly, so I for one will (probably) be writing more.
And that thought alone should be enough to scare the IL boys out of hibernation...)


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Jayne,

The issue of climate change is one of economics and not the environment. As long the economic benefits (most visible and felt) continue to outweigh the "environmental costs" (less visible and difficut to quantify, no government labour or tory is going to sign any climate change deal. That`s the hard truth of it.


18 March, 2009 19:50  

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