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Yes there is an emergency

February 27, 2019 3:59 PM

Yesterday Wiltshire Council passed a motion acknowledging that there's a climate emergency. Almost everyone in the chamber accepted the reality of runaway climate change, and much of the debate centred around whether or not we should be using big scary words like 'emergency', or doing the usual public sector routine of observing, monitoring, and putting off doing anything useful.

It was widely expected that the motion would be defeated as Jane Scott's administration was against it, and had itself put forward a more wishy-washy alternative motion on climate change.

In fact enough Conservatives had the bottle to vote with the opposition and the motion was passed by 36 votes to 32, with 7 abstentions. The harmless Conservative motion was also passed, with all-party support.

Wiltshire is 1% of the UK and the UK is 1% of the world, so this won't save the planet. However as other local authorities adopt similar policies it helps to pressurise governments and multi-nationals, who are in a position to make a real difference, to do so.

On a pleasant February day in England it may seem as if global warming is nothing to worry about. However over the next couple of decades it will cause disruption to food supplies, changes to sea level, more high-energy weather events, conflict and warfare, migration and displacement of populations, environmental degradation, continuing mass extinction, economic turbulence and political instability.

That's why it's an emergency.