Reading the daily email alert from Carbon Brief is fascinating and getting more and more time consuming! I have certainly noticed a real shift of media opinion towards the climate emergency over the past year, as the effects of climate change are becoming more and more immediate. There are very few denial editorials these days even if the solutions are still hotly debated.
The media is reporting growing support for the government to go further and faster such as a Guardian report that ‘Over-50s want climate crisis addressed ‘even if it leads to high prices’. There were also reports in the Independent and Daily Telegraph. It is noteworthy that The Times and Daily Telegraph have written about the threat of famine in Madagascar without disputing the first ‘climate change famine’ description.
What I found most encouraging in today’s email alert was a report on an editorial entitled ‘Don’t let climate goals be lost in culture wars – cutting emissions means decarbonising the way we live, not giving it up’ which appeared in yesterday’s Financial Times.
The editorial suggests how politicians and, by implication, campaigners should be approaching the issue of gaining public support for the changes needed to fight climate change now we can no longer rely on the low hanging fruit of removing coal from the energy mix…..
“…trying to convince everyone they must change their lifestyles radically” in order to tackle climate change is “unlikely to work: demands that essentially put the onus on individuals will alienate too many people in an environment of insufficient knowledge about what net zero means and distrust about the intentions of politicians”..
Instead, the message politicians must communicate is twofold. First, emphasise the facts: climate change is an urgent threat, it requires all of us to act – but if we act together, the sacrifices are far from prohibitive. Second, acknowledge that people will need help to take the right choices – and ensure that it is forthcoming. A consensus around mass adoption of carbon-reducing technologies can be achieved if adoption is rewarded and costless for those at the bottom. The alternatives – insufficient action, or calls for asceticism — will lead to division and failure.”
If that’s not an endorsement of Climate Income I don’t know what is! I also think it is a very useful hook for an email to a constituency MP, along with mentioning that over 100,000 people signed the ZeroC. petition and even baby boomers are willing to put their money where their mouth is. (I am afraid I fit in that category but I am sure I am not alone in wanting more support and reassurance before I replace the fairly new gas boiler!)
The UK has the chance to set an example to the world to make sure there will be no more climate change famines.
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