There is an issue that, over the last few months, has taken over the political, economic and social scenes of our country. An issue that has gotten much international attention, from politicians, celebrities, academics, and the conservationist himself- Sir David Attenborough.
But though the issue, believed by many to be worthy, has certainly consumed these scenes and been on the forefront of many people’s minds, it has also caused much division. It has caused wide scale protest on the streets of our busiest cities, and our capital. It has ripped apart the narrative on social media and it has caused an uproar with those who do not recognise the scale of the problem. The issue is, as many may have guessed, climate change. Or rather, our action to combat climate change and the environmental impacts that we, and future generations, may have to bear.
‘Just a Theory’
This is an issue, seen by many as ‘just a theory’, that has been investigated by numerous independent and international authorities. It has been used as a speaking point for many great and worldly renowned scientists and environmentalists. It has been the subject of much speculation and has been passed off, even by some lawmakers and leaders abroad, as being a
hoax invented by the Chinese. Why the Chinese would do this no-one knows.
A Changing World is Real.
But what is real, and what should be undisputed, is that our planet is changing. One only has to look at the polar ice caps melting, the polar animals being left displaced hundreds of miles from home, the villages being flooded because of rising sea levels, and the fact that the science
community recognise a problem, to see that there is one.
Now, we, as the general public, are beginning to see it too. We are beginning to recognise that there is a large, and undeniable problem that we are facing. That, for the good of ourselves, our children, and our grandchildren, action must be taken. Those who stand in the way of climate progress should be replaced. If peaceful protest and debate is ignored, then more radical steps must be taken. Steps shown masterfully by the Extinction Rebellion group who understand that now is not a time for overpowering discussion, but more radical changes through action.
Activists who, using glue, microphones and vans, not uncommon in fair grounds, have made their point clear and disrupted many in London. But we should have nothing but admiration for these peaceful, and yet wholly radical, activists. Yes, you may get to work late. Yes, you may face traffic trouble. Yes, you may be annoyed with the disruption. But at least your homes aren’t being flooded, like the Oxfam reported 41 million that, since June 2017, have been. At least your crop fields aren’t being dampened out with infertile soil caused by long lasting drought. At least your places of work are not being swept up by hurricanes or toppled down by earthquakes. Because that is what is happening around the world. That is what is happening in places like Haiti, South Asia and East Africa. One only has to see the images of the poor families, the children affected, to want to stand up, shout and stamp one’s foot on the ground in the pursuit of change.
So yes, you may be totally and utterly wound up, but these people are acting in your best interests. They are fighting, peacefully, for action. They seek action to protect our planet and set the real goals that our country, and others, must meet in order to ensure long term and sustainable security.
We Stand Up. We Protect.
We, in the United Kingdom, have always stood up to protect ourselves and our allies. Now we must do the same to protect our planet. We have fought against evil, wherever it lies. We have put an end to corrupt and totalitarian regimes. We have fought in the bloodiest wars ever fought, twice. So I will not accept that, in the face of this challenge, we cannot rise. That we will be
defeated by the enemy: global warming. That we will turn our backs on economically sound, and even prosperous, ideas to transform our nation into a nation of the future. I will not accept that we, together, cannot fight to come up with a solution. I will not accept that our government, or any government, cannot listen when it comes to our needs, as the people. I will not deny the very real threat that climate change poses.
To say, as many have, that peaceful protests and strikes, even by young people, haven’t achieved anything would be doing a grave disservice to those whose 1913 peaceful protest (the ‘Suffrage Parade’) led to the suffrage of women in the United Kingdom. Or to the non-violent boycott of Montgomery Buses in order to protest racial discrimination that led the US Supreme Court to rule that segregation on public buses was illegal. You see, when we come together, act together, work together, as proven throughout history, by peaceful means of protest and strike, we can make change.
And so, we should stand with Extinction Rebellion. We should stand with the young, and yet compassionately powerful, Greta Thunberg. We should stand with Sir Attenborough, and all those who seek change. For we stand, not alone, but with many, now, and who are yet to be. Our future. Our country. Our planet. We have a chance to change our direction and forge a new destiny. We cannot pass up that chance. We must act.