Wednesday, 17 September 2014

Lancaster People's Climate Picnic this Sunday joins global call for climate action

This Sunday 21 September, people will take to the streets in towns and cities all over the planet to demand real action to tackle climate change.

It's set to be a momentous day, one not to be missed. While many Lancastrians will be travelling to London, Manchester (outside the Labour Party Conference) and Edinburgh to join the climate marches there, others will be holding a 'People's Climate Picnic' in Market Square, in Lancaster, from 1pm.

It's a bring and share event  - bring food, instruments, your friends and family and get together and talk about real, practical, local initiatives. If you plan to attend it would be good to quickly register online so that a global picture can be obtained about all the local activities. You can do that here.

You can also sign the global petition on the avaaz website here.

The timing is important. In the final week of September, world leaders will assemble in New York for a landmark climate summit - called by UN secretary general Ban Ki-moon.

Like everyone else,  Ban Ki-moon knows that, unless rapid action is taken soon, the world is headed for a climate catastrophe. That’s why he’s called this unprecedented summit now.

While leaders sit down at the UN building in New York, 100,000 people will gather on the streets outside. Here in the UK people will march in solidarity in London, Edinburgh, Manchester and throughout the country.

Climate change is the biggest threat that humanity is facing - or has ever faced. Because of this, our present generations will be remembered forever - and hopefully because we took constructive action and not because we wasted our time fighting over dwindling resources.

Ever since the industrial revolution humanity has been adapting to changes in technology and globalisation. Our numbers have expanded exponentially - between 1960 and 2010, the world population rose from 3 billion to 6.8 billion - more than double.  Currently the rate of population increase is 1.2% per year, which means the planet’s human population is on a trajectory to double again in 58 years. It's a problem and it will get far worse and make much bigger problems until it's dealt with.

In 1950, about 15% of the Earth's land surface was covered by rainforest. In fewer than fifty years, more than half of the world's tropical rainforests have fallen victim to fire and the chain saw, and approximately 150,000 acres of rainforest are burned every day. In addition to this, the burning of fossil fuels and intensive beef and dairy production release vast amounts of carbon and methane into the atmosphere, accelerating the warming effect.

The melting of the Arctic ice caps is also releasing vast quantities of methane stored in the ice and it is likely that this will accelerate climate change as it continues, unchecked. You can find out more about the science here: http://350.org/about/science/

Our major corporations and politicians seem to understand the issues in theory but don't appear to be equipped to connect this into their decision-making to adapt to changing circumstances,

This Sunday is about sending them a message, to stop the playground games and to start acting responsibly. The demand is to mobilize the world to shift to 100% clean energy.  Already, 20% of the world's electricity comes from clean energy. We just need to get our leaders to agree to speed up the changeover.

Transition City Lancaster has a great many projects running locally aimed at supporting the transition to clean energy. To find out more and to find out how you can get involved visit:
http://www.transitioncitylancaster.org/

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