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Action on climate change
It was fantastic that so many children and young people from local schools and colleges came together at New County Hall on 15th February to protest at the failure of politicians to do enough to combat climate change.
It was one of numerous “strikes” organised across the United Kingdom by the UK Student Climate Network, which itself stems from the international movement known as Youth Strike 4 Climate which was created by Greta Thunberg, who protested outside the Swedish Parliament last year.

To be frank, it was a refreshing change to what is going on in the Westminster political bubble at the present time.

The Truro demonstration followed the decision of Cornwall Council to declare a “climate emergency” and it was heartening to see one of the local organisers, Rosie Smart-Knight, calling on the UK Government “to do the same” and take meaningful action to protect the global environment.

There is a reality that the world is facing very serious environmental threats and climate change must be the defining issue of modern politics.

Indeed, in the days following the protests there have been a range of reports about the dreadful impact of climate change and how the mainstream media has failed to adequately report or analyse what has been happening.

Last week’s Guardian newspaper covered a report commissioned by Care International, which shows that “weather events claimed about 5,000 lives in 2018, and left almost 29 million people in need of humanitarian aid and emergency assistance.”

It adds that “climate change was responsible for the majority of under-reported humanitarian disasters last year, according to analysis of more than a million online news stories. Whole populations were affected by food crises in countries ravaged by drought and hurricanes such as Ethiopia and Haiti … and in Madagascar, more than a million people went hungry as corn, cassava and rice fields withered under drought and severe El Niño conditions. Almost half the country’s children have been stunted.”

A further report from the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations has raised concerns at how the “world’s capacity to produce food is being undermined by humanity’s failure to protect biodiversity,” with scientists warning that the “natural support systems that underpin the human diet” are deteriorating because of changes in land management, the loss of agricultural land and the increased use of chemicals.

It is shows that the young people of Cornwall, and further afield, are right to push for action on climate change and to put pressure on Governments to act.
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By Dick Cole. Published on 5th March 2019.

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