Sunday, April 21, 2019

Biff’s Easter Message 2019

Today, Easter Sunday, Passover, the first Sunday after the full moon following the Spring equinox, many people celebrate an event that may have happened about 2000 years ago in Palestine; others celebrate events that may have happened in the Bronze Age in Egypt; yet others celebrate more ancient traditions of springtime.
But who looks 2000 years and further into the future? By then most of the world’s great ice masses, already out of equilibrium with today's climate, now over 1°C warmer than before we started burning the coal, will have melted, raising sea levels by 50 metres or more. Many of today’s cities will lie deep underwater and much of today's most productive farmland will be drowned. Unless rapid mitigation measures are enacted immediately temperatures will rise to the point at which much of the Earth's land surface will be uninhabitable. Civilisation as we know it will have been long gone. Whether the human species will be extinct or whether remnant populations will have found ways and means to survive is uncertain. What is certain is that the Holocene, those several thousand years of climate stability during which human civilisation developed and then inadvertently and irreversibly, changed the Earth's climate, will be long gone.
This moment is our best, our only, our last chance to change course. It requires a rebellion against all that led us to this position.
In the UK some continue to claim that the UK is a world leader on climate change. They point out that in 2008 the Labour government introduced the Climate Change Act. At the time, the UK was indeed the world leader, but of a very poor bunch. Not only was that legislation weak and not fit for the purpose of saving civilisation from climate catastrophe, but the UK is currently on a trajectory that will miss the legal commitments:
"Climate Change Act 2008 Section 1. The target for 2050
(1) It is the duty of the Secretary of State to ensure that the net UK carbon account for the year 2050 is at least 80% lower than the 1990 baseline."
The current Secretary of State, Michael Gove, is acting outwith the Law.
#ExtinctionRebellion does not call for 80% reduction by 2050 but 100% reduction by 2025. It is an ambitious target which itself will only mitigate and not stop the destruction. Some decry it as too difficult, even impossible. Not achieving this target, however, brings intolerable consequences for the next generation.
The gulf between government complacency and the existential requirement of the next generation is unbridgeable. Either the government will change or the lives of our grand-children will be nasty, brutish and short.
It is the duty of everyone to join the Extinction Rebellion.
Happy Easter.


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