The strike of over a million kids around the world was not led by teachers or unions (“The hijacking of our education system gathers speed”, http://bit.ly/2WrzMIy). It was inspired by a Swedish girl, Greta Thunberg, who has told the world’s leaders “You only speak of the green eternal economic growth because you are afraid of being unpopular … You are not mature enough to tell it like it is. Even that burden you leave to your children.” Tom Fletcher would be well advised to listen to her at https://youtu.be/HzeekxtyFOY.
Mary Robinson, former UN High Commissioner for Refugees and special envoy for climate change, says that the denial of climate change is not just ignorant, but “malign and evil”, because it denies the human rights of the most vulnerable people on the planet. Robinson also says fossil fuel companies have lost their social licence to explore for more coal, oil, and gas and must switch to become part of the transition to clean energy.
The world’s scientists tell us, unequivocally, that we must reduce worldwide carbon emissions 45 per cent by 2030, and be carbon neutral by 2050, or accept that we will be, with full knowledge, causing runaway global warming and almost certainly the end of human civilization.
Energy and employment experts tell us that we will have no technical or economic problem phasing out the fossil fuel industries and creating many more jobs for workers in renewable energy and in increasing the energy efficiency of our residential and commercial infrastructure.
What we do face is resistance from vested interests who believe that their near-term profits are of greater worth than the future of humanity. More than $2 billion was spent on lobbying climate change legislation in the United States from 2000 to 2016, with the fossil fuel industry, transportation companies, and utilities outspending environmental groups and the renewable energy industry 10 to 1, according to the journal Climatic Change. As Thunberg says, “Our biosphere is being sacrificed so that already rich people can make a little bit more money.”
Industry shills like Mr. Fletcher are part of the problem and are in no way helpful in getting us going forward.