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Bickering over climate change won’t solve the problem

Our house is on fire. Greta Thunberg is right; our ice caps are melting, the world is warming and people’s homes are being flooded. But, you’ve heard this all before. And still, you picked up a single-use coffee cup today because it’s convenient, you grabbed a meal deal in between lectures without a thought given to the non-compostable packing.

Climate change is unavoidable, and we all know that it’s happening. But, we don’t act with urgency. Why? Because it’s easier to be ignorant and blame others. Yet it’s not just ordinary citizens ignoring the climate emergency, our politicians are passing the buck too.

When politicians stand for positions of power, they pretend to care about the planet, and maybe they do care, but their focus is usually primarily on the economy, public services and party politics. It’s more urgent, it’s more pressing, it’s more likely to win them votes. This shouldn’t be the case. Politicians must realise that nothing is more important than climate change. Our house is on fire, and politicians need to put out the flames. They need to stop bickering over Brexit and grab a fire extinguisher. 

It’s easy to forget about the climate emergency, as party leaders often do

Extinction Rebellion think they’re saving the planet by blocking major cities. Yes, they are raising the profile of the cause – that can only be a good thing. But, they are dividing our country and causing commuting chaos. Whilst their dedication to the cause is admirable, their methods make people feel angry and frustrated. People disagree with their obstructive methods. Earlier this year, they blocked the London underground during major protests. Bad move: public transport is one of the most climate efficient methods of transport. Blocking the tube isn’t going to help anybody. They have even blocked ambulances from moving through streets, putting lives at risk. 

Boris Johnson has called Extinction Rebellion protesters ‘uncooperative crusties’. I’m not sure if anyone has told the PM that his father, Stanley Johnson, is a high-profile supporter of their cause. Calling climate protesters ‘crusties’ won’t benefit anybody, either. This insult may help the Conservatives win voters, but bickering isn’t going to stop our house from burning.

Political bickering needs to stop to allow party leaders to make decisions on behalf of the country

So, how can politics help to minimise our climate disaster? Progressive, and, at times, politically unpopular, policies need to be introduced by major party leaders. The climate emergency needs to be our politicians’ main priority. Forget Brexit for a minute – that can wait. Nothing is more pressing than the climate emergency. Party leaders need to sit down and put aside their political loyalties. But, talking isn’t enough – they need to act, and act quickly. We’ve wasted too much time already. Political bickering needs to stop to allow party leaders to make decisions on behalf of the country. Carbon emissions need to be reduced in order to stop this house from burning.

It’s easy to forget about the climate emergency, as party leaders often do. It doesn’t seem pressing and it isn’t very glamorous. But, we all have a responsibility to save our planet from burning. Boris Johnson needs to sit down with all the party leaders, they need to put aside political differences and just talk about the most pressing issue – the climate emergency. The government needs to listen to Extinction Rebellion, even if they are ‘uncooperative crusties’. We need to listen to one another.

Our house is on fire – we need to all grab a fire extinguisher.

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