11 August 2020
What is Talking Points?
Cambridge News asks a representative of each local political party to answer a question on a local issue in just 300 words. The answers are then published in the physical copy of the Cambridge News every fortnight. Here, we share our response to the question.
Today's Question: is activism an effective way of addressing climate change
In short, yes. Unquestionably, the human caused climate crisis has arrived. In order to lessen the coming impact we must urgently and drastically reduce CO2 emissions. It is clear that Governments aren’t acting fast enough, if at all.
So each and every one of us has to become an activist in some way: on a personal level, or by joining others such as our neighbours or local community. We need to act together, both on specific issues – such as conserving a river or reducing litter or plastic - and on systemic issues by, for example, putting pressure on our Local Authorities. We can choose to vote for people with integrity that understand and prioritise climate issues. It’s crucial to speak up and to make change - both on the small-scale, locally, and within the bigger picture where political power operates: Government, business, and the many networks running between them.
The Green Party is unified in its desire for a low carbon, just future and green transition. The wave of green activism in the last few years shows more and more people are waking up to the reality facing us. Extinction Rebellion has been highly effective at putting climate change on the agenda nationally and internationally. The Transition network, including Transition Cambridge, has been taking action on energy, transport and food, along with lobbying groups such as Greenpeace and Friends of the Earth.
Everyone can find a form of activism that suits them. I personally am spearheading a campaign to get oak saplings planted this winter, hopefully 30,000, which would otherwise be burnt following a change in Government planting plans. This will increase our small island’s reduced tree cover, and is a small positive action in the midst of our global crises (see www.savetheoaks.org).
Our response was written by James Murray-White. James is a committee member of Cambridge Green Party. He is also a writer, filmmaker, and activist.