Tuesday, 16 June 2015

Climate change: from the Somerset Levels to London >>> "We have to speak out to take action."

Tomorrow, a wide variety of groups will descend on London:
Futures Forum: Climate change: Speak up >>> lobbying Parliament >>> >>> Weds 17th June

Several will be coming from the West Country.

And the context for many of these will be the flooding last year:
Futures Forum: Somerset on Countryfile ... ... "Floods, Politics and Science: The Case of the Somerset Levels"
Futures Forum: Flooding in the West Country... and climate change

This extensive piece appeared in today's Western Morning News:

Flood-hit farmer to speak out at mass climate change rally

By WMNDavidWells | Posted: June 16, 2015

Liz Crew in the flood-hit village of Moorland last year

A farmer whose land was devastated by flooding on the Somerset Levels will be a leading voice among hundreds of people from across the Westcountry at a rally billed as the biggest ever climate change lobby in Westminster.

Mother-of-four Liz Crew, whose 12-acre smallholding near the village of Moorland in Somerset was swamped by flood waters as the region was battered by a series of Atlantic storms early last year, will take a prime role at the rally when she addresses the huge crowds and MPs, telling of her own personal experience of the effects climate on the weather and the environment.

She said: "It is one of those things in life that you maybe think doesn't affect you and then you get all this rain and the village is devastated and all of a sudden you realise that it does affect you.

"I am not a scientist, I cannot say categorically that this was a result of climate change but if ordinary people like me start to notice that the weather patterns have changed, that there is clearly raining more than it used to, that flowers are flowring earlier, and that it becomes obvious that something is happening, the I feel quite passionately that we have to speak out to take action."

Climate change risk

The rally is expected to bring together people from every walk of life from surfers to farmers to environmentalists who organisers say are united in their concern that climate change now poses a grave risk to the way of life they love.

The rally is being organised by the Climate Coalition which includes more than a hundred organisations, including: ActionAid, CAFOD, Christian Aid, Oxfam, RSPB, Tearfund and WWF.

Liz, who last year featured in the 'For The Love Of' campaign to lobby David Cameron and the Climate Summit gathering of nations in New York, is going to London to lobby MPs, telling them how she, along with the thousands of other people expected at the gathering, feels her way of life is threatened as a result of climate change.

She will speak about her experience of the floods when widespread flooding in early 2014 left swathes of the Westcountry under water with the Somerset Levels among the areas worst hit, including her own farmland. Parts of the Levels were left cut-off by flood waters for weeks and the storms caused millions of pounds of damage – a weather event that many scientists in this field agree was a likely result of a changing climate.

Extreme weather

Weather experts last year revealed that 2014 was the hottest year since records began – with scientists telling the United Nations that record-breaking heat combined with torrential rainfall and floods had fuelled extreme conditions that "destroyed livelihoods and ruined lives" across the world, including the extreme weather that battered the Westcountry.

People from almost every constituency in the South West are expected to meet with their MPs face-to-face on the embankment outside Westminster to explain why they want the new Parliament to support national and global efforts to hold back CO2 emissions and build a cleaner economy.

This will include Westcountry representatives from a wide range of groups including farmers, environmentalists, wildlife campaigners, religious bodies and others.

This year, global leaders will sign new agreements on climate and sustainable development and the climate lobby says these are agreements that will determine what kind of future we are shaping for our children.

The Climate Coalition wants our politicians to work together across party lines to create a low-carbon infrastructure plan, covering energy and transport and the restoration of nature. This plan should include:
> Supporting a fair global climate change agreement that will end carbon pollution from fossil fuels by the middle of the century – critical if we are to keep global temperature rises well below 2 degrees.
>Making sure the new Sustainable Development Goals to be agreed in September 2015 respond to the threat of increasing climate change and deliver low-carbon development.

> Ending climate pollution from coal use in the UK by 2023, on the way to phasing out carbon from our power system.
> Making 2 million of the UK's low-income homes highly efficient by 2020, and all 6 million low-income homes highly efficient by 2025.

Nick Bryer, Oxfam's Head of UK Campaigns, said: "Climate change is already happening and forcing the world's poorest people into living a life of hunger. Our politicians should be left in no doubt that the public see climate change as a global problem that affects us all and that we expect them to act in this important year to secure a safer future."


Devon, Cornwall and Somerset in front line as report warns of climate change impact
Somerset floods ‘made people more convinced of climate change’ say researchers
Climate change will speed up in near future - ‘forcing us to adapt how we all live’ – with more risks like flooding of Somerset Levels and storms
‘Dear Prime Minister’ - campaigners urge Cameron to tackle climate change at the New York Climate Summit ‘for the love of farming in Somerset’

Flood-hit farmer to speak out at mass climate change rally | Western Morning News

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