Jonathan Bartley is a safe pair of hands representing the Green Party, but he did miss a trick on BBC Radio 4 when Frazer Nelson dismissed climate breakdown as alarmist.
Jonathan did say that the whole world needed to pull together, and the audience was clearly with him. I need hardly repeat the evidence – a monsoon in Kerala last autumn, and not one but two cyclones in Mozambique – all three worse than anything previous, and another in India in yesterday’s news, all consistent with scientific projections. Nasty movements have arisen in Nigeria and Syria where abnormal weather patterns have caused crop failures. No nasty developments in Lapland or Mongolia – just the destruction of traditional ways of life. Coral bleaching?? But I must not go on.
We XR activists believe that the threat we face globally is greater than that faced by Britain from Nazi Germany in 1940. Imagine if someone then had cherry-picked a few statistics out of context to describe the Nazi threat as alarmist.
But Jonathan should have pointed out that Britain has merely outsourced its emissions. They are still happening, indeed increasing, but mostly in China. He could also have mentioned the proliferation of food banks since the introduction of benefit sanctions in relation to Nelson’s claim of less poverty than at some past epoch.
But it should not have taken our deliberately unreasonable XR actions to rouse the public from consumerist hypnotism. In 1940 the government had no problem either introducing high taxation, rationing, to ensure that everyone had enough, or widespread requisition of powerful vested interests perceived as necessary. Are the public, or the said vested interests ready for that yet?
In addition to the above, here is what I keep hoping to hear a Green say on Any Questions or TV’s Question Time:
The alternatives are not an ecological catastrophe, and some sort of normality if only governments do what is necessary, but the certainly of the catastrophe, and a period of austerity which Is likely to be longer and deeper than 2007-8. In fact it may well dwarf 1940. It is all too obvious why politicians have avoided this existential problem.
[There will be a passage re taxation and requisition of whatever is needed], but the Green Party’s unconditional basic (citizens’) income (UBI) will be much more efficient and foolproof than rationing as a means of ensuring that resources are properly shared. But the sooner the mind set change from growth to protecting the ecosphere which the UBI makes possible, the better.
I am sure Jonathan or Sian Berry could express the gist much better than this. I look forward to it.