Today, July 11, the Chief Scientific Adviser, Sir Patrick Vallance, will brief MPs on the climate and ecological emergency, the greatest challenge humanity has ever faced – making this arguably Westminster’s most-important-ever briefing.
So I was dismayed to learn that my MP Anthony Mangnall will not be attending, owing to a clash with a Conservative Environment Network (CEN) field trip. Anthony may accept the science, but many of his colleagues are rather more closed-minded and hence worryingly ill-informed – and CEN members can set an important example by attending.
Anthony has assured me he wishes to see the UK ‘continue its world leading role’ on tackling climate change, but Chris Stark, Climate Change Committee CEO, last week issued the grave warning that only 39 per cent of the cuts in emissions needed to meet the government’s targets are covered by credible policies. The committee’s chair, Lord Deben, cautioned that “the UK’s leadership will only be accepted by the rest of the world if we have a proper programme to deliver what we’ve promised” – and we patently do not have that programme.
I’ve listened to Anthony’s assurances for well over two years, yet we head further and further off track. Meanwhile the terrible impacts of global warming arrive at a mounting pace which, as the magazine Nature explains, may soon ‘outstrip the ability of many communities to adapt’.
I strongly urge Anthony to reconsider, and to attend on 11 July. The science of the climate and nature crisis is complex and continually evolving. I believe that if Anthony fully understood the seriousness of the situation, he would speak out for the ‘rapid, far-reaching and unprecedented changes in all aspects of society’ that the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC, the United Nations’ expert panel) has said are necessary to avoid a calamitous future.
If you agree with me, please make your views known to Anthony, or whoever your MP may be. www.zerohour.uk/emergency-briefing
Simon Oldridge, Science Liaison, Zero Hour