I travelled to the climate change demo on Saturday from Stockport with The Co-op. Good to be journeying first class on Virgin Trains to London for £15. Thanks to the Co-op and their all volunteers for organising a really good trip.
But what of the demo? Well it was a really good day - long - but well worth it. There isn't a great deal of climate change activism in deepest Cheshire apart from a few pockets of stirling work like Ashton Hayes. I have been struggling to get a group going in my village so I went with some friends from a small local group a couple of miles away. I'm an experienced protestor and I hate to come across as churlish but there was a flaw - no final rally. A finish in Trafalgar Square with a few good speakers would have left everyone leaving on a high. As it was the demo ended in an anticlimax.
Those of us who believe in man-made climate change are having a tough time at the moment as I noted in this recent post. There is a backlash going on and there are two main reasons for it:
1. powerful vested interests in energy and other sectors feel they have much to lose if we adopt the measures necessary to combat climate change. They are working hard to prevent those changes from happening.
2. selfish individualism - this has become much more chronic in my lifetime. The more people have - the more they want. Its a form of addiction as serious as heroin or nicotine. All this has been fostered by governments and the media in the past 30 years - since the advent of Thatcherism. There's a large estate near me - four bedroom detached houses, gigantic TVs, four cars on every driveway, a Nintendo Wii in every house - no doubt. Its not that some of these people don't care but there is a terror of having to give some - in fact - any of this up. Public transport? Cycling to work? - not me thanks!
I won't labour the last point because I've dealt with it before - see the previous post I referred to. The reality is that we are living an unsustainable lifestyle. Things will have to change soon - whether we like it or not.
Interesting to see that Gordon Brown and David Milliband have been attacking the climate change deniers with some vigour. How do they square this with New Labour's deep love affair with the 'free' market and unsustainable growth?
Footnote: nice to have Gordon's approval for attending a demo. Was he there? I didn't see him - or David.