I AM writing out of extreme concern about the unfolding climate crisis. Most media outlets are downplaying its severity, by running stories with pictures of crowded beaches and happy children enjoying eating ice creams, when the reality is pretty bleak.

The climate crisis is already having profound effects on Europe and the UK, with increasing drought conditions, wildfires, poor harvests forecast and also abrupt thunderstorms and downpours leading to soil erosion, damaged crops and property.

The toll of the increasingly erratic hot weather has also been borne by the young, the elderly and the medically vulnerable.

Of course the change in climate has been occurring for decades, since the industrial revolution, and has exerted its main impact on Africa and the countries of the Indian subcontinent until now.

It is now a matter of urgency that all carbon emissions are reduced as quickly as possible, so no new coal, oil or gas exploration should be licensed, and that all energy investments should be for on- and off-shore wind, solar and hydro or tidal power, in line with the decisions made by the Climate Assembly funded by the UK government itself.

To avert a total climate catastrophe, we have to try to make conscious choices with environmental needs at the forefront of our thinking at all levels: personal, familial, neighbourhood, community, regional, national and international.

Media outlets must tell the truth: that we are already at 1.2C of global warming above pre-industrial levels, and that there are already ‘baked in’ effects that will make it very hard to keep warming within 1.5 degrees, as agreed by COP26.

You must make stringent efforts to counter the fossil fuel lobby that wields so much economic and political power, and counter it with the truth, which is that we already have the technologies that can save our planet, its flora, fauna and people from the ravages of climate change, but only if we as people, and our governments and nations choose to invest in them.

We desperately need a national and indeed international strategy to include a Green New Deal, so that people can be employed to do urgent environmental jobs such as insulating homes and buildings, rewilding projects, such as restoring our precious peatlands which if carefully protected are a massive carbon sink, and tree planting to restore much of the broadleaved wildwood which we have lost.

We need to continue to highlight the critical importance of halting and reversing climate change, before tipping points are reached and our planet is irredeemably doomed.


Caroline Spencer-Palmer