The world is warming. Fact.
97% of top scientists think that humans are the main cause of global warming. In 2008, many of these scientists joined forces to start writing the latest IPCC [Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change] report.
Here’s what they found: the world is warming, we are causing it, and we must pull our weight to prevent further excessive warming. Failing to do this could mean ‘severe, pervasive and irreversible impacts for people and ecosystems’. Sea levels will rise, surface temperature will increase and extreme weather patterns will become more and more frequent. Although we will all feel this change, people near the equator and by the coast will suffer the most.
Also in 2008, the then Labour government set a simple target – decrease greenhouse gas emissions by 80% by 2050. Then in 2011, the coalition government set out its ‘Carbon Plan’ to further advance the mitigation cause. In 2014 I conducted a survey of 52 people in Berkhamsted, and I found that 85% agreed with the statement: ‘Human activity causes global warming’.
It’s 2015. What will the next government look like? Well, with some parties we’ll have to wait for their manifestos; however, you’ll be relieved to hear that Ukip already has a carbon plan! I quote the party’s energy spokesman: ‘I’m no scientist, but... if Ukip is elected in May, one of the first things we’d do is repeal the Climate Change Act.’
You might be thinking that this was a throwaway comment – he might not mean it. Sadly, that’s not the case. Although local candidate Howard Koch boasts of Ukip’s plan to ‘stop green belt developments’, it is clear that this isn’t to sway ecologically minded people. Ukip is openly opposed to trains (such as the controversial yet carbon-neutral HS2), green subsidies (which encourage the development of renewables) and the Department of Energy and Climate Change (which they want to scrap altogether) - all in the name of ‘sustainable development’.
So if you’re old enough to go to the polls on the 7 May, you have a choice. You can either take on the challenge of climate change yourself, or let my generation suffer the consequences.