The end of hope

:: politics, doomed, climate

Being another letter I will not send to my MP.

Dear Mr Stride

I’d like to ask you about some recent policies of the government of which you are a member.

  • The government is vigorously opposed to actions to reduce emissions from vehicles in cities. This will damage the health of almost everyone, and of course put further stress on the health service. But the people who will be most likely to die or have seriously damaged health over their lives are children.
  • The government is also vigorously opposed to actions to improve the habitability of towns and cities for pedestrians and improving road safety, such as low-traffic areas and lowered speed limits. Again the people most likely to die or be harmed by this will be children.
  • The government is in the process of reducing its commitment to addressing anthropogenic global warming, because ‘we are doing enough’. That is a lie as I am sure you know: we are not doing enough. Although the rate of current warming is extremely high, it is still fairly slow by human standards. It is hurting us today but it will get far more serious over the next few decades unless we do something serious very soon. You and I will probably not live to see things get really bad. Your children probably will, and their children certainly will. Yet again the people most damaged by this are children.

These are counsels of despair: the government has simply given up hope for the future. The message sent to children and young people is that the government does not care about them, at all, and that it is entirely willing to sacrifice their lives and their futures to keep itself in power for a little longer, because that is all it can think of doing. What hope can they have for their futures when faced with behaviour like this?

Indeed, what hope should any of us have when our government is happy to sacrifice children to stay in power? I can see none.

I woud be grateful if you would answer two questions. Do you support these policies? If so, why?

Yours sincerely

I was tempted to add the recent approval of the Rosebank oil field to the list above, but I think it does not belong there. It is obvious to anyone thinking at all about it that no oil will ever come from Rosebank, as it will be cancelled by the next government: it will have no climate impact. But there will of course be fees when the contract is cancelled, to be paid to the oil companies by the government. Cui prodest scelus, is fecit.