The number of activists and citizens across the world challenging the fossil fuel industry and demanding radical action on climate change is increasing. In advance of the upcoming Climate Summit in New York, people are being urged – wherever in the world they are – to join in the People’s Climate Mobilisation for their Global Day of Action. Simultaneous marches and gatherings will take place in cities across the world, in order to send a clear and unavoidable signal to the world’s elite that action is urgently needed!
The growing mobilisation of people across the globe against the climate crisis is being likened to the movements against racism in the USA or apartheid in South Africa, and in reality, a similar level of public outrage is required.
In Dublin, members of the public are invited to attend the Climate Picnic this Sunday afternoon 21 September from 12 – 2pm at the Band Stand, St. Stephen’s Green. Members of Transition Monaghan will be in attendance. Everyone is welcome to go along to what is expected to be an enjoyable event that includes music and circus performers. It should be an event that is positive and hopeful and that will make a difference for future generations. The organisers advise those attending to bring a picnic, banners and friends!
The fossil fuel lobby is one of the most powerful and politically influential in the world. Only when it is seen as unacceptable to do business with them, will our politicians begin to take a step back from their influence. Public outcry over involvement of the tobacco industry in politics and health policy lead to a completely new direction being taken on smoking. The same is possible regarding fossil fuels and climate change, but it will need ‘buy in’ from the public. Bill Mc Kibbon, author and founder of 350.org descried the fossil fuel industry as “a rogue industry. It’s an industry if whose business plan is followed to the letter, it will wreck the planet”.
Why does this affect us in Co. Monaghan?
Climate change will cause increased conflict worldwide over dwindling resources such as drinking water and land. In this century climate change refugees will be leaving in their millions from the countries most affected by the extreme weather events. This will also lead to increased conflict that will have considerable impacts worldwide.
Co Monaghan, like every other place on the planet, is being and will continue to be affected by climate change. In the last number of years, we have seen many extreme and record breaking weather events. Last winter’s storms, which wreaked havoc for everyone, were part of the stormiest winters on record. Recent dry weather, has seen the transporation of vast quantities of water into communities around Ireland. As climate change continues to accelerate, these ‘extreme’ weather patterns will become the norm. In the short to medium term, the winters are expected to become wetter and windier and summers expected to become drier and warmer. If greenhouse gas emissions continue, the long term outlook is runaway climate change. This will affect the balance of nature and the biodiversity and ecology on which we depend.
Agriculture is an important part of the economic and social fabric of Monaghan. It is predicted that, if left unchecked, climate change will cost Irish agriculture up to €2 billion per annum. It is still entirely possible to avoid the worst case scenario and to put in place mitigation strategies for the disruption that we will face.
As individuals and communities we can take action to reduce our own carbon footprint and build our own resilience. However, we must also put pressure on our political and business leaders to take the action that we and our children deserve. This is the challenge of our time. Make sure your voice is heard!