Last week’s atrocities in Paris shocked us and we sympathise with the families and friends of the dead and injured. French authorities have confirmed that next month’s crucial climate talks in Paris will go ahead but amid tighter security. In advance of these talks, marches are being organised worldwide to remind the decision makers that they need to sign a climate agreement that will ensure a liveable world for our children and grandchildren. The Dublin march will take place on Sunday, 29 November at 2pm. A bus is being organised by Transition Monaghan to take people from Monaghan to the Dublin march – details at the end of this article.
Last year, all over the world, nearly half a million people took to the streets of their major cities (including over 300,000 in New York alone) to demand strong political action on the climate issue. Gradually it appears that many citizens and leaders are beginning to realise that we are the first generation to feel the effects of global warming and the last generation to be able to do anything about it – but many people including politicians remain to be convinced.
It is widely recognised that we must act now to prevent the critical 2 degree plus rise in average global temperatures. Only last week, scientists revealed the average global temperatures for the first 9 months of the year were 1 degree above pre–industrial levels for the first time in history. This new data will inject urgency into the upcoming UN climate talks in Paris, where world political leaders aim to reach a deal that will keep global average temperature rises below the critical 2 degree mark.
Our politicians need both pressure and support from us to make a deal in Paris a reality. They are facing lobbyists and pressure groups from multinational industries (such as aviation, fracking, oil and gas). These lobbyists have had a lot influence on our politicians – ensuring that little has been done to tackle the high emissions that are causing climate problems. These problems will only worsen if a ‘business as usual’ approach continues. Instead of a 2 degree increase, a very undesirable 4 degree increase is predicted by the end of this century if we continue the current trend in emissions.
Climate change has already affected millions of the world’s poorest people, inflicting drought, famine and severe flooding on those who have fewest resources to adapt to such changes. While the consequences of not acting are dire, the good news is that there is still a small amount time to affect change, and ordinary citizens can play a very powerful role in bringing about change. Naomi Klein in her book ‘This Changes Everything’ called for a coming together of people of all backgrounds to demand no new fossil fuel extraction and a more equitable world. Pope Francis in his encyclical Laudato Si’ has also emphasised the important role we all can play in tacking the issue of climate change. People Power all over the world is now surging and it is succeeding. One encouraging example of this occurred last week in the US. After years of campaigning by local townspeople and indigenous populations all across the proposed route, Barack Obama announced that a major oil pipeline (KeystoneXL) between Canada and the USA is being halted.
This year, just a couple of days before the start of the all-important UN climate summit (COP21) in Paris, people all over the world will be part of the largest mobilisation for justice ever seen and once again stand up for their homes, for their neighbours, their families, their children and for their and everyone’s future. Organisations such as Trocaire, Stop Climate Chaos and Friends of the Earth are calling for people to turn up in their thousands and join them at The Custom House in Dublin for our contribution to the ‘global action’. The People’s Climate March will take place on the Sunday, 29 of November at 2pm. We have organised a return bus from Monaghan to Dublin. To book your seat please email firstname.lastname@example.org or book via the link on the website: transitionmonaghan.org or on our Faceboook page. The cost is €10 per person.