Sustainable Harborough Community
Why do so few people seem to realise the seriousness of our situation regarding the climate and our way of life? It is so good that the majority of us are making changes but scientists and others are telling us that it’s not fast enough.
Climate Outreach’s report, ‘Theory of Change’, researched the reasons for this lack of understanding. See climateoutreach.org/about-us/theory-of-change
If you don’t have access to the internet, our brilliant community library in Kibworth and maybe in other villages – forgive me for my ignorance – will help you.
A major factor is powerful vested interests like the oil and gas industries. However, while fossil fuels enable driving and heating which are essential to us, changing our attitudes is difficult. On a practical front, being able to afford alternatives like electric cars, heat pumps, solar panels, and adequate home insulation, is only for a relatively small section of our society, requiring massive investment to be available for all.
Climate activists tend to be leaning towards the left of politics when this is a whole-society human issue regardless of our political stance. Another big deterrent is understanding the science. Personally, measures of carbon and its significance pass me by. Understanding that the earth is warming, and the climate is changing seems straightforward.
Finally there is a sense that there is no hope because the carbon emissions are increasing and many governments are being incredibly slow to act.
Thankfully all is not lost. People find stories of hope helpful, especially from
people they respect like Sir David Attenborough and Chris Packham. Their peers can be a big help to them too. And there are so many positive health and financial benefits from all the changes we make.
Lastly, Leicestershire County Council has produced an action plan that is user friendly and clear to understand, to reach net zero by 2045, a big challenge but full of hope and determination with massive benefits. Let’s go for it in this New Year.
Julie Fagan, volunteer, Harborough Climate Action, Eco Church