A Just Transition

The world as we know it is ending. There is a 30 year lag in the effect of the carbon we put into our atmosphere. We’re sitting on a climate extreme time bomb that’s counting down. I wonder if people even care that 40% of species on this Earth have been wiped out by us in the last 50 years.

We are in a climate crisis.

These arguments alone though do not turn peoples opinions and cause the behavioural change needed. We must talk about making the transition to a circular economy fair and how it can bring people out of poverty. Making the transition just.

The people on Waterloo Bridge, in Parliament Square, standing fast at Marble Arch and keeping watch in Oxford Circus, I count them as brave comrades. Extinction Rebellion are doing what’s needed to raise the profile of the emergency we are living in. I praise them for the non-violent action they have taken and I will be arrested with them if that is what it takes for others to take notice. There can be no more standing by.

But there are other problems in our broken system. The ever growing need for families to rely on food banks to quell hunger, more and more people driven to live on the streets with no recourse to a decent life, the ladder being pulled up from those trying to climb to a better existence and an economy that only works for the wealthy few. There needs to be a change.

Creating the change to bring about a circular economy has to be just and work for communities across the UK. We need to save the planet, and the people on it. The people on the breadline are as important as the hipster avo on toast eater, more in fact. We the ‘liberal elite’ have to do more. Change more. The call to action is yes for you to use less plastic, yes to going vegetarian more days a week, yes to public transport, and yes to advocating for those who need it to have more and live better lives.

If we are to win the argument for changing the system to not destroy the planet, we need to change it for the many that suffer at the bottom who go hungry, and make sure there are well paid green jobs to take over from the fossil fuel intensive industry’s. The just transition should raise people out of poverty, whilst reducing the consumption of those who live more comfortably. Not the easiest argument to take to the public, but realistic answers rarely are.

We have a duty, each of us, to do more. The just transition is about making sure children don’t go hungry, and we leave them a liveable planet.

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