John Sauven: When it comes to the climate, there’s no vaccine, no single fix for it. Technology can help, but the real breakthrough can only come from a radical change in political and corporate will. Despite the economic slowdown caused by the pandemic, levels of planet-heating gases in the atmosphere have hit a new record high this year. It’s clear that nothing short of a complete transformation of our economy and society can save us from climate breakdown. This is why sliding back to the old normal is not an option. Unless we stop oil firms drilling for more oil, food giants destroying rainforests, and destructive fishing depleting our seas, the worst isn’t over – it’s just begun. Ending the pandemic is only half the job – we must also start something new and better. We must create new green jobs, invest in communities and tackle the hardship faced by many at the same time. And 2021 is the year to do it. For all the devastation it has caused, the pandemic has taught us some important lessons. It’s forced us to slow down and rethink what really matters in life, what the important jobs are, the value of family, friends and access to nature. And the most basic lesson of all: if we get complacent about the threats we face, there’s hell to pay. There are reasons to be hopeful. In this past year, what previously would have been considered impossible turned out to be possible. The chancellor, Rishi Sunak, found the money to increase protection for people’s jobs and health. Ministers prioritised working together to tackle the virus, and world leaders have collaborated to develop vaccines. If our politicians can do all that to respond to a health crisis, why not do it to tackle the climate crisis, too?
Guardian 31st Dec 2020 read more »