XR Hammersmith & Fulham Weekly Meeting
We all hate sitting in traffic, particularly when it’s sweltering outside. We all hate delayed trains, and missed connections: late for work, late for friends, late for family engagements.
The Climate and Ecological Emergency is already seriously affecting our options from getting from A to B.
Our transport network is under pressure like never before and becoming more precarious. Our transport policies are antiquated and mostly revolve around more roads, more cars and more pollution.
Our Political Parties’ policies are inadequate in dealing with our current crisis and future requirements. The burning of fossil fuels is contributing to the Climate and Ecological Emergency and we face dire consequences if we continue down this road.
Road exhausts alone make up 20% of the UKs emissions.
Data from the Department for Transport (DfT) highlight the scale of the challenge associated with the governments net zero by 2050 target and the clean air strategy. Out of approximately 39.4 million licensed vehicles in the UK at the end of 2018, only around 0.2 million (0.5%) were ultra-low emission vehicles (ULEVs).
“Up to 40,000 people suffer premature death from long term exposure to air pollution in the UK every year, Royal college of physicians. What’s in the air you and your families are breathing?”
Bearing in mind that the science is clear and we need a more ambitious target for net zero, how will we meet our challenges for transport? When our roads are literally melting in the heat.
When 14 of the 15 hottest years on record have occurred since 2000 (now 19 of the top 20 warmest years have occurred in the last 19 years) and when the past four years have been the hottest on record (our summers are due to get hotter and our winters colder), how will we travel?
London’s Tube network will flood and by 2050 much of London will be under water. Of course, the sea level won’t simply jump to this level, it’s already rising now and will only get worse.
So how do we get from A to B, when commuters start to be advised not to travel by train? Travelling is important to us, to get to work, to pick up the kids, to go shopping, to meet friends, to see family. Should we be taking this emergency more seriously? Or are you ready for more travel chaos?
We must also consider planning: where we work, shop, go to school, play. If the question is how we get from A to B, then maybe A should be closer to B?
With all Political Parties supporting rapid transition to electric cars, we must ask – is this a sensible solution? Are electric vehicles the answer?
- For every vehicle we replace, we kick 5 – 10 years of fossil fuel emissions into the future. At 5,000 miles/year I could drive my diesel for the next 10 years and only then would we start to see a saving, simply based on the embodied carbon it takes to make an electric vehicle.
- How is the electricity generated? Still burning fossil fuels to generate the electricity used to power vehicles is problematic.
- The batteries are only manufacturer guaranteed for 8 years and there is currently no recycling in place.
- To electrify the UK’s vehicles would take the entire world’s supply of lithium, the extraction of which is problematic for the environments in which it is mined. What happens with the rest of the world’s billion cars?
…but these question should be considered and decided by a Citizens’ Assembly.
Extreme heat – melting tarmac, heavy rain – floods and then extreme cold – and snow are the new normal.
Rail services are cancelled, airports are shut, and the Army has been scrambled to help those left stranded by the heavy snowfall.
Travel disruption or #ElectionRebellion? The Climate and Ecological Emergency must be at the top of the agenda this election, if we want effective transport in the UK.
We must #ComeTogether to solve this – #UpgradeDemocracy and hold a Citizens’ Assembly to plan how we fix this.
We are facing a man-made disaster on a global scale.
Once climate change becomes a defining issue for financial stability, it may already be too late.
I am firmly of the view that the next 18 months will decide our ability to keep climate change to survivable levels
If we can save the banks, we can save the world.
The future of the human race is now at stake.