WITH the ‘sixth extinction’ of life on this planet now happening, possibly irreversibly, through climate, ecological and social collapse this century, it is unlikely to be halted without 200 years of negative growth via mainly ‘first’ world recession (ref: latest UNscientific global report).

Current global greenhouse gas emissions will carry on increasing, despite last year’s COP26 downturn agreements, with a possible levelling-out in 2075 and eventual temperature rise to 2.5C. After this, a big fight for ‘real zero’- not the hopeless ‘net zero’ cutting to very high 1990 emission levels - will be our only salvation hope.

Are we ever going to learn that bigger is very rarely better for democracy, community, nor survival localism. We must all realise that any massive energy turnaround to almost 100% renewables, and general adoption of ‘circular economy’ sustainability and well-being, can be only about 20% of any survival plan because it involves massive increase in mining of special minerals/metals, renewables’ equipment manufacture and retailing etc.

The 80% remainder has to come from reduction as said above, noting that ultra expensive and dangerous nuclear bombs and power are serious threats to be eliminated, never included...

It is immensely worrying for our grandchildren and great grandchildren – I have three of each -when all we hear from the Tory contenders for Johnson’s Brexit-won, integrity poisoned throne, is how all these prospective new PMs are placing top priority (fantasy) on yet more growth and jobs and materialist prosperity - plus private ownership etc.

Yes, yet more global capitalism with all its madness of unmanageable hi-tech complexity, and  thousands of miles away expensive, unsustainable supply chains etc. (Note: opinion polls say 70% over 50s populist racist vote, not Johnson, got the 80 seat Dec. 2019 Tory landslide, especially in ‘red wall’ working class seats.)  

As a Staplegrove Parish Councillor, and as presently suggested, maybe it is time for all parishes to formulate  their own ‘climate and ecological emergencies action plan’ to deal with looming possible extinction as best they can, with main emphasis on reduction in economic activity (de-growth and recession, with less work, pay and consumerism, and much more socialising, creative/artistic/culture clubs, sport and leisure  activities etc).
Time to put survival  health and well-being top of the pile, in as many communal ways as possible!
Yours in green socialism,

Alan Debenham