The Environment – A Northern Emergency

Photo: Many people in the North watched the eclipse through a #toxicsmog!

Westminsters’ brand of capitalism has polluted and over-complicated our lives, we need to go back to basics – clean water, fresh food, clean air and a healthy bee population

To spell it out plain and simple, if we don’t get our policies on water, soil, air and bees correct then to quote Private Frazer in Dad’s Army “we’re doomed!”

The facts are that Westminster is a very dodgy “Rachman” landlord of the North, at best the politicians of Westminster could be accused of terrible mis-management, at worst you could say that their policies are trying to kill us for profit, especially if you have read the finer detail of the Infrastructure Bill

Cameron, Miliband, Clegg and Farage, who turned up for photo ops during the Southern floods as “The Wallies In The Wellies”, waffling on and on ad finetum about immigration and how great fracking is, whilst there is a serious environmental emergency happening is the political equivalent of the orchestra continuing to play whilst the Titanic is sinking – we need urgent action, not some suits playing the same old tune as disaster unfolds around us!

If you listened solely to the “mainstream” politicians and media you would probably have little idea that there is a water crisis in places such as Rio and California (some commentators say these places have as little as 100 days of water left before it literally runs out), the Antarctic ice and Arctic ice is melting, that the fracking industry has caused mind bogglingly disgusting amounts of damage to the USA and Australia, and that the global bee population is facing terrible dangers – that we are in the middle of a life threatening environmental crisis and we need urgent action to prevent catastrophic global warming

If “mainstream politics” and “mainstream media” cared about us then we would be getting environmental news on a 24 hour loop

These issues were brought into sharp focus during the eclipse – we have just witnessed a major astrological event, the eclipse, an event that captured the publics’ imagination and was featured all over the media, but just when all eyes were to the skies, many peoples’ view was restricted by a toxic smog, with BBC and Sky commentators symbolically trying to metaphorically waft away huge clouds of toxic smog as “slightly overcast” and “a bit of cloud”!

The last thing Westminster/the ConDem government and dirty industry needed at this stage in the electoral cycle was a huge, rambling cloud of toxic smog rolling in from the Continent, but guess what ? As Gideon coughed and spluttered through a widely panned Budget like an MG with a faulty engine, the #toxicsmog was making it’s way over from France as a stark, in yer face, reminder of what aggressive capitalisms’ “jobs and growth” rhetoric actually results in – clouds of toxic smog

Gideon has actually said that “we must get every last bit of oil and gas”, and there is legislation in Team Westminsters’ Infrastructure Bill that actually makes it a legal requirement, so we are now facing the very real threat of identikit “jobs and growth” junkie politicians, occasionally dressing up as workmen in high vis and hard hats to try to convince us that they really are the friend of the working man(!), running around the North desperate for their latest fix of environmental destruction, delusional in their throwback vision of a “Northern Powerhouse”

Westminster has had years to get it’s house in order regarding environmental policy, the Conservative Party was formed in 1834, the Liberals were formed in the 1850’s and the Labour Party was formed in 1900, so between them they have had many years and huge amounts of money to get it right, but they have all failed!

One of the big problems with Westminster is that almost all of the politicians there have no scientific background at a time when we require politicians who have, at the very least, a basic understanding of science, with this situation coming to a peak with the Medact group of doctors virtually begging politicians to ban fracking for 5 years and in the very first leaders’ television “debate” there was just one passing reference to climate change and this huge subject for all of us was not even a topic of debate

Milliband does at least pay lip service to climate change and the #greensurge has caused a casual interest in environmental issues, but the Labour Party have been near useless standing up to the ConDems environment destroying laws and the Green Party can be frustratingly ineffectual at getting a message through to the general populace who continue to be bombarded by Neo-liberal politics and media, and it remains to be seen whether the Green Partys’ recent surge in support is going to translate into real change in the policies of Westminster

THE NORTH

It has been very surprising watching a few people from The Fylde clambering aboard the fracking express when The Fylde is an area that is highly sensitive to any form of sea-level rise, and, therefore, we should be doing all we possibly can to limit pollution that can cause global temperature rise that, in turn, causes sea-level rise! However, it is Westminster that has been bribing and brainwashing local people into thinking that fracking is the best thing since sliced bread!

Clean air is a basic human right that we are being denied – in Trafford, the most affluent area of Greater Manchester with a Tory Council that is often described by the Conservative Party as a “model Council” the pollution from industry is so bad that the residents have formed a Breathe Clean Air Group!

Here in the North we are wasting time having to oppose and get rid of the fracking industry, when we should be focussing hard on renewables and the transfer to a sustainable, green economy

Politicians like to say that we face a stark choice, in fact we actually do face a stark choice – let Westminster continue to plunder our resources and ruin our environment, or take control of our lives and our land

2015 is the International Year of Soil, and on 22nd March it was World Water Day, do you recall all the Westminster sponsored promotion/events to raise awareness of, and celebrate these occasions ? No ? I wonder why that is ?

The environment is an international, national, and therefore, regional emergency and should be treated as such, with all resources possible being committed to solving the very urgent problems that we face

We can change this around with positive political action and let’s hope that we are watching the next eclipse in 2026 through clean, free Northern skies

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