I would like to thank Tony Abdy for pointing out the major misconception many people have about the Green Agenda.
We do not want to make life worse for everybody and certainly don’t want to return to medieval times. Unfortunately, our current way of living is heading us in that direction as climate change and nature depletion will lead to food and energy shortages, civil unrest, wars, and eventually the collapse of our civilisation if we do not urgently change course.
Our focus is not to campaign for a change in individual lifestyles but rather we need Governments and Corporations to change the system so it is easier for all of us to do the right thing for the planet. We have a vision for a much better society, where public transport is so good people prefer not to have a car, where everybody has a secure income to meet their needs, where schools are communities of learning, not exam factories, where agricultural land currently used to grow crops for livestock can be rewilded to save nature that is currently so threatened, where rich individuals and corporations pay a fair rate of tax to contribute to society.
To take his individual points, no, driving a car is not a shameful act. Our whole society has been built around car ownership and with public transport currently being cut even further, we acknowledge many people would currently find life impossible without a car.
But car use is a major contributor of greenhouse gases so we need Government to urgently improve the alternatives, with massive investment in public transport, including making this accessible for disabled people. Reclaiming streets for children to play in and cyclists and pedestrians to walk in leads to far healthier communities.
The way we heat our homes also has to change if we are to reach net zero emissions. Again it is the Government that needs to act to facilitate this. First priority should be a national street-by-street insulation programme because the cheapest bill is the one you don’t have to pay. Secondly, the Government must provide generous incentives to convert homes to heat pumps which are currently unaffordable for most people.
Meat eating too is a major source of emissions and the country does need to move to a more balanced diet. Education and school dinners need to play a major role in helping this transition.
In a recent Jeremy Vine show sausage expert Mike Perry declared a vegan sausage delicious. He said he could taste the meatiness, it was luscious and lovely and tasted like the one he had this morning! So there are now plenty of good alternatives to meat for people to try.
Walkley Green Party