For the last couple of years, I have been writing a book on Climate Change, I can see how the current situation, with the COVID 19, is similar to the effect climate change is going to have on our world in the future. I have written chapters on the possible future scenarios, COVID 19 has closed down our usual social and economic systems and climate change in the future will do the same thing.
Let me give you an example:
We know that if temperatures are not held below 2oC then food security will be a big issue in the coming decades. This will result in drought and widespread crop failure leading to acute food shortages. The supermarket shelves were empty with COVID-19 this is something we are likely to experience with future climate change.
The other feature I have learnt through studying future scenarios is that there could be a complete economic disruption permeating everything, exactly as it has been and is projected to be with COVID 19. This will certainly happen if sea levels rise fast and engulf major economic centres such as Shanghai and New York and maybe even London. Mass unemployment could certainly result as it may be with COVID 19.
COVID 19 gives XR an opportunity to change the economic system in a radical way if there is mass unemployment. Years ago the Campaign Against Climate Change had a campaign to create 1 million new jobs centred in the green energy industry, especially widespread insulation of old building stock. We in XR could campaign on the same issue and thereby the unemployed will have jobs and the carbon footprint of each home would dramatically decline.
At the same time XR could work with 350.org on their ongoing campaign to get divestment from fossil fuels. I know Barclays bank have been targeted by XR for their heavy investments in fossil fuels; we could encourage investment in solar and wind power, and encourage the transfer of government subsidies, currently given to fossil fuel companies, to be given to the companies trying to develop renewable energy. Again, this will create more green jobs and give the unemployed a chance to retrain in skills needed in the renewable energy field.
Another initiative to help future unemployed is to encourage the widespread development of organic agriculture and organic horticulture. This is not only an environmentally benign way of growing food it requires more people than conventional agriculture. It restores and maintains the soil so that it does not release carbon.
The government may listen to more to XR now with their rather pressing problem, in 2021, of being host to the United Nations climate change conference in Glasgow. They could hold themselves up as an example to the world, as a country committed to making changes to their economic system to lower carbon emissions.
We could for a change be a leader and not a follower.