This week, 20th-27th September 2019, people all over the world are joining in the Climate Strike movement. There is a growing momentum among all generations for this cause which calls for an end to the age of fossil fuels, and for renewed action to start to reverse the effects of climate change.
Last Friday, strikers took to the streets of Central Cardiff and a few of our Fair Do’s team were there. Our Schools worker Sarah describes her experience of the march below.
On an unseasonably warm late September morning hundreds if not thousands of Cardiff residents gathered on the grass outside the Castle. There were young and old, and every age in between; including many school pupils with and without their teachers. By 12 there must have been at least 2000 of us, with banners, placards, hooters and our voices.
“What do we want?” “Climate justice!”
“When do we want it?” “Now!”
Teenagers led the march from the Castle past City Hall to the Museum steps, and they led the chanting. I saw placards like:
“Let us live to meet our grandchildren”
“Don’t be a fossil fool”
“Don’t be a dippy, don’t go extinct”
“School helps us learn but fighting climate change helps us live”
“Sex is good, but have you tried saving the planet?”
One person had fashioned a pink boat out of a bike trailer with a dog riding inside; “Tell the Truth” written on the sides.
Other placards and speakers talked of how we can’t just have business as usual and we all must make changes.
The atmosphere of the crowd was determined and powerful.
Climate scientists have told us that if we can keep the increase in global temperatures to less than 1.5C we may be able to avert the worst irreversible damage to the global climate. Here in Britain we can expect more unpredictable weather, more extremes of flooding, storms, heat and drought; but very few will lose their lives, homes and livelihoods. The people worst affected are in low lying countries of the Indian and Pacific Oceans and the Caribbean; in places that rely on rains/monsoons to bring enough water (but not too much) at the right time for their crops to grow well; in the front line of climate change across Africa to the south of the Sahara.
Not surprisingly these are also many of the places we get our fair trade products from. Fair trade can help communities to alleviate some of the problems caused by changing climate patterns. Communities can use their fair trade premium to install water pumps, to plant trees, to learn new farming techniques, to change what they grow and make. Knowing they will get a fair price for their crop can enable farmers to look after the land, and water supplies for future crops, which may also enable them to protect forests as carbon sinks.
We need to support the farmers and other producers, but we also need to ensure that our government meets its commitments on climate change and reduction of fossil fuel usage. Fair trade not free trade.