Letters about climate change, local travel, ducks and the leadership of the Conservative party
In his monthly article, Cllr Terry Parish mentions the work done by the Borough Council since it declared a Climate Emergency and took action to reduce the Council's carbon footprint.
Yet this country doesn't pollute very much in the World league of polluting countries. We're not in the top three, not even in the top ten. We only just make the top twenty. China is the most polluting country by far, followed by the US, India, Brasil and then Russia. If the UK became completely carbon neutral overnight, it would hardly register on the global scale.
If people want to make a significant contribution to climate change, they should stop buying things made in China and India. That means most of the clothes and shoes we wear. No more fashion. Wear clothes until they fall apart. And then mend them! Children must wear hand-me-downs instead of the latest jeans and trainers.
No longer will children be taken to school by car. They will walk or cycle to the nearest school, not the one thought to be the best school. The school run will be a thing of the past. This will reduce the amount of petrol and oil shipped from the middle east and reduce the number of second cars made from materials imported from some of the polluting countries in the world.
If the young people of today are really concerned about the planet's future, they need to learn that action is personally painful and having a day off school and shouting slogans isn't the answer.
Living in King's Lynn, a great bonus for us is the proximity to Hunstanton with its range of seaside town attractions and the splendid beach coast only a walk beyond. The two towns are in many ways complementary.
But getting from one to another is by driving or a devious bus route. Any chance of a direct non-stopping bus? This would have economic and social value both ways (and for tourist visitors could perhaps be timed to link with Lynn trains). There might also be a case for a separate minibus to serve the byways of the Heacham-Hunstanton neighbourhood.
The wider issue is that car travel (especially solitary commuting) is a great cost and burden on resources, environment and human time. Anything to reduce it (including car pools, also sharing which big employers like the QEH could promote) has multiple value. Changing habits may take an effort (a temporary subsidy?) but very worth trying as fuel costs rise.
I would like to thank all the kind people who kept the ducks at Bray's Pit in Heacham supplied with fresh water in washing up bowls during July's very hot weather, when the pond was at the lowest level I've seen it in the 10 years I've lived here. At the same time I would like to invite the less than kind person or persons who gathered the bowls up and left them by the refuse bin for collection to write and explain why they did that (thankfully I got to the bowls before the bin men did so the ducks could still have a drink). They can also tell us all how they would like to try and survive a heatwave without access to something to drink.
Update 27 July. I have just been to the pond to top up the ducks' water and all the washing up bowls have disappeared. It's such a shame there are such callous people around.
Leadership of the Conservatives
Members of the Conservative Party local will be casting their votes in the coming days to select the leader of the Party and therefore our next Prime Minister.
Both candidates have focused on cutting taxes as a key issue of their address to party members for their vote.
Both candidates have endorsed Cutting Green taxes but if these go, the UK’s commitment to the goals agreed at COP 26 in Glasgow last October/November are at risk.
The recent heat wave, which has seen record temperatures in areas close to West Norfolk, the wild fires giving the London Fire Brigade its busiest day since the Blitz, and the threatened ban on farmers irrigating their crops tell us that failing to keep the commitments we made will be disastrous for us all.
Climate change is no respecter of political affiliation. I urge those who have a vote in the Conservative leadership election to push for keeping green goals in the Government’s programme.
Climate scientists are very clear that the urgency and seriousness of climate crisis cannot be overstated. Whoever is elected their first priority as Prime Minister must be to secure the long- term wellbeing of their, and our, children and grandchildren in a world faced by the climate emergency.