Global leaders are meeting in Glasgow, appropriately enough on Halloween, in order to discuss for the 26th time whether or not the planet will continue to be habitable. One would expect the question to be a no-brainer, but unfortunately, a handful of fossil fuel companies are really, really upset at the prospect of having to adapt to a changing world. In the eyes of the major world governments, their profits far outweigh the survival of the nearly 8 billion humans who don’t own fossil fuel companies.
As a result, these governments are mostly offering nothing more than vague, pale green promises that something will be done, provided that it doesn’t frighten the horses. Predictably, many countries are placing their short-term economic interests over the future of the planet: for example, India and Australia remaining committed to coal, Saudi Arabia to oil, and Brazil and Argentina opposing all measures to reduce meat consumption. On the latter issue, our prime minister once again demonstrated his fundamental unseriousness by making glib jokes about feeding humans to animals, while his chancellor has signalled his commitment to decarbonisation by cutting the cost of flights in his budget..
The choice of Glasgow as a location appears to serve two symbolic functions. Firstly, by excluding first minister Nicola Sturgeon from the proceedings, it reasserts Westminster’s colonial dominance over Scotland. Secondly, it is the closest city to the proposed new North Sea oilfield at Cambo, showing the real world leaders that their elected puppets have their backs.
It is clear that we cannot rely on our governments, and that the people of Wessex (and everywhere else) must take matters into their own hands. But individual action can only take us so far. So by all means bike to work, recycle, and eat less meat. But in the longer term, we need a Wessex Parliament, dominated by Wessex Regionalists, to make a stand for the planet against a corrupt Westminster government that has just voted to dump raw sewage into our seas and rivers, days before hosting a major environmental conference.
Massive change is needed. Thinking globally, yes, acting locally, yes, but in a joined-up way that will maximise the positive impact of all these efforts. Planning regionally, very much yes. The Welsh government has launched its own carbon reduction strategy, independently of Westminster. You can do that when you have a devolved government. Wessex Regionalists demand: ‘Give us the tools and we will finish the job’.