After scientists said the UK is already suffering disruptive climate change, six pregnant women held a powerful demonstration demanding an end to fossil fuel use.
The latest UK State of the Climate report states that 2020 was the third warmest, fifth wettest and eighth sunniest on record; no other year is in the top 10 on all three criteria.
Within 30 years, the UK has become 0.9C warmer and six per cent wetter.
Fossil fuel use is widely considered to be responsible – and that’s why six women stood, bellies bared, in Piccadilly Circus, on the morning of July 31, drawing attention to Extinction Rebellion’s demand for an immediate ban on all new fossil fuel projects.
The words ‘My Future’ were printed on their bumps and they held a giant ‘umbilical cord’, connected to a petrol pump and nozzle as they made their demand for a cleaner world for their unborn children.
Many people attack XR because the organisation’s demonstrations are often highly disruptive (the point being that climate change – if allowed to go unchecked – is even more disruptive). But these mums-to-be have a point, don’t they?
Tiger Lily Raphael, who is nine months pregnant, said: “I am crippled with concern for the state of my unborn child’s world. It feels like my child is being failed before their life has even begun because of the lack of meaningful Government action on the climate and ecological crisis.
“The climate is changing because we continue to burn fossil fuels, but the UK Government currently has no policies in place to end them.
“I am accountable as a parent and a citizen and so I am here demanding that the Government use their power to stop the harm by putting an immediate ban on all new fossil fuel projects.
“Public money should be spent on protecting us and our children. Please don’t let our children suffer the consequences of Boris’ lack of action.”
XR’s article about the protest said there will be an opportunity to make significant change at the COP 26 summit this year:
“The UK will host the 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) in Glasgow on 1 – 12 November 2021.
“At the summit, delegates including heads of state, climate experts and negotiators will come together to agree coordinated action to tackle climate change.
“The COP26 homepage states: ‘Temperatures are soaring. Storms are raging. And crops are failing. If we do not take this chance, every single one of us will be affected.’
“This reality is known to the UK government, which holds the presidency of the COP26 Global Climate Summit in November, but it has failed to act with the urgency dictated by the crisis.
“Extreme weather is becoming the norm and the UK is not prepared. Babies and children are particularly vulnerable.
“The World Health Organization estimates that over 80 per cent of the illnesses, injuries, and deaths occurring due to climate change are in children, particularly those living in poor and under-served areas.
“Climate change threatens children’s futures around the world.”
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