By the time you read this we’ll know the result of the UK General Election and I hope with all my heart we’ll have voted for the planet above our membership (or not) of the EU, and everything else that matters so much. Because if we haven’t, where and how will our grandchildren live, no matter how good their healthcare and education, let alone the state of the nation’s economy and its relationships with other countries? In the constituency where I live a vote for the planet is a Labour vote.
In this article, George Monbiot writes that a vote for the planet is a vote for Labour or the Greens. But a vote for the Greens where I live might let the Tories in … so I hope I’ll have woken up this morning to find that Fleur Anderson has won here. Because Labour’s coherent and urgent policy for a Green New Deal is a policy that accepts we’re living in a climate emergency and includes a target for the UK to achieve net-zero emissions by 2030 (as does the Greens’) – even though the unions have pushed for progress towards 2030 rather than completion by 2030 for fear of job losses. The Conservatives say 2050 (but in 2015 they scrapped nine green policies); the LibDems 2045. Neither are good enough.
**UPDATE** Fleur Anderson did get in, and she has pledged to take urgent climate action: may she persuade others to do so. Fleur Anderson is also a remainer, but as we now know, Labour didn’t return anything like enough MPs to Parliament so, may the Tories have the sense and the compassion to spend money to improve all the necessary domestic things (NHS, social care, education and housing), AND the green things, as they take us out of the EU.
And here is a Christmas Rose: a symbol of love and hope despite the poison it contains.
And, instead of a Christmas tree, whose chopping down stops the absorption of poisonous greenhouse gasses and the release of oxygen into the air (young trees absorb CO2 at a rate of 13 pounds per tree each year … and by 10 years old they release enough oxygen … to support two human beings) why not pledge to plant a tree instead? This is my One Green Thing for the month (which, from now on, will replace my thing I’d love to have invented). My other half’s daughter and my nieces and nephews have enthusiastically said yes to my pledge to plant trees for them for Christmas. You too can plant a tree, or trees. to offset your carbon footprint – and give presents – here.