THE BLOG

Why I Stopped Work To Help Save The World

22/12/2016 12:35 GMT | Updated 22/12/2016 12:35 GMT

This summer, I had successfully finished fundraising millions of pounds for five community-owned solar parks. A satisfying job where I was also able to work three days a week and meet some very inspiring people all around the country so, despite all the juggling (and there is a lot of that) I was fortunate to have a role that I enjoyed.

But then I decided to quit work to volunteer with the Climate Change Coalition. Because I do not want to lose the special places and life I love to climate change, because no one knew I cared.

Having just finished the rounds of nativity plays there isn't a person in the world who wouldn't feel a little tug on their heart strings and want what is best for their children and their loved ones. Yet global warming is the biggest challenge we face as citizens and it is virtually ignored.

I cannot get rid of this very uncomfortable feeling. The feeling is that things are going to go very bad unless things change very soon. It is time to give people the opportunity to understand what is at risk so they can make informed choices and be part of the solution.

This winter, it is so mild we have not had the heating on and floods were so bad last month the train for the Climate Change Coalition meeting in London had to travel at 5 mph for safety reasons. The conductor joked the arm bands were under our seats!

Yet despite all these strange goings on, no one really talks about climate change. The silence is almost deafening because: A common problem remains a common problem until it is common knowledge...

As a scientist who has followed developments on global warming for a quarter of a century, I am dismayed at the number of trees and flowers blossoming as the Christmas lights go up. Nature is confused and it is an indicator of just how warm the world has become.

But there is good news. In 2016, for the first time ever, all the world leaders agreed the need for climate action. Even oil-exporting Saudi Arabia, who has never been accused of environmental enthusiasm signed the Paris Agreement.

So where is the problem if there is consensus to urgently stop burning fossil fuels and the quicker the better?

This year our Government has given the green light to support fracking, Heathrow expansion and more road building. And concurrently withdrawn support for clean energy and energy conservation, leaving what was the UK's fasting growing industry decimated, just as we should be powering ahead with improving productivity.

It has almost become taboo, for fear of offending someone, to discuss climate change. Who are people so afraid of? Is it the oil giants of Exxon and the like? The board of British Gas? Donald Trump?

The BBC are so cautious of climate deniers I believe they give almost as much time to sceptics of global warming on their website as they do the actual subject. When asked to correct this gross bias they cited the need for 'inclusion' as their argument rather than any need to consider the credibility of this argument or indeed their own Trust review of scientific coverage.

British people love talking about the weather so it really shouldn't be that difficult for the BBC, the Government and for all of us to start talking about Weird Weather.

The Climate Change Coalition is looking to do just that with the help of some very famous friends during the Show the Love Campaign in February.

To give you an idea of how important this transition to clean energy is.

One in six homes in the UK are at risk of flooding and precious few have bought equipment to protect their property. Last year Storm Desmond caused over £5bn of damage to the economy. This does not include all the anguish of those who lost their possessions and businesses in the 15/16 floods.

And if it is bad in the UK, it is nothing to what people are experiencing in more vulnerable, poor countries who face droughts and hurricanes. So the number of migrants will rise because there will be nothing to keep them at home.

Potentially, we are going to pay a high price for ignoring our responsibility to stop global warming.

So I quit work to spread the word and support the Climate Change Coalition.

And on Valentine's Day we will be asking everyone to speak up for the things you love.

And I hope you will join us? You don't have to quit work, but there is a lot you can be doing right now. These changes can have multiple benefits to your bank balance, health and quality of life.

As well as leaving a better future for our children and grandchildren. See my blog on cool gadgets that do good for further inspiration.

And finally, please wear and share a green heart this February to show the love and help protect the places and people that are special to you from climate change.

Background

Show The Love is an annual celebration of all that we love but could lose to climate change. It is part of an ongoing effort to protect the people, places and life we love from climate change by encouraging world leaders and the UK Government to shift to clean and secure energy within a generation.

Show The Love is organised by The Climate Coalition, the UK's largest group of people dedicated to action on climate change and limiting its impact on the people, places and life we love at home in the UK and around the world, including the world's poorest countries. It includes over 100 organisations such as RSPB, National Trust, WWF, Greenpeace, The WI and Oxfam. The combined supporter base of our 120 member organisations is more than 15 million people across the UK.

Together, we want a world powered by clean and secure energy within a generation.