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Yes, I am well aware that all politicians can get it wrong at various times, and she was wrong there.
What has happened to the Conservative Party in the meantime? We have a Government who resist onshore wind installations, which would supply cheap, clean energy, while supporting dirty, expensive fracking. Fracking is not the answer: it is a way to pump more fossil fuels into the atmosphere and, in the process, allow a rapacious private company, Cuadrilla, to stifle legitimate, peaceful protest. The Government push a steep VAT increase—from 5% to 20%—for new solar battery systems while coal remains at a discounted rate, and propose a third runway at Heathrow and more roadbuilding. We seem to be in a topsy-turvy world where the Government do not understand what is happening.
At the same time, three children—three climate protesters—from the Albany Academy, are being punished for attending the youth strike for climate protests. Children fighting for their future is not a crime. A brave planet protector, Angie Zelter, has been in court this week for protesting with Extinction Rebellion. She says:
“I cannot really understand why those in power have refused to act. After all, it is their world, too”.
It is noble Lords’ world, too. Many will have children and grandchildren who will be massively affected by this issue. I wish noble Lords over there would be a little quieter. Is that possible?
Fine words are not enough to fight erratic weather patterns that cause disasters in rich and poor countries. They are not enough to clean our rivers and seas of plastic pollution, to clean our polluted air, to save the curlew and the red squirrel up north, and certainly not enough to guarantee supplies of clean water, uncontaminated food and to resist global economic collapse. Can we please have some policies that will make a difference? As the protesters outside are saying, the time is now.