Bill Harvey: Big yellow taxi
Author: Bill Harvey
Hats off to ABDO for its excellent Social, Ethical and Environmental (SEE) working group. Last night, I watched the inaugural SEE Summit on the Environment and thoroughly enjoyed it.
Efforts to raise awareness of just how serious the climate crisis is are still being stifled, both in the media and by commercial interests that for too long have relied upon a consumerism at complete odds with sustainability. Only today, with the UK governing party holding its annual conference, the only discussion in the news relating to the ongoing environmental collapse is of how best to restrict environmental campaigners; both in Manchester and at the forthcoming Conference of the Parties (COP) climate change summit in Glasgow next month. It is as if many people have yet to realise that we are already past a point of no return and are well into a damage limitation phase.
A keynote speaker at the SEE Summit last night was the excellent Nick Bridge, a civil servant appointed as special representative for climate change in 2017 by then foreign secretary Boris Johnson. Any frustration at damage caused by air miles supremo Alok Sharma, president for COP 26, remained well hidden as Bridge showed his support for the enthusiasm of groups such as ABDO in encouraging our profession to take more immediate action. Action such as the launch of an online tool that allows you to check your own level of sustainability (accessed at www.abdo.org.uk/sustainability-questionnaire).
I could not resist asking the question, ‘How does a focus on supporting the meat and fisheries industries, especially post-Brexit, a tacit support for new coal mines and fracking, a reduction in funding domestic solar panels and insulation, and a lack of investment in infrastructure for the use of renewables square with what the government is telling other countries to do?’
I have been promised an answer soon.