Should it be this hot?

It’s looking up for youth climate activism. Activists across the world gear up for a year of mobilisation, protest, and disruption in the lead up to the UN COP26 Climate Conference in Glasgow. According to the BBC, the ‘COP26 event is a global summit about climate change and what nations are planning to do to tackle it’ and is likely to draw at least 200 world leaders, massive press crews and a so-far inestimable wave of protesters. Climate activists will be protesting their governments’ failure to meet the carbon dioxide reduction targets agreed in the Paris agreement of COP21 in 2015. This being the treaty the US formally withdrew from on the 4th of November, potentially reaffirming our current trajectory towards + 3-4 degrees warming globally. This would have a catastrophic impact on our climate and would cause total ecological and civilizational collapse.

It’s all going downhill for air pollution levels. Guy Fawkes night prompted a spike in chemical pollutants across the UK. Particle pollutants hit the maximum UK index value of 10 across the Midlands, whilst London, Yorkshire and some parts of Eastern England hit an index value of 9. Chemical analysis recorded high levels of many chemicals, notably aluminium, copper, chloride, potassium, strontium and sulphur. Fireworks are notoriously dangerous for our health, for air quality and for animals. It’s up to us as individuals to decide if we are going to use fireworks. Though there are concerns about how to prevent animals from being scared, minimising the impact of fallen fireworks from choking livestock and polluting waterways, and all the while reducing hedgehog and invertebrate deaths in bonfires is even more vital.


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Meg Watts

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August 2022
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