PENARTH Climate Action group took to the streets recently to talk to passers-by about their feelings and ideas about climate breakdown.
On Saturday, June 19, people were invited to write their comments on post-it notes.
“We wanted to give people the chance to talk,” the group said.
“It is such a distressing issue, and yet we don’t talk about it enough. We wanted to hear from everyone. This issue will affect us all.
“We had many very moving conversations with people who wrote over 40 comments.
“Everybody who stopped to talk were worried about the climate crisis and biodiversity collapse and wanted to see change.”
Among those who stopped to talk there were children and parents, teenagers, grandparents hugely worried for their grandchildren’s futures.
There were doctors who were concerned of the impact on people’s health, and even people researching climate change.
Young and old alike were aware and concerned about the climate crisis. And there was certainly awareness that this is a crisis we’re facing now, not in the future.
Some called for “emergency action” and “less talking and more bold initiatives”.
One commenter predicted that our destructive attitude towards nature and the earth would “come home to roost in 10-20 years.”
Some respondents talked about their frustrations of not being able to do more individually: living ‘green’ is simply too expensive in our society.
More needs to be done to make it easier for people to have less of an impact on the environment.
Others spoke of the need to spend a lot more on infrastructure to enable a green economy.
Some respondents were so distressed they found it hard to talk about, and others commented that we are in an existential crisis.
Another noted that climate change is the “most important issue of our lifetime. Nothing else matters if we cannot find a solution.”
More than one commenter pleaded for us to “Listen to the science.”
Climate change and biodiversity collapse will have a number of profound impacts on our world. One of these is rising sea levels.
The group displayed a poster of the ‘Grangetown whale’, a giant mural painted on a house in Grangetown. “No Ice Caps – No Cardiff” warns the mural.
“It represents the rising sea levels we will soon see unless we make drastic cuts to carbon emissions very soon,” said a spokesperson from the group.
“Cardiff is the UK’s most climate-vulnerable city, and ranks sixth in the world. Much of Cardiff is likely to be below sea level by 2050, and will suffer frequent and severe floods.
“Of course, that will have an impact on Penarth too. We might be on higher ground, but what will happen to our beach, seafront and marina? And so many people in Penarth have jobs in Cardiff.
“What will happen to our jobs here if Cardiff is so severely affected? It feels so unreal, but that’s what the science tells us. We need to start listening.”
A group of teenagers on the day pleaded for changes to be made quickly to “save our and many others’ future”.
“I feel very emotional that children and young people have to feel this way,” said one group member.
“Yet they’re not taken seriously by those in power. I’m very scared for the future of all our children.
“As Greta Thunberg has pointed out, the responsibility lies on adults to leave a viable planet for our children.
“Many of our group members are parents. Some have young children, some have young grandchildren. We are terrified for them. It’s our duty to them to do all we can to turn things around.
“We understand that the climate crisis is very complex. And yet at the same time it is very simple: we must stop burning fossil fuels very, very quickly. The longer we leave it, the more difficult it will get. We feel better for coming together to act.”
Penarth Climate Action was formed in September 2020 with the aim to raise awareness of climate breakdown, global overheating and biodiversity collapse.
The group meet on Sunday mornings in Alexandra Park. We welcome new members. If you would like to join, get in touch at [email protected]