Proposal: That the Parish Council should declare a Climate Emergency, and initiate a process of Public Consultation to draw up a Climate Emergency Plan.
This is not a controversial proposal. Most of the major UK councils, and many smaller ones, have already taken this common-sense step to acknowledge the challenges ahead, and draw up contingency plans to deal with them.
Nor is this just about reducing our carbon footprint and developing more ecological ways of conserving energy. The eventual consequences of this Climate Emergency are much more far-reaching than that. It is these serious consequences that we must start to plan for; the results of Climate Change will probably include:
Food shortages, disruption to energy supplies, hyper-inflation, transport difficulties, flooding, extreme weather events and natural disasters, increased immigration, more frequent wars, health issues, food riots and looting, racial conflict, security concerns and increased crime, armed gangs and – possibly – eventual social collapse. While these might seem like extreme outcomes, we can no longer complacently assume that our normal comfortable life will continue into the future, sorry to say.
I believe that it is our responsibility as Councillors to endeavour to future-proof our community against these potential threats, so that we are prepared – rather like the old Civil Defence. We cannot rely on central government to protect us; instead, we need to take our future safety into our own hands. Our comparative wealth will not protect us; rather, it will make us a target in hard times. Our only effective protection is a supportive community.
Most importantly, we need to take this conversation to our constituents and involve the whole community in this discussion going forward. A series of public meetings will hopefully bring us more together as a community as we face these major challenges collectively.
Rolleston-on-Dove is an upmarket, affluent, privileged community, which contains many successful, enterprising and competent residents. If we can bring all of our local inhabitants together as a team, to decide on what sort of community we want to build for the future, then we will have the opportunity to create a vibrant, active, co-operative village, where we can face the future with resilience and self-reliance.
If we fail to plan, then we plan to fail. Over the last few years, life has become more difficult and demanding. The only viable solution to these challenges is a community that can feed itself, fuel itself and defend itself – that can stand on its own in a self-sufficient manner. This is a wonderful opportunity for us to come together as a fully functioning community and decide what sort of village life we want to create over the next five, ten, twenty years.
I recommend that we take advantage of the window of opportunity which we now have, by declaring a Climate Emergency (nothing more than a sensible statement of the obvious) and consulting with our residents to create the ideal community that we would all like to see for our beautiful village.
Even if, as we must all hope, the consequences of this emergency prove not to be as dire as we might fear, we will still have the pleasure of living in a fully functioning community that supports all of us in a healthy and prosperous lifestyle.
Respectfully submitted, Robin Scott