MINING: Climate must be priority

It was with dismay and increasing anger that I read Lord Vinson’s letter arguing for the extraction of coal at Druridge Bay (Northumberland Gazette, April 25).

By The Newsroom
Friday, 3rd May 2019, 6:00 am

He says that objections come from ‘those whose priority is a sustainable world through the reduction of fossil fuels’. Thus, he implies that a sustainable world is a marginal issue.

He appears to argue that jobs should come before sustainability. He fails to recognise that if climate change is not addressed now, it will wreck economies and jobs.

This equivocal approach is such a contrast to the inspirational and direct language of Greta Thunberg and the schoolchildren’s campaigns, to David Attenborough’s TV programme on the facts of climate change, and to the Extinction Rebellion protests.

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All argue that there is a great urgency required to tackle and mitigate climate change now, not in 10 years’ time. This is the priority. Everyone needs to act now.

Greta Thunberg says you will act if your house is on fire. When our world is on fire, we must not continue to throw fuel onto the flames.

We must stop our dependence on fossil fuels.

Urgent action is required by governments. Climate change must be the priority.

The Prime Minister should not be distracted by the calamity that is Brexit. Climate change does not recognise sovereignty, does not stop at borders, or obey “our laws”. We need to act now with our neighbours and governments across the world.

Extracting coal at Druridge Bay is contrary to the ‘keep it in the ground’ requirement and sends a dangerous message that climate change can wait.

The jobs in fossil fuel companies should be switched to creating sustainable energy. There is much work to be done and jobs to be created.

Despoiling a natural habitat and a beautiful bay to further damage the planet is outrageous.

The damage caused cannot be mitigated by landscaping in a decade. The harm will be done. It will be too late.

Geoff Hoskin,