OVER the last weeks and months ‘There is no planet B’ has been a rallying cry for schoolchildren on ‘climate strike’ and other people across the globe in their response to the climate crisis, writes David Knight, a member of Grassington and District Peace Group.

Locally the cry has been heard during protests organised outside Skipton Town Hall, and in Settle.

The gathering in Skipton on September 20, which was matched across the world with millions taking to the streets.

After about an hour children returned to school, some to continue with more events. Students at Skipton Girls High School are planning to record their own climate crisis song to be presented to Skipton MP Julian Smith.

In Settle, messages were written on flags and were displayed in the town centre.

Continuing the theme, Mr Knight has organised a lecture on the subject of climate crisis which will take place at Skipton Girls’ High School next month.

He continues: “ It has not been the geographical spread of the demonstrations and actions, such as the millions who took to the streets on 20th September this year, which has been the most remarkable aspect of recent events. Nor yet the age range of those who are listening to the scientists and expressing their concern at the climate crisis. The involvement and support shown by businesses, charities, campaigning organisations and some political parties over the years has been welcomed. The United Nations has provided information and opportunities for governments to act, though Greta Thunberg has forcefully told the UN Climate Summit they are doing nowhere near enough to avert present and future disasters. Locally, Craven District Council has declared a climate emergency which, with the support of individuals and communities, businesses and landowners, could achieve its aims ahead of the present UK government targets.

“However, the most remarkable feature in the present response to the climate crisis is that so many people now realise and accept that humanity cannot continue with only minor changes to its behaviour, that there needs to be significant changes to the present priorities and economic systems. To reflect this response, explain the reasoning and promote the necessary changes there will be a lecture entitled ‘Chances for Peace in the 2020s: Climate Crisis to Peaceful Planet’ given by Professor Paul Rogers at 7.30pm on Thursday, October 10, in the Judi Dench Drama Studio at Skipton Girls’ High School.

“Professor Rogers is widely acknowledged as a world expert in the field of security and conflict. He is often asked to lecture at the highest level to military academies, governments and civil services in numerous countries. The author of many books, he predicted a major terrorist attack on America such as those of 9/11 in 2001. With a background in biology and ecology he is expert in the area of climate crisis and the likely conflicts which will arise from it and feed it. He and his focus are very appropriate for the Tenth Annual Lecture organised by the Skipton Quaker Meeting in association with Grassington and District Peace Group.

“The climate striking schoolchildren have often demanded that we ‘panic’, which is understandable in the face of such a global crisis. But they also promote a positive slogan which is seen on many occasions: ‘Another world is possible’. Clearly young people hope that an alternative future comes about, since they are the ones who will be here in 2030, 2050 and beyond. When they have the votes and the careers, they will be able to bring about change, but the crisis is surely too immediate for such a delay. Those who have the votes and careers now need to make the changes necessary to mitigate the effects of industrialisation and more lately free-market economics on the climate. Over the years there have been many examples of ‘greenwash’ by companies, political parties and councils, where the talk is talked but there has been little or no action. It is to be hoped that this will not be the case locally. Significant action can only follow from understanding and accepting the science which explains and describes the climate changes that are happening, but also recognizing the political and economic systems which cause the problems and feed the run-away climate crisis now faced. Therefore, the organisers look forward to seeing all those who have claimed a desire to take action and work to overcome the climate crisis attend the lecture and take part in the discussion and the refreshments.