Catherine 's Letter

To my youngest son Simon born 1997,

Dear Simon.

As a mother I was more upset than you can imagine when so many school and social events in your childhoods were ruined by floods and heatwaves even though we were living in Oxfordshire and then Wiltshire. I remembered my primary school days in the 60s when you could rely on sunny and dry Junes, lying in the grass making daisy chains on sports days and then 6 weeks of playing outside not having to hide from the heat or the rain!

I would really like to be a grandmother but at the same time I don't want to be because I am really worried that a grandchild would have to endure societal breakdown as the rising of sea levels destroy cities and ruin our economies and there is mass unrest as millions of people seek sanctuary in rapidly decreasing hospitable climes.

Above all the simple pleasures that I enjoy, the spring awakening, a sunny but not too hot day on the beach or on the downs, a crisp autumn day, the beauty of frost on the trees and snow in winter will all be lost if we don't take the climate emergency seriously now, it is happening now and although compared to what people in Asia and Africa have suffered it has still had an effect on your childhood and will have an effect on your future which I am really sad about.

I know that the technology is there, all that is needed is the political will to say no to further fossil fuel exploitation. Realistic carbon pricing which factors in the social cost of fossil fuels such as Climate Income would help and also enabling the global south by accepting our responsibility for climate change and agreeing to all our mitigation payments and loss and damage payments. All it needs is the political will to stop our unnecessary reliance on fossil fuels now and I would be much more happy about the prospect of becoming a doting grandmother some day in the not to distant future!

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