Helen Rushby's Letter

My grandson Ally (7 now) ,

Hi Ally

I really hope the world is a good place to live in when you grow up and are in your 60s as I am now.

It has been evidenced since around 1990 that pollution was affecting our planet. That we needed to stop using petrol, oil and gas. We had the technology for solar and wind power. We also knew that removing trees and hedges and the use of chemicals in agriculture were harmful to the environment with numbers of birds, insects and butterflies declining. We used plastic for everything and instead of recycling it responsibly we shipped it to other countries where it ended up on the beaches and entered the food chain through fish. By 1922 it was obvious we had reached a tipping point and urgent action was needed.

For over 30 years our governments had taken only small steps towards the changes that were needed and we were already experiencing extreme weather events, flooding, droughts, fires - all threatening lives and our future across the planet.

I hope that finally in COP27 world leaders took serious and extensive action to halt and reverse climate change. Setting targets is not enough. We need action, and that action has to be taken between 2022-2030 if you have a chance of living comfortably in your older years.

I am sorry and very sad that we didn’t start tackling this 30 years ago. We didn’t and now the action has to be drastic. We can do it - but it may mean that you are unable to do some of the things your parents and grandparents could. We all have to travel less. We need to live simpler more sustainable lives. It seems like it’s doing without - but it isn’t it is ensuring that you and your grandchildren have a lovely world to enjoy for many years to come.

If when you read this letter in 2030 the world has not taken significant action to stop climate change then all I can say is …I’m sorry. I tried and many others tried too. I wrote to my MP regularly, I protested, I talked to people constantly about the way things needed to change. But in the end it wasn’t enough. And I am so very sorry. Life will be very difficult for you by the time you are my age. The world will be much hotter. You will be short of food and water. Mass migration will be constant as people are forced to leave parts of the world that become too difficult to live in. Sadly by 2030 it is already too late to reverse this and although you are only 15 you have a difficult life ahead.

You didn’t deserve this. Our governments should have acted responsibly between 2022-2030. I still hope they will.

Grandma Helen

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