Letter: Climatic catastrophe

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The Independent Culture
Sir: I don't think I shall be sending any money to Venezuela. I didn't send any to Honduras or Orissa. If I did, I would have to send it to each new man-made disaster as it happens, without any help towards averting them.

The warning (letter, 23 December) by Peter Ewins and James Baker, chief meteorologists of the UK and USA, reminds me that since I helped to found the Green Party in 1973, every spare penny I have had has been spent on trying to promote the idea that ecology is the fundamental principle.

Green parties around the world have been formed in response to a recognition that we are approaching the limits of the Earth's ability to sustain expanding human activity. Unfortunately we guessed wrongly the precise nature of the first problems to be encountered, so that those still profiting (hugely) from business as usual were able to discount our efforts to establish a coherent political approach. Only this can hope to avert accelerating problems of which unnatural disasters are only the beginning.

The start of a new millennium seems as good a moment as any to restate the founding belief of the Green Party that from now on the chief political divide - world wide - is not poverty versus affluence but between those of us who maintain that we must treat the planet with respect, and those who cannot, or for short-sighted selfish motives delay accepting the inevitable.


Batley, West Yorkshire