Walking with the pilgrims of climate change


If virtue is indeed its own reward, then those who have purchased EVs in the past two years will be feeling pretty good right now.

Motivated by the desire to cut emissions and taking seriously the role they can play in saving the planet, electrical conductors have probably also smiled quietly to themselves as they watched panic buying reports on the forecourt.

Along with those who are quietly content, there are also the loud blissful who have taken to social media to signal their virtues. Usually such behavior would require a quick rebuttal response challenging such schadenfreude, but on this occasion I think they are absolutely right.

While it is never fun to watch people rejoice in the misfortune of others, I have an admiration for those who put their money where their mouths are and electrical conductors certainly have done so, accepting the limitations brought by lack of infrastructure, charging points and battery, but deciding that, overall, such limitations are worthwhile to deal with the climate emergency.

Meanwhile, Chelsea tractor drivers and heavy diesel consumers have to wait and settle for a different set of limitations brought on by the fuel shortage. If a wake-up call was needed to motivate the general population to once again consider the merits of electricity, the current crisis surely provides it.

The fuel shortage is also a reminder of a greater and far-reaching urgency when it comes to the broader issue of climate change.

Inspired by the Christian pilgrimage tradition and the history of Christian activism, a group of young people set out from Carbis Bay to Cornwall in June, just after the G7. They will arrive in Glasgow the day before COP26 in November. Their route is 1,200 miles and involves major events in 10 major UK cities. This weekend a group of relay walkers will reach the northeast and they invite people to join their journey on Friday as they pass through Trimdon and Kelloe to Durham Cathedral before holding a rally on Durham Market Square. Over the weekend, their pilgrimage will take them to Chester-le-Street, Pelton and Gateshead before arriving at Newcastle Cathedral.

Under the “Rise to the Moment” banner, the walkers will be accompanied – quite unusual – by a boat, a visual symbol of their belief that while we are in the storm of climate change, we are not in the same boat with the people. consequences of the storm being felt unevenly across the world, as has been the case with Covid, where poorer countries and nations are without vaccines while other nations are throwing them away.

As the fuel shortage begins to ease over the next few days as people stop buying in panic, hopefully the sense of panic caused by a lack on the forecourt will translate into a recognition of the real emergency that is taking place. unfolds before us as the impact of climate justice becomes increasingly urgent with no possibility of a quick fix.

And, of course, one of the perks of joining the Pilgrims this weekend is that it doesn’t need gasoline.


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