Withhold Your Vote

We are beginning to see the effects of climate change come close to home.  Floods in Germany and fires across southern Europe are destroying lives, homes, livelihoods and huge areas of natural beauty.  The latest IPCC report makes it clear that climate change will get worse quite quickly and will affect us all.   But what do you see your politicians doing? Are they voting to make the changes we need to reduce these problems and build local resilience?  There are MPs and councillors all over Britain who are afraid to vote for change because nobody likes change, and it will be unpopular in the short term. They seem to think that keeping their jobs now is more important than your future and the future of your children.  It is time to tell them that is the wrong idea.  Please write to all your democratic representatives, to tell them that unless you see them act to reduce climate change and biodiversity loss you will vote for someone else at the next opportunity.  It does not matter who you voted for last time. Your councillors and MP are there to represent you.  Tell them what you want. 

To find out how your MP has voted go to https://www.mysociety.org/wehelpyou/find-out-how-your-mp-voted/

MPs shape national policy, and their votes determine where your tax money is spent and what it is spent on.  They may have influence on climate and biodiversity policy abroad too. To find an MP go to  https://members.parliament.uk/FindYourMP and enter your postcode or MPs name. 

CIty and county councillors give voice to their communities and help shape local services and facilities.  Much of what they do depends on money from central government. To find Exeter city councillors go to https://exeter.gov.uk/council-and-democracy/councillors-and-meetings/find-your-councillor and enter your postcode.   

To find Devon County councillors go to https://democracy.devon.gov.uk/mgMemberIndex.aspx?bcr=1 and enter your postcode. 

The specimen letter below may help you frame your own letter. It covers some of the points that are of most concern when we think of Climate change and Biodiversity loss.  If it will be quicker or more convenient, feel free to use the letter as it stands or modify it to reflect your own concerns.  

Dear —————–  I am writing to express my concern that not enough is being done to slow climate change and biodiversity loss.  The latest IPCC report leaves us in no doubt that, unless we make rapid and radical changes to the ways we move, grow our food and produce power, a collapse of the natural world and economy is inevitable.  We know now that there must be an end to new road building, and an end to investment in fossil fuels, either directly or indirectly through pension funds and overseas aid.  Simple steps like banning neo-nicotinoids and glyphosate could help the natural world, and increased investment in the green economy, insulation, water conservation, local power generation, improved public transport and active travel facilities will build resilience in the economy and communities.  While I understand that there is push-back from sections of the public, all these changes are inevitable. Only the speed at which we do these things is controllable, and that will depend largely on political courage and leadership.  I am looking to you to provide that.  To be blunt, I intend to take an interest in your voting record, and unless I see a personal commitment from you to solving the many problems of climate change and biodiversity loss, I will vote for someone else at the next opportunity.  

My apologies for the direct tone of this message, but it reflects the urgency with which we must deal with these problems.   

Yours sincerely, 

Please act today. If we all use the small levers that we have, we can look forward to a better world where we have clean air to breathe, food which does not depend on poisoning the earth or mistreating animals, a sound economy which provides real jobs, and a future for our children and all the living things on Earth.  Let us make all that an expectation, not just a hope.