Having covered a third of our route, we were surprised that it hadn’t rained for a week. So much for the perennial cliché of non-stop British rain as people were walking around Coventry in T-shirts. The outdoor seating areas of cafes and restaurants were overflowing on Saturday. The marchers received a lot of attention with people snapping photos on their phones.
Will the increase in global temperature bring with it a corresponding decrease in energy consumption for domestic heating? It doesn’t seem like it. The domestic energy consumption habit won’t change from one day to the next if there is no concerted government action. And the predictable pseudo-environmentalist stance of Boris Johnson never translates into tangible measures unless they fit the populist agenda.
Ambitious public investment programmes from Downing Street aimed at improving the thermal insulation of houses are yet to see the light of day. Meanwhile, the poorest families have the unenviable choice between heating or eating. Sectors of the movement for the climate have stepped up civil disobedience to demand that the commitments are met.
In a lay-by a truck driver asked us where we were going. He vehemently encouraged us and spoke about strong local opposition to the HS2 high-speed railway line. He then asked us if we were going to block the road. We told him, ‘We’ll never get to Glasgow if we stay here blocking the road’. Insulate Britain, an offshoot of the climate activist movement Extinction Rebellion, has been blocking roads and motorways in the UK for the past month. Launched in August, they focus on getting the government to better insulate homes and reduce emissions, as they promised in their electoral manifesto.
Written by: Jose Luis Martinez