"The Year They Ran Out of Excuses"

Labour MP, Ed Miliband, writes that climate delay, not climate denial, has become our biggest enemy. Nothing, he warns, is more dangerous than the "illusion of action."

Future generations will look back on the climate events of 2021 and say: “That was the year they ran out of excuses.”

Heatwaves and flooding here in the UK, temperatures topping 50C in Pakistan, hundreds killed by a heatwave in British Columbia, deadly floods in Germany and China. All within a single month. Add to that the recent dire warning from the Met Office that the age of extreme weather has just begun.

The wake-up call that this offers is not just the obvious one: that climate breakdown is already here. It also illustrates that we, in this generation, are in a unique position in the history of this crisis. Climate breakdown can no longer be plausibly denied as a threat etched only in the future. And all too soon, avoiding it may be a luxury lost to the past. The window to avoid catastrophe is closing with every passing day. We’re in the decisive decade in this fight, and we must treat the climate crisis as an issue that stands alone in the combination of its urgency and the shadow it casts over future generations.

Winning Slowly is the Same as Losing.

The most dangerous opponents of change are no longer the shrinking minority who deny the need for action, but the supposed supporters of change who refuse to act at the pace the science demands. As Bill McKibben, environmentalist and climate scholar, says on climate: “Winning slowly is the same as losing.”

I could point out that Miliband's criticisms aren't limited to the government of Boris Johnson.  At least BoJo isn't promising much, delivering little plus concurrently indulging a pipeline fetish, hoping to flood world markets with the filthiest, highest-carbon, lowest-value ersatz petroleum on the planet.

Nothing is more dangerous than the mirage of action shrouding the truth of inaction, because it breeds either false confidence that we will be OK or cynicism and despair about meaningless political promises.



  1. As Churchill said, Mound, we must do what is required.

  2. What angers me, Owen, is that, in so many ways, we're now up against it. Our government has never tried to get ahead of this grave threat. Mitigation strategies and adaptation initiatives have languished, leaving us further and further behind. There'll be a terrible price to be paid for this blatant dereliction. With the Tories and Liberals together comfortably locking up 70 per cent of the vote we're stuck here watching as the clock runs out.

    Climate delay is our true enemy as it has been for the past 40 years of rule by Conservative and Liberal governments.

    Yes, we must do what is required, yet we cannot.

  3. Behind every government federal or provincial lies a selfish electorate and influential big business.
    Neither have an appetite for real change.
    How can we overcome that?


    1. We can't overcome vested interests with the governments we support today, TB. Today's Guardian editorial addresses this problem.

      "The question is whether a government that consistently prioritises an ideological commitment to competition over other considerations is willing or able to oversee the streamlined public administration that is needed. This is not only to protect people from flooding in the short term but to think creatively about the radical changes in lifestyles and the built and natural environment that will be required in the coming decades.

      "...Adapting to the climate crisis requires squaring up to vested interests, just as limiting it through emissions cuts does. The risks of not doing both grow ever clearer."

  4. Looking, again , at the Kenney Trudeau photo I am reminded of the fact that we live in the age of symbolism!
    Symbolism is but an extension of persuasion.
    Take this into consideration..


    The manipulation of the masses is an age old occupation! or perhaps just human reaction to the want of power?

    We really do not have much respect for each other!

    If we dont' laugh we will cry.


    1. Thanks for the links, TB. As you know, it will take a while to get through the "age of persuasion" material. I do agree that, over the last few decades, large segments of the population have been groomed to render them essentially powerless.


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