GONE event hosted by Chichester and Arun Green Party and Extinction Rebellion

24 August 2020

On Sunday 23rd August an area of grass in Hotham Park in Bognor Regis was laid with donated children’s shoes and audio stories, to represent a stark reminder of the current future we will be handing to the next generation and the hardships they will experience due to the Climate Crisis. 

Gone. Shoes at Hotham Park

The Lancet predicts ‘A child born today will experience a world .. four degrees warmer than the pre-industrial average, with climate change impacting human health from infancy and adolescence to adulthood and old age’, this will be as a direct consequence of actions decided upon by current generations.  

 

We already know children are amongst the worst affected by climate breakdown, with the permanent effects of undernutrition becoming a reality as we continue on a downward trend in all major global food crop yield potential. 

 

As air pollution continues to increase again after a reduction during the lockdown, there is deep concern that given we now know of the increased risk of Covid-19 death due to air pollution, a second wave will only be exacerbated by allowing air pollution levels to increase again. This is on-top of the risks many children are placed in by experiencing unsafe pollution levels day to day. The severity of the risks is already a reality for children such as 9 year old Ella Kissi-Debrah, who died in 2013 after suffering fatal asthma attacks due to air pollution

 

We now know that all the marine life tested in British waters have microplastics in their guts. These plastics are absorbed in our food, blocking the natural function of hormones, which has the potential to wipe out humankind within 200 years unless urgent action is taken to reduce plastic pollution.

 

WSCC acknowledges that the geography of the coastline of West Sussex presents significant challenges as during the winter months rainfall run-off from the South Downs drains rapidly onto the coastal flood plain. MET office states that coastal flood risk is expected to increase over the 21st century and beyond under all climate change scenarios. This means that we can expect to see both an increase in the frequency and magnitude of extreme water levels around the UK coastline. Children living within the flood plains and coastal areas close to sea level will be increasingly impacted or displaced, causing illness, stress, and disruption to their lives. 

 

Carol Birch at Gone, Hotham ParkCarol Birch Green Party Arun Area Coordinator and Election Agent states

’Today was about explaining the impact Climate Change is already having on our childrens' future. Climate change will not lead to a gentle increase in temperature, instead there will be extremes of weather. This will mean that some areas will become too hot for habitation and our food and water supplies will be threatened. The time for serious action is now to protect our future generations.'

 

The Green Party are supporting the Wellbeing of Future Generations Bill which seeks to make the obligation that the law of unintended consequences be addressed. It aims to require ‘public bodies to act in pursuit of the United Kingdom’s environmental, social, economic and cultural wellbeing by meeting wellbeing objectives’.

 

Liz McCallum states

‘This was a collaboration with local Green Party members and myself, an XR activist, to explore some of the scientific evidence whilst engaging with the local people of Bognor in order to find out how people were feeling about the climate emergency and to try to understand their views. I was particularly impressed by the enthusiasm and dedication of the young Green Party member, Chloe Wilkinson.’

 

The shoes were donated by EcoSwap CIC and upon returning will be donated to Little Bundles Baby Bank that hold fantastic pay what you can school uniform sales (any remaining shoes will be taken out to those in need in Africa, so absolutely nothing goes to waste). Ecoswap CIC are also establishing a permanent school uniform bank for the Arun area to support families that struggle to get the items they need. 






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