Nick Evans reports on the Oxfordshire Climate and Flooding Alliance.
On 14 February 2014, The Guardian ran a front page with a photo of the flooded Thames valley, and the headline: “Climate Change is here now. It could lead to global conflict. Yet the politicians squabble.”
The argument was out there: floods like these are part of the way the weather looks now climate change is happening. Climate change will get much worse, and so will these floods. Other parts of the world will be getting hotter and drier at the same time. Events like the typhoon that killed over 5,700 in the Philippines last November will become more likely; and as areas become too dry or too wet, we may see migrations of hundreds of millions of people.
Climate activists in Oxfordshire, which has seen serious flooding over the past weeks, met on Tuesday 25 February to discuss what could be done to respond locally. People came from disparate groups, from low carbon groups, the One Million Climate Jobs campaign, from No Dash for Gas, the Green Party, the Quakers, People and Planet…
We decided to call ourselves the Oxfordshire Climate and Flooding Alliance, and agreed to work together to do three things:
The first was to spread the argument about the link between climate change and flooding far and wide, and to bring the disparate local climate movement together to do it, through open letters and public meetings.
The second was to get together with all the other different environmental groups, community groups and local trade unions in Oxfordshire, and demand a meeting about climate and floods with David Cameron in 10 Downing St.
The third was to establish a network that could help provide support and solidarity for those affected by flooding.