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Letter to Sarah Teather, Liberal Democrat MP for Brent East

July 10, 2008

Dear Sarah Teather,

Thank you for your commitment to the Climate Change Bill and your response to my previous message.

According to George Monbiot’s book Heat the minimum reduction in atmospheric Carbon Dioxide concentrations that would give us a decent chance of avoiding a catastrophic global temperature increase of 2° by 2030 is a disturbing 90%. A lot more changes need to take place rapidly for even an 80% reduction to occur in time. The onus is on EVERYONE – the public, the private sector and the government – to enact these changes. We must all make an effort to change the way we live, the private sector must act in a socially responsible way and the government must strongly curb the power of the private sector as well as setting out regulations for public consumption.

What infuriates and alarms me the most is the lack of transparency in mainstream media and government with regard to the complete picture encompassing not only climate change but equally the energy crisis (peak oil and gas) and the effect this is already having on global food prices care of a thoughtless increase in the use of biofuels, particularly by the US. There seems to be a need to hide, separate and confuse these truths at the highest levels, possibly for what it might expose in terms of foreign policy (eg our reasons for being in Afghanistan and Iraq) and perhaps for the risk of panic effecting the global economy. There is a sense of desperately clinging on to the idea that economic growth is infinite (a core requirement of our shortsighted financial system) and that the private accumulation of wealth overrides all other considerations, even life itself. Our world leaders’ primary obligation, no matter what they claim, has always been to private wealth and this is simply not acceptable. At the risk of sounding deeply cynical, it seems that the Stern report reveals an underlying willingness to accept unprecedented losses of human life attributed to starvation in poorer countries. Hiding these truths from the public has only exacerbated the problem for all of us in the long term.

I believe that time is far too short to be selective about the truth. We are all in this together, surely. If we fail to make these changes, even those with vast amounts of private wealth will not have much of a world in which to enjoy it.

I urge you to take a strong stand on transparency within government and the media on all of these matters.

Yours sincerely,
Seth Mowshowitz

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