I AM so surprised when I hear people say: "Control climate change? Too late! Why bother?"

I think it is to wind me up and if it isn’t I am shocked.

But there are people who feel utterly depressed and defeated believing we are wrecking the world inherited before passing it on. I don’t believe them because most calculations show if nations pull together against this global threat we will avoid the worst of the catastrophe. But we have a very tight window of opportunity - it may be as little as 11 years.

The vital step is simple. Stop burning fossil fuels for the world’s energy needs as fast as possible.

Instead, release energy from clean renewable sources. In fact, global warming is all about energy.

We would not be alive if our bodies did not burn food as our fuel and by eating plants rather than animals we can also make a big difference.

Well, plants obviously don’t belch or “release pungent gasses”, adding methane and carbon dioxide to the atmosphere .

Where the switch to renewables and away from meat is happening benefits are already seen but as with everything some policy makers react faster than others.

What we, the electorate, have is the power of the vote and with it we can motivate politicians.

Harwich and Manningtree Standard:

  • Charly Cox 

Controlling climate change is profoundly complex yet the basic truths are glaringly obvious.

Ask a young person. What could speak louder than the school strikes?

There have been 50-plus with a letter of support signed by 200 academics. Their demand? Government must take climate change more seriously now.

Let’s celebrate the UK’s achievement so far.

We have reduced emissions more than any other EU country.

Well done, but the schoolchildren are saying: “Please do more or we will inherit your mess.”

Experts predict the great grandchildren of today’s children may be left with a largely uninhabitable planet.

This is astonishing - I have seen a cost-benefit analysis of the annual investment needed to “green our economy” fast enough to meet our targets.

It is around 1 per cent of our gross domestic product, but we already spend around three times that amount on insurance.

Investing in greening the economy is insurance. Can we afford not to?

People say it’s pointless while developing countries pump out emissions at an ever greater rate and on top of that will add another 2 billion people to world population by 2050.

But with development comes education and smaller families.

Many developing countries are embracing the “green growth” concept better than us.

Join the fight

On March 1, St David’s Day, we had our last Show the Love celebration of 2019, with an exhibition of green hearts made by Essex Women's Institutes to share our message we must save our world from the dangers of ever more frequent and severe climate events by stopping climate change.

Our meeting was held at the Federation of Essex Women's Institute Centre in Hatfield Peverel and attended by members from around the county and a few ladies who aren’t members...yet.

The winning green heart was made by Mayflowers WI in Billericay, and the prize was awarded by Ann Jones, chairman of the National Federation of WI's public affairs committee.

She spoke of the proud history of the WI in campaigning for over 100 years on so many issues important to us all, from Votes for Women, to Keep Britain Tidy, to tackling climate change.

Harwich and Manningtree Standard:

  • Vicky Ford MP holding a green heart at Essex Women's Institute's climate change conference

We were fortunate to have a number of inspiring speakers, including Sir Bernard Jenkin MP who advised us on the best ways to engage our MPs on the issues that concerned us.

He spoke of how he was once a climate change sceptic but has now seen the effects of climate change himself in the UK with declining fish stocks and declining bird populations.

Vicky Ford MP told us how our closed onshore wind farms could be reopened to help bring down our energy bills with clean power, and Antonia Jennings, of the UK Health Alliance on Climate Change explained how climate change is already affecting our food supply and increasing the spread of infectious diseases.

Clara Goldsmith of the Climate Coalition and Charly Cox, climate change coach, showed us how we can change our own, and by example, other people’s behaviour in small ways that will add up to making big improvements in limiting climate change.

Finally, Oliver Hayes, Friends of the Earth, and John Whittingdale MP discussed the effects of climate change in the UK and across the wider world, with over 100,000 extra A&E visits during the July 2018 heatwave, over 36,000 of those being emergency admissions, and wildfires occurring all around the world, even inside the Arctic Circle.

We will be taking action again as part of the Climate Coalition, which includes the National Trust, RSPB, Christian Aid, and over 100 other charities in a rally at Westminster on Wednesday, June 26 from 1pm to 4.30pm.

If you, rightly, don’t want to wait that long, then join Extinction Rebellion’s funeral march to mourn for all the beautiful plants and animals already lost to climate change on Saturday, March 9 at 1pm, at Castle Park, Colchester.

Children (it is their world that’s being lost) and well behaved dogs welcome. I hope to see you there.