In January 2022 Ramsgate Town councillors voted to declare a climate emergency. Shortly afterwards a climate change task group was established which is said to be focusing its attention on the reduction of damaging greenhouse gas emissions, and other forms of pollution in and around the town, and also the promotion of biodiversity. The task group terms of reference include the scrutiny of the town council’s own production of pollutants and ways to reduce this.
But whilst looking good on paper these environmental initiatives are, in my view, another cynical example of “greenwashing” by the ragbag of self-aggrandising fools who go by the name of town councillors.
If these self-professed champions of the Ramsgate environment were serious then one of the first things they should have done to demonstrate it would have been to ban council funded firework displays. In this year alone £10,000 of taxpayers money will have literally gone up in smoke in council funded fireworks displays celebrating an unwanted medieval monarch’s jubilee, and tonight’s New Year Eve.
A growing body of international scientific research has shown fireworks to be a significant cause of atmospheric pollution including the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide and deadly micro particles which when inhaled can contribute to respiratory and heart disease or cancer.
This is not just a Ramsgate matter. There must be hundreds of millions of firework celebrations taking place across the planet every year for many different reasons. Taken together they add enormously to total global pollution and the resulting climate change. And its not as if there aren’t any less damaging alternatives to fireworks. Those coming out against old fashioned fireworks cite laser displays, projection technologies, drone based light shows as more exciting and less polluting than the gunpowder based entertainment of antiquity.
Anyone with the slightest interest in building a cleaner, greener, sustainable planet for our children and grandchildren must know that fireworks, like diesel and petrol cars, biomass wood burners and such like are on their way out. In fact agreements reached at the recent COP 15 summit, will almost certainly lead to it becoming unlawful for public bodies such as RTC to use tax payers cash to fund polluting activities such as firework displays.
Bearing in mind that what I am saying is part of a rapidly growing environmental debate it’s hard to believe that a town council which is controlled by supposedly eco-friendly Labour and Green Party councillors has, as far I can see, made no public commitment whatsoever about ending taxpayer funded pyrotechnical pollution which threatens the health and well-being of the people of Ramsgate and ultimately of our planet.
Ironically when the smell of electoral popularity was in the air, Labour and Green councillors were happy to spend £10,000 of taxpayers money on a report about the environmental impact of Manston Airport. But when the council which they control spends £10,000 on firework displays which pollute the town’s atmosphere and put residents lives at risk, they say nowt.
Perhaps this is because RTC’s Labour and Green councillors despite their protestations to the contrary, are just the same as the Tories – self-interested, dishonest and hypocritical whose main concern is not the people they are elected to represent, or the environment they promised to protect, but to keep their arse cheeks firmly pressed into the well upholstered leather armchairs of civic power.
Happy New Year. May it be fair, just, inclusive and caring, without poverty and war.