The amount of U-turns that the Government has made over the last year has really highlighted to me how much potential there is for influencing some of the big decisions that they are constantly making. The latest news that the decision to approve a new coal mine in Cumbria is now going to be reviewed, really encourages me that with enough pressure from the right sources the Government does actually have the ability to stop and reconsider a bad decision (fingers crossed that they will finally accept that coal is not the future).
In light of this new glimmer of hope I have therefore now signed every petition that I can find to add my voice to the protest against this coal mine. I didn’t find out about the mine until the decision had already been approved, but now that there is a chance of a new decision being made I want to make sure that my objection will be counted.
Since I have become more aware of the range of issues that are linked to climate change and the huge amount of change that is needed, I have been making a concerted effort to sign as many important petitions as I can. As even though I don’t know how much of difference they will actually make at least I will know that I have tried to make my voice heard.
When I first started signing petitions I have to admit that I was a bit anxious about providing my personal details to a website, however as the time has gone on I have been reassured that it is a safe process. Most of the time they just want your name, postcode and sometimes your email address. The three main petition websites that I have found to be good are 38 Degrees (UK based), Change.org (Global platform) and Petitions Parliament (run by the UK Government). I have found that if they do ask for your email address you do still have the option to ask not to be contacted and apart from the initial email you sometimes get where you have to verify your email address, you don’t then get any subsequent junk mail. If you do end up ticking the wrong box initially you can always just click unsubscribe on any emails that you do receive and they will stop sending them. However, I have actually found the opposite to be a bit of a problem with Petitions Parliament as their petitions only last six months (or until an election) and then if it hasn’t received enough signatures to be debated it is then closed and you won’t get an email to tell you that you need to sign the new petition (if it is attempted again).
In terms of finding the important climate change petitions I find that the WWF always have some good ones (although they can sometimes be hard to find on their website) and Friends of the Earth and Greenpeace also have great websites where they have all of their petitions in one place.
If you want a quick place to start, I have just updated the ‘Use Your Voice’ tab on this website with links to the petitions that I currently think are the most important to support, including links to the Friends of the Earth and Greenpeace websites. (I will keep adding more as I find them.)
So if you happen to have a spare 10 minutes perhaps have a quick petition binge to let our leaders know that they are not going to get away with just giving lip service to the climate crisis. We want and need some real action.
Unfortunately, many Governments are still not making the right decisions to get us out of this climate crisis and so it is going to come down to the will of the people to show them what kind of a world we want. I am encouraged that our Government has the ability to admit when it is wrong and make appropriate U-turn’s and so I will continue to sign petitions on the issues that I believe are currently heading us in the wrong direction. I just hope that the U-turns will be taken quickly enough before we have gone too far.