38 Degrees Southport participated in the AVAAZ organised Climate Change awareness event held in Southport town centre on Sunday November 29th.  38 Degrees members set up an information desk along Cambridge Arcade to raise awareness of Climate Change and other campaigns of great concern to the towns people.

A spokesperson for 38 Degrees said the event date was chosen by climate conscious groups around the world to coincide with the opening of the Climate Summit to be held in Paris starting on Monday November 30th. We wanted to register our small voice in support of worldwide concerns at the slow progress and lack of commitment being made by the nations of the world towards climate goals.

We took the opportunity to talk to the public about other concerns, specifically the NHS, TTIP and Fracking.

The NHS. At the end of a month which saw a £64 million NHS contract for children’s services being awarded to Richard Branson’s Virgin Health, which saw Junior Doctors, vote by a massive 98% to take strike action over government intransigence to negotiate new Doctor Contracts, and which saw more revelations about conflict of interest by those voting on the carve up of the NHS to sell to private companies. We are still being asked to trust them when they say that the NHS is not for sale and is safe in their hands.

TTIP. This week we learned that the top secret transcripts of TTIP negotiations which are being held behind closed doors by EC and US officials with no representation from UK elected politicians, was in fact handed to ExxonMobile for review. David Cameron has repeatedly refused to use the UK Veto to exclude the NHS from TTIP in the same way as the French Government has protected it’s film industry. Also by TTIP negotiators own admission, increased CO2 emissions will certainly cause significant climate damage. TTIP is and should be seen as the wholesale transfer of power from sovereign governments to large multinational corporations who will inherit the power to sue countries that take any action that negatively impacts corporate profits. Yet the government seems hell bent on delivering a TTIP deal.

Fracking. This week we heard that the government will undermine local democracy and take the final decision on Cuadrilla’s Lancashire planning application that is currently under appeal following Lancashire County Council’s refusal. Shale gas is a fossil fuel and when burnt it will still produce climate damaging gases, just as coal does. The government has publicly stated its support for shale gas exploitation and is intending to reinforce it’s preference by withdrawing financial incentives from clean Solar energy.

Certain government members have got their own ideological agenda that is not supported by the vast majority of the wider population, but they are having success, by constantly repeating misinformation, ably supported by their friends in the national press and unhindered because of lack of an effective parliamentary opposition.

We would like to thank the many Southport residents and visitors who stopped for a chat, to pick up leaflets and for signing our petitions on what proved to be a horrible weather day. We are grateful for being able to take refuge outside the Sefton Council’s One Stop Shop (closed at the time) in Cambridge Arcade to shelter from the inclement weather.

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