Comment is priceless – CYCLING IS CORE TO CLIMATE CAMPAIGNING
November 01, 2019 by Extinction Rebellion
Transport emissions are the largest source of UK direct emissions, at 33%. They have remained stubbornly high since 1990, while emissions from electricity dropped 60%. Parallel to the climate and ecological emergencies the UK is also has diabetes, obesity and asthma crises. All three conditions have transport related contributory factors.
The loudly trumpeted switch to electric vehicles (EVs) is not the solution to
these crises. The embodied carbon of the manufacture of both EV and fossil fuelled cars is equal to the average annual electricity emissions from a UK household for seven to forty-five years! Luckily, there is an alternative..
The single most effective solution to all these crises would be the annual investment of £6 billion a year in the creation of a national cycleway network by 2025. This would equal the 20% of the UK transport budget, which the UN says we should be investing. Over 70% of trips are under five miles and 80% under ten miles.
Research by Glasgow University showed that cycling to work is associated with a staggering 45% lower risk of developing cancer and a 46% lower risk of heart disease. We can end the war by the motor- car lobby on humanity. We can create beautiful car-free towns and city centres. Our kids can be freed, able to play on our streets again, and through them we adults can learn to know our neighbours again, re-establishing our lost communities.
Donnachadh McCarthy has been arrested four times peacefully protesting with Extinction Rebellion. He is the author of The Prostitute State – How Britain’s Democracy Has Been Bought, and is a newspaper eco-columnist. @DonnachadhMc