Guest blog by Daniel Goldsmith
Daniel is the Green party candidate for Brentford & Isleworth
The dangers of climate change
Ihave been aware of our growing impact on the environment since I was in my teens. In 2008 I joined my first Climate Action march to Kingsnorth, Kent to protest against the building of a new coal-fired power station and have been campaigning on environmental issues ever since.
A recent study endorsed by more than 11,000 scientist signatories from around the world declared that we face a “Clear and unequivocal” climate change emergency. Without deep and lasting changes, the world is facing “untold human suffering” the study says.
The threat of climate change affects what I eat, where I go on holiday, where I work, and how I travel to work. For example, I travelled to Geneva in Switzerland on business by train rather than fly. I have added solar panels to my house, which is also fully insulated and double glazed.
People are now waking up to the possible impacts of climate change, despite the $1billion spent every year by deniers to play down the dangers. I am heartened by the recent Extinction Rebellion protests and the Climate Strikes organised by the young. According to a recent opinion poll a majority of people in the UK now say the climate crisis will influence how they vote in the general election, with younger voters feeling particularly strongly.
We need to win people’s hearts and minds, and the first step to do this is for the government to admit that the situation is grave, and we all need to work together to solve it. Technical and financial improvements won’t solve the problem alone. This year I helped organise the petition and protest that spurred Hounslow Council to declare a climate emergency and was very pleasantly surprised when a climate emergency was declared without opposition. I am delighted that the Green Party have committed to spend £100 billion a year to reduce climate change over the next decade.
Other local environmental issues
I am fiercely opposed to Heathrow expansion. Not only is it wrong to build a third runway when we should be trying to cut our carbon emissions, but the extra noise, traffic and air pollution will damage our environment, and local residents’ mental and physical health.
I have also campaigned against air pollution, which causes more deaths than smoking. I am in favour of the ULEZ and don’t agree that a part of the A4 in Chiswick should be exempt.
I voted Remain in the referendum in 2016. I strongly support the Green Party policy to have another referendum because we have learnt a lot about Brexit in the last three years. I also worry that leaving the EU will weaken our environmental and labour protections.
I can’t remember a time when the government showed less respect for the rule of law than in the recent scramble for Brexit at any cost. How ironic that when Parliament was unlawfully prorogued one of the parties in the Supreme Court case against the government was John Major, a former Conservative Prime Minister. And isn’t it childish that our current Prime Minister wrote not one, but two letters to the EU when he requested an extension, and only signed one? We must always remember that due process and the rule of law safeguard our liberties.
Our unequal society
We live in one of the most unequal societies in Europe, and it is shameful that a record number of emergency food supplies are being handed out at food banks. Studies have shown that inequality goes with increased crime and ill health. Living in an unequal society affects everyone negatively, not just those at the bottom of the ladder.
What do I do at work?
After I qualified as a Chartered Accountant I worked as the European Financial Controller of a computer reservation system, based at Hounslow. I now work implementing SAP Finance systems. I am seen as “a safe pair of hands” and have a reputation for being friendly and approachable. I love cycling to work in Brentford.
What do I do in my spare time?
I am a keen cyclist and have cycled in races, time trials and sportives. I rode in the Prudential Ride 100 cycle sportive as a ride safety captain. It was very satisfying to help riders, including those riding for charity, have a safe and enjoyable ride. I have lived in Chiswick with my wife for over twenty years. My two sons are now at University.
I will be out and about at a station or shopping centre near you. Please come and say hello if you see me. It would be great to talk!
Contact Daniel at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Read more stories on The Chiswick Calendar
See also: Green Party Hounslow manifesto