Time to step off the gas

A crowdfunding appeal has just been launched to raise start-up funds for a Climate Hub in Eastbourne. The crowdfunder can be found here.

You might have two questions at this point:

  1. What is a Climate Hub?
  2. Why bother creating one when there’s so much else to deal with, like the cost of living crisis and the invasion of Ukraine?

Actually, the answer to the second question helps to answer the first one. Let me explain:

Burning gas fuels wars as well as warming

One of the fundamental reasons why we have both a cost of living crisis and a war in Ukraine is because of fossil fuels and our current excessive use of them throughout the world, including Eastbourne. Yes, the very same fossil fuels that are the predominant causes of global warming are also the predominant source of revenue for the Russian government’s ability to wage war in Ukraine on the scale it is able to, as well as ensuring that the gas supply to heat European homes is becoming eye-wateringly expensive.

About 40% of the carbon emissions generated in Eastbourne comes from the gas consumed to heat homes and businesses throughout the town. That is a huge dependence upon a fossil fuel that also helps to make climate change so much worse, making the town more vulnerable to flooding from the rising seas and stronger storm surges. Worse still, the steeply rising price of gas creates vast revenues for autocratic governments, revenues which can go into funding huge war machines.

The fierce urgency of now

On top of all this, in the last week the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has released its latest assessment report on climate change, with one of its authors giving us this chilling warning:

“The scientific evidence is unequivocal: climate change is a threat to human wellbeing and the health of the planet,” said Hans-Otto Pörtner, a co-chair of working group 2 of the IPCC. “Any further delay in concerted global action will miss a brief and rapidly closing window to secure a liveable future.”

Getting off the gas, one hub at a time

So, to deal with the cost of living crisis effectively, we need to shield ourselves from the rising price of gas. And to deal with the aggression of certain states we need to reduce our dependence on the gas they sell to fund their wars. What better solution than to reduce our consumption of gas or, better still, stop consuming it completely?

Can we do so? Yes. There are alternatives to gas for heating our homes and businesses. Which brings us to the point about creating a Climate Hub, for such a place will enable Eastbourne residents to learn about those alternatives, find out how to access funding for those alternatives, gain support to make any lifestyle and behaviour changes that may help reduce energy costs generally, collaborate on creating local climate actions that make a real difference to making the town far more sustainable and resilient in the face of climate change impacts, and much, much more.

There are many Climate Hubs throughout the UK now, – including ones in Lewes, Seaford, and Guildford – all run by dedicated volunteers and all providing, amongst many other services, crucial energy advice and support to help local people deal with rising fuel bills. If you’d like to help Eastbourne get one, then please donate to the Eastbourne Climate Hub crowdfunder. Thank you.

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