Climate change talk held in Pulborough

'Just Gary' the taxidermy seagull artwork by local artist, Gabi Carr. Picture: Hugh Gilbert SUS-191023-152237001
'Just Gary' the taxidermy seagull artwork by local artist, Gabi Carr. Picture: Hugh Gilbert SUS-191023-152237001

A burning issue brought around 150 people together for a public forum on climate change in Pulborough.

The Wiggonholt Association hosted the event at Pulborough Village Hall on Friday and welcomed a variety of speakers.

Viviane Doussy, of the Wiggonholt Association, said: “It was sobering to face the immense realities of our climate and ecological emergency.

“Based on unequivocal science, the IPCC – Inter-government Panel on Climate Change have made it clear that for humans to survive, we have barely over a decade to make the systemic and societal changes needed.

“If we stay below the 1.5 degrees Celsius temperature rise, this only gives us a 50 per cent chance of avoiding a global humanitarian crisis that will play itself out in front of our eyes sooner than we think.

“With over 50 years of our negligence and nonchalance, the steepness of the curve is now so SO great, that it seems altogether overwhelming to get to net-zero carbon by 2050 – never mind contemplating the more pressing 2030 challenge that is really necessary.

“The environmental crisis was tackled by the speakers from many angles – you simply couldn’t escape the common threads that rang through each and every presentation.

“Facts repeated, put another way, turned upside down, challenged, but you always came to the same answer. Act now and do as much as you can.”

Speakers at the event included: Geoff Barnard – Greening Steyning & SECA Steering Committee member; Kia Trainor – director, Campaign to Protect Rural England, Sussex; Tony Whitbread – president of Sussex Wildlife Trust & SECA Steering Committee member; Carrie Cort – Al Gore Climate Reality Leader and Founder Sussex Green Living & Horsham Repair Café; and Peter Knight – Arun to Adur Cluster Farmers Group and estate manager of the Norfolk Estate.

Visitors to the event were able to discuss and contemplate the information during a plastic-free interval with hand-made sandwiches including vegan and veggie options, which were served with hot or cold drinks.

It also offered the opportunity to marvel at ‘Just Gary’ – the taxidermy seagull artwork by local artist Gabi Carr, which highlights the plight of plastics and litter threatening marine and all life on earth.

Viviane added: “The talks came full-circle with Geoff Barnard putting forward the challenge of the South East Climate Alliance (SECA): what will you do as parents and grandparents this Christmas to make a difference to your spending habits? Start thinking everybody – despite its apparent simplicity, this is a far-reaching question!

“The meeting was beautifully orchestrated and kept to impeccable timing by Pulborough-based journalist and presenter Jane Mote who had a past career in the BBC.

“The audience had much to say and contribute, but you felt a warm connection with everyone. We had understood the gravity of the situation, and all resolutely went home, determined to do more than each of us are already doing. We live on a one-planet world and want to survive this crisis.

“An uplifting Friday evening of solidarity in our local rural community.”

For more information, visit http://www.wiggonholt.org/ or contact Viviane on 07796 261296 or viv.doussy@outlook.com

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