Speeches (as posted to www.powerswitch.org.uk News forum)
We went on Saturday's march in London organised by the Campaign against Climate Change (www.campaigncc.org), as part of an international day of protest.
It was a great success - thousands marched past Westminster, Downing Street and on to the American Embassy in Grosvenor Square where there were speeches from Caroline Lucas (Green MEP), Michael Meacher, George Monbiot and many others.
Both Caroline Lucas and George Monbiot referred to the global peak in fossil fuel production. Caroline stressed that we need to address climate change and peak oil together and end our addiction to oil. She also made the link between peak oil and the increased likelihood of global conflicts (oil wars). She said a move towards renewables was a move towards peace and emphasised that nuclear is not the answer, being "dirty, uneconomic and unnecessary". She said the current government Energy Review was another "dodgy dossier" which Blair was using to push through his pro-nuclear policies.
George Monbiot, in the most profound and hard-hitting speech of the day, also highlighted the convergence of climate change and energy issues. He examined human history in terms of our use of fossil fuels, and concluded that "we are the most fortunate generation that has ever lived or will ever live". Fossil fuels had powered our growth and prosperity, and indeed supported the whole "edifice" of our civilisation. He stated clearly that oil supplies are running out, without actually using the term "peak oil", and added that nuclear and renewables could never replace oil. At the same time, we faced the threat of irreversible climate change. The edifice was about to come down around us.
He also said that historically no one had ever "rioted for austerity" but today's march was a demand for less, rather than more. He called for a drastic reduction in greenhouse gas emissions (90% by 2030) and said that it was necessary to put pressure on governments to reduce energy consumption. However, the biggest change that needed to be made was "inside our own heads". By this he meant we need to change our whole attitude towards consumption of energy and natural resources.
Our peak oil contingent went along with a banner 'Climate/Energy Crisis - Cut the Carbon Now!' to emphasise the twin threats we face: peak oil and climate change. See photos above.
The BBC covered the event on Saturday evening's headlines, but there's been little online news coverage so far.
The Contraction and Convergence model received quite a few mentions in the speeches and we were heartened by the maturity of understanding. There's hope yet!