THE ice caps are melting; the towering trees of the Amazon rainforest are being burned asunder; and natural habits are being wiped out at a devastating rate, while our oceans ebb and flow against the weight of plastic waste.
Our precious environment is dying all around us, and this is exactly why tomorrow (Friday) the people of Omagh are set to rally together as part of a strike taking place globally which calls for prompt action on climate change.
The local event, supported by ‘Omagh Trades Union Council’, ‘Campaign Against Mining in Omagh’ and ‘Save Our Sperrins’, is part of an international day of action which has been organised by ‘Earth Strike’, a grassroots environmentalist movement demanding immediate action from governments and corporations worldwide.
An event spokesperson said they hoped the strike would give the people of Omagh ‘an opportunity to stand in solidarity with the movement, in the hopes of having their voices heard by the political establishment’.
“We face devastating climate catastrophe if we do not halve carbon emissions by 2030, but world governments are proving themselves unwilling, or unable, to live up to this task,” they said.
“The Amazon is being burned to make way for big agribusiness, the ice caps are melting, natural habitats are being wiped out, and we are in the midst of a mass extinction caused by human activity.
“Now we are urging students and workers to walk out and demonstrate in defence of our planet.”
‘No planet B’
The Earth Strike in Omagh coincides with the recent warning by the head of Northern Ireland’s Environment Agency (NIEA), David Small who says that if we don’t take radical action now to protect our environment, then every aspect of it is threatened.
“Addressing climate change, becoming carbon neutral, tackling plastic pollution and achieving zero waste are essential measures to safeguard our environment,” he cautioned.
“In Northern Ireland, our beautiful landscape is our most important asset, but we can no longer afford to take clear air, good water quality and green and blues spaces for granted.
“Our precious environment is an essential part of our economy, supporting many of our industries, from food and farming to fishing, forestry, tourism and energy. It’s part of our global marketing strategies. It’s part of our DNA.
“It’s now time-critical to protect this vital natural resource with ambitious, inspiring and targeted actions that keep it at the very heart of what we all do. There is no alternative than to act now, time is running out and standing still is not an option – there is no planet B.”
• Omagh’s ‘Earth Strike’ rally will take place at the Omagh Courthouse tomorrow (Friday, September 20) at 1pm. For more information, visit Facebook.com/earthstrike