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Leading environmentalist tells Ilkley to get real about climate crisis

Rupert Read speaking at the Climate Action Ilkley event

Rupert Read, a leading environmentalist and media personality, warned a packed Clarke Foley Community Hub in Ilkley last week that most people are unaware of how seriously climate change will affect us in the near future.

At the event organised by Climate Action Ilkley, Rupert said that polls show a clear majority of the public are concerned about climate change. However, the recent extreme weather - last winter was the UK's wettest on record - has shown that our food systems and other infrastructure does not have the resilience to withstand such changes. He pointed out that the government's own advisors say politicians are not doing enough to prepare us for what's in store.

He praised Climate Action Ilkley as an excellent example of a group working to reduce carbon emissions and building community through projects such as the community orchard and Library of Things (The Thingery).

However, he said that much more effort needs to go into adapting to a increasingly dangerous climate. He suggested extending opportunities for growing food locally, storing water at scale to cope with more frequent future droughts, and deploying natural solutions to offset the danger of sudden extreme rainfall events. Most importantly, Rupert encouraged everyone, of all political persuasions, to talk about the challenges facing us whether that was in their workplace, school, church or other organisation.

Steve Peel, who chaired the event on behalf of Climate Action Ilkley, said "It was brilliant to see so many people attending - including some local politicians. But it's clear from what Rupert said that Ilkley needs to step up.

"We would encourage everyone to take a look at Rupert's website - climatemajorityproject.com and to join Climate Action Ilkley www.climateactionilkley.org.uk so that we can work together to get real about the challenges ahead.

"We all need to play a part if we're to be ready for the increasingly dangerous world we're in." 

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