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Saturday, December 01, 2007

Policing in the face of climate change - email to the Chairman of Gloucestershire Police Authority

see also email sent to chief constable of the met, after Climate Camp

Dear Mr. Garnham,

Following our recent exchange of emails which you unfortunately found offensive, I trust you have since familiarised yourself with the recent IPCC report and the UN Human Development report

Neither of these reports make pleasant reading. The IPCC report paints a picture of overwhelming environmental destruction that will be far beyond the capabilities of our society to cope with unless serious action is taken. The serious action that they recommend is a 90% cut in CO2 emissions. A cut of this magnitude will completely disrupt the smooth running of our society.

Likewise the UN Human development report (page 4) quotes “The drafters of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights were looking back at a human tragedy, the second world war, that had already happened. Climate change is different. It is a human tragedy in the making. Allowing that tragedy to evolve would be a political failure that merits the description of an ‘outrage to the conscience of mankind’

As the Chairman of Gloucestershire Police Authority you have a special responsibility when it comes to these problems. To do nothing will result in a societal collapse that is likely to be sudden and violent as climate change accelerates out of control. Doing something requires the biggest curtailment of freedoms imaginable to enable the CO2 cuts to be made, which is also going to be overwhelmingly difficult. The flooding experiences of last summer highlighted how suddenly change can happen and how vulnerable we are.

It is clear that in the very near future the ideas for policing that our society has been based on will become redundant. It will simply not be possible to provide the protection that we expect with the existing forces or structures. In either of the circumstances above you are likely to be forced to rely on local protection as societies take on responsibility for their own policing.

I would be interested to know what consideration you have given to these inevitable circumstances.

Kevin Lister
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