Don’t let plutocrats destroy life on Earth
Readers reflect on ways to spark action to tackle climate collapse in the face of the rich dictating the conversation and policies George Monbiots article should be read as a survival guide for humanity ( With our food systems on the verge of collapse, its the plutocrats v life on Earth, 15 July ). The ever-increasing signs of climate collapse make for heart-thumping reading, while our daily dose of record-breaking temperatures, severe water shortages and crop failure only add to the litany of looming disaster. Yet we continue with the model of business as usual because those in whom power and money are entrenched wish to keep them so. So, what can the majority of us, who continue to bear the brunt, actually do? Protest just invites a prison sentence, while getting the media to invest a few words in the subject is seemingly impossible. Our most effective, and indeed possibly our only, tool for effecting meaningful change is our freedom to vote all the way from local authority to national government but with time fast running out we need those in power to be making those changes without further prevarication. Wherever you are, please use your vote wisely, because all our futures may hang on this tenuous thread. Nick MacIneskar Tayvallich, Argyll and Bute Its even worse than George Monbiot says. Its not just the 1% or 2% dictating the conversation and policies. Theres a swathe of 25%40% of people in the developed world who recognise the issues and impending outcomes, but go along with the status quo in order not to take a short-term hit to consumption standards. This group is ambivalent, and ambivalence in a crisis supports inaction and failure. Also, those on the fringes working to forestall and perhaps reverse the effects of climate change need to work to change the message. The object is not to save the planet. In other epochs, this planet was fine as a burning ball of methane, and it was fine as a frozen ball of ice. As the author notes, its the habitability for humans that needs to be preserved/restored; the climate range that allowed humans to develop and prosper. The planet doesnt need saving. It will endure. Its the people on Earth who are endangered. D Scott McDougall Boise, Idaho, United States George Monbiots excellent piece on the growing fragility of our food system under accelerating global heating blames the plutocrats and their greed for humanitys failure to address global heating. However, one sentence leapt out at me: Can you imagine, in decades to come, trying to explain this to your children? If Monbiot is right and the food system collapses, the only group with the resources to get enough food for their children in decades to come will be the plutocrats, and they are not going to tell their children it was our fault. They luxuriate in the belief that, even if the worst happens, their wealth and power will see them through. Michael Healey Professor emeritus, University of British Columbia, Canada I have always found that governments and the mega-rich have become extremely good at diverting attention away from the real stories. In ancient Rome the adage was give them bread and circuses, meaning that as long as the plebs had just enough to eat and amusements for distraction they were easily controlled. Exactly the same is true today. Trying to wake people up to what is really happening is very difficult and important. However, inertia and apathy are serious obstacles to overcome. Felicity Davies West Kirby, Wirral Have an opinion on anything youve read in the Guardian today? Please email us your letter and it will be considered for publication in our letters section.