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Petition for Council debate

Dear Editor, I write to express agreement and delight at the Soapbox contribution by Martin Lack (Join the decarbonisation bandwagon. Geoscientist 29 (3), 9, April 2019). As he suggests, I also would ask the Society to foster support for the campaign by the Climate Coalition in order to persuade our politicians to legislate for a 2050 Decarbonisation Target. Following the Bryan Lovell meeting of the 21-23 January, it might appear an opportune time for such a move.

Can I suggest that perhaps a petition could be started amongst Fellows to see if there is a groundswell for such a move by our Society? This could be along the lines of Government Petitions whereby if 100,000 signatures are achieved, the subject becomes mandatory for Parliament to debate. As our membership is a fraction of the numbers who are eligible to put their name to a Government Petition, could I suggest that  if 500 sign a Society Petition it requires Council to debate it and if Council agrees, then more active support for the Climate Coalition campaign follows? If it were too difficult to organise/finance such a petition, then perhaps a call for members to notify the Society could be made through Geoscientist?

Though there are only 54 ’science’ trained MP’s of the 649 in Parliament at present, a prestigious body like our Society, with quite possibly, formidable backing from its members, should be able to impress that minority and because of that, many others.

Dr Brian D’Olier (FGS)

P.S.  Hopefully ‘Brexit’ will have been finally resolved in the near future, and our Government can then turn its attention to far more important matters, such as this!