This letter has been drafted by Dundee’s Extinction Rebellion (XR) group. They think it is what Nature would want to be saying to us in the run-up to the December 12 election.
I am writing to ask that you make sure the politicians you vote for on December 12 understand they are accountable for my ailing health.
My health has deteriorated, in large part because politicians have prioritised economic growth, profit and material wealth. Because they are worried they will lose your support, they have never been prepared to confront the gravity of my ailments, despite what scientists have been telling them for decades.
I am made up of many finely balanced interconnected natural systems that support all life, including you as humans. You are part of me.
My problems have arisen because for about 200 years you have brought fossil fuels up from the ground and used the energy to do many ingenious but damaging things.
You have cleared land for development, destroying habitat; synthesised chemicals and materials for technology, clothes, packaging, cleaning, building, etc that I can’t readily break down, causing all kinds of pollution; and used intensive agricultural systems, destroying life in the soil and above ground.
With all this and the fossil-fuelled transport and energy systems that make your economy work, there has been a warming of my atmosphere, triggering natural disasters and stresses to life.
You are not in great shape as a species either. You seem to be experiencing increased mental and physical disease, rising inequality and a great deal of conflict.
Please understand, the health of your economy is ultimately based on my health. Because I started out being abundant, diverse and strong, I have just about been able to support you.
However, you have weakened me so much that I do not have a great deal more resilience. The way things are going, you will find this out the hard way, although you are beginning to experience this.
You need to listen and change quickly. As the most intelligent species to date, you have the ingenuity to come up with solutions, but you won’t be able to do this at the pace and scale required without politicians beginning to care about me more than your GDP. My medicines begin with strong policies, laws, regulation and incentives across the economy.
As a member of my web of life, I ask you to make sure your politicians know they are accountable for my health and, with that, the long-term wellbeing and survival of all life, including humans.