2021-Chancellor shares her climate change fears

Dr Annie Lennox OBE writes about her anxiety and dread for future generations who will inherit the full impact of climate change.

Fri, 08 Oct 2021 10:39:00 BST
Glasgow Caledonian University Chancellor and Scottish singer-songwriter Dr Annie Lennox OBE
Glasgow Caledonian University Chancellor and Scottish singer-songwriter Dr Annie Lennox OBE

As Glasgow prepares for the COP26 conference, Glasgow Caledonian University Chancellor and Scottish singer-songwriter Dr Annie Lennox OBE shares her fears for the world's future generations who will inherit the full impact of the Climate Emergency.

Most people have known me over the years as a singer-songwriter and performer, but they might not be as aware that I'm also a passionate social activist and among many other things, I'm Chancellor of Glasgow Caledonian University.

My role as Chancellor involves supporting young students who work hard to become graduates, scientists, visionaries, planners and future leaders. I am greatly concerned about the challenges they will all be faced with in the not too distant future.

I must say that Climate Change, or more frankly - Climate Emergency, is truly THE issue that gives me the worst sense of anxiety and dread about what lies ahead, not only for our children, but for their children's children.  They are the ones who'll have to handle the catastrophic situation that will inevitably follow if nothing is done to reverse the global crisis that is taking place.

As Greta Thunberg points out so forcefully, "We are in the beginning of mass extinction and all you can talk about is money and fairy tales of eternal economic growth. How dare you!"

Over 40 years ago, I first became aware that man-made pollution and greenhouse gas emissions were causing enormous damage to our planet's environment and biodiversity. Not forgetting the melting of our ancient Arctic ice caps.  Four decades ago, many people dismissed this as an eccentric notion or they were simply in denial of the facts.

Now, while the impact of unfettered industrialisation remains largely unaddressed, this unimaginable problem is accelerating exponentially, threatening the entire balance of nature on our planet, from weather systems and rising temperatures in sea levels, to the sustainability of life itself.

In 2021, we are seeing the cumulative impact of relentless human exploitation of the planet – something we still don't seem to be able to admit or face up to.

We have become disconnected from nature and blind to the destruction that has been taking place for years, right under our noses. Our forests, jungles, great coral reefs, oceans, rivers and all living species and organisms are in existential jeopardy yet we still carry on as if nothing was happening.

In a few weeks, I will join people around the world to demand that political leaders meeting in Glasgow for the United Nation's COP26 climate summit MUST take the ACTION needed to avert this impending apocalyptic scenario.

Words and targets are NOT enough. There must be a REAL plan and REAL action to tackle global warming, cut fossil fuels and stop banks from funding climate-wrecking industries. We must provide REAL protection for our forests and oceans, and ensure there's sufficient funding from those wealthier nations, who have profited from ecological destruction, to support the countries who are now bearing the dire brunt of it.

To find out more about GCU and COP26 click on this link - www.gcu.ac.uk/cop26