Blog – Time to put down the polar bear?

Is it time to put down the polar bear? That’s a question I’ve been asking myself this week as leaders met in New York for the UN Climate Summit, ever […]

Register now!

By Vicky Ellis

Is it time to put down the polar bear?

That’s a question I’ve been asking myself this week as leaders met in New York for the UN Climate Summit, ever since I filmed the People’s Climate March in London on Sunday.

It was by far the largest green protest I’ve covered in four years on the energy beat – estimates put the number at 40,000 attendees.

In fact it was so big, there were still thousands marching from Temple towards Westminster by the time the speeches had wrapped up and people were ushered away from Parliament.

And it all ended rather abruptly – so many people milling around with good intentions. How was all that energy channelled? It wasn’t. The whole crowd, eager to hear, to learn, to make a stand, dissolved. That energy dissipated.

It could have been stored, charged, and redeployed in the future by arming the wheelchair pushers, workers, grandparents, students, with facts and figures.

So soon after the Scottish referendum, I find myself looking for parallels. For while there is scientific consensus, climate change activists feel like the minority fighting for majority acceptance.

The Yes camp thrived with a heart over head approach but their opponents stole the final victory – with the fear factor.

The Better Together team sketched out the economic woes that could pop up, tying them to economic realities – banking, oil, healthcare.

Green campaigners can use the best of both ‘Yes’ and ‘No’ by running a core of steel through their arguments.

Perhaps it’s time to go Braveheart in a lab coat: beef up the ice cold economic arguments at the same time as melting hearts.