A large group of campaigners from Extinction Rebellion blocked the main roundabout on the A40 in Carmarthen today, Saturday (Aug 29) as travellers already caught up in the Bank Holiday traffic queued to head West.
The group are famous for their random acts of disruption to traffic networks and this was no different. It caused considerable disruption for motorists.
Speaking to motorists who were delayed by the action, many spoke in support of the need to address global warming. One motorist who said he worked on flood defences said that the problem was with those lining their pockets by building on flood plains. Another motorist said she did not mind being delayed for ten minutes while another said they had been having a conversation about flooding in other parts of the UK while travelling.
During the protest our reporter and photographer Peter A Tully was assaulted by a motorist who left his car. Film footage showing the assault on our reporter and an elderly protester has been forwarded to Dyfed-Powys Police.
The group issued the following statement:
SORRY TO ALARM YOU but we need to explain that within 30 years from now this area will be under water, according to a body of leading scientists and journalists. Large areas of low-lying land in Wales will be under water. This means that travel will be impossible, farming in these areas and areas isolated by the floods will cease, and people will lose their homes.
New homes are usually built on prime farming land meaning that we would have to import more food. In case you didn’t know it, in 2017 the UK imported more than half of the food we consumed (Gov.uk. Food statistics pocketbook 2017). Those countries we buy our food from will also be suffering with the floods, displaced populations and food shortages. Sea levels could rise by as much as 2 metres in the 21st Century with predicted ice sheet contributions to future sea level rise from structured expert judgment (Bamber, Oppenheimer Kopp, Aspinall & Cooke, 2019). That puts these roads under water. What’s worse is that the scientific predictions aren’t keeping up with climate change. Whatever you read now is quickly outdated, the scenario is worsening, Permafrost is melting which releases methane into the atmosphere.
What is Carmarthenshire County Council doing? After the floods in Carmarthen due to storm Callum in October 2018 and storm Dennis in February 2020, Carmarthen County Council, Welsh Government or indeed Westminster have put no plans in place to avert the climate disaster or mitigate the effects of flooding in this area. This risk to lives and property is increasing year on year and the people who govern us just stand back and do too little too late. We need action:
This is why we are taking things into our own hands and are taking action today. We need to put pressure on the Carmarthenshire County Council, Welsh Government and Westminster to act now and to act in our best interest. We cannot stand back and watch them do nothing.
Local and national government can either follow the scientific and economic advice and inform citizens, build flood defences and take decisive steps towards a cleaner, fairer and more sustainable economy. – or it can ignore that advice by carrying on as usual and locking us into the path to climate breakdown.
WE ARE TAKING ACTION WE ARE TELLING GOVERNMENT. ENOUGH IS ENOUGH .
WE DEMAND THAT THE GOVERNMENT TELL THE TRUTH ABOUT CLIMATE CHANGE,
WE DEMAND THAT THE GOVERNMENT MAKE CHANGES TO REDUCE CARBON TO NET ZERO BY 2025
WE DEMAND THAT THE GOVERNMENT LISTENS TO THE PEOPLE BY IMPLEMENTING A CITIZENS ASSEMBLY TO MAKE CROSS PARTY DECISIONS
We are predicted to go over the 15 degree threshold within the next 5 years as emissions rebound. This will mean havoc for coastal regions and our food supplies, not to mention further droughts and forest fires. As we recover from the pandemic, this is the last best chance we have to turn things around.
WHAT CAN YOU DO
• Contact your local member of parliament or your local council for more information • Join us in Cardiff and London this week.
MAKE A STAND AND SHOW YOUR SUPPORT.
Photos and Video: Peter A Tully