A retired history teacher living in Forres is depriving himself of food to drive home the message of climate change.
John Lardner says it breaks his heart to see the way the planet is being destroyed through consumption and overuse of the planet’s resources, and he is hoping his 12-hour fast will urge people to understand the drastic action he says is needed to prevent ‘huge social, economic and political problems’ for all of us.
He said: “The resources of this planet are being used and exploited, destroying not only the natural world but our climate and therefore destroying our future, so in order to keep our present economic model going, we’re actually destroying our lives, and that’s not sustainable for us or our children.
Sitting outside the office of Douglas Ross, where he also hopes that public support will encourage the MP to back the Climate and Ecological Emergency Bill, he is fasting every Friday in May from 7am to 7pm.
He said people should have acted in the 1980s: “Now we’re reaching crunch time and we have very little time to make the changes that are necessary.
“Being a former history teacher dealing with children I am very worried for their future. It breaks my heart the way we’re destroying the planet for short-term economic gain. It’s as if we’re on a treadmill of survival rather than living.
“We have to make major changes. I’m not saying that capitalism is wrong in itself, but it has to be balanced by a fully functioning working democracy, and democracy is hot holding capitalism to account at the moment.
The Scottish Government has promised zero emissions by 2045, and the UK Government has declared the same by 2050, however John says both dates need to be brought forward in order to have a reasonable hope of keeping to the Paris Agreement of 1.5 degrees above pre-industrial levels of temperature.
“That’s an absolute must otherwise we’re going to have really serious problems in terms of the climate, in terms of flooding, in terms of people forced off their land, which is going to create huge social, economic and political problems for all of us.
“The Scottish Government is probably doing better on the environment than Westminster, though there is a lot more the Scottish Government could do. We have to reign in this desperate pursuit of consumption and economic growth at all costs.
“A lot of people argue it’s a matter of opinion and they choose not to support the need for change, but I think once people really look at the science they have to come round to the need to do much more than they’re actually doing.
Nobody I know of that has really studied the issues in depth is in any doubt that we have to do something major.
He added: “Some people are very supportive and some people are hostile, but i think there is a lot of fear.
“I appeal to people for the sake of themselves, their children and grandchildren and future generations, to please look in detail at what needs to be done.”