On 21 September I had a bit of an adventure, travelling down to London to attend the People’s Climate March – my first ever protest march.
I have been concerned about climate change for about three years, and have blogged about climate and energy for the last two. Wanting to know more about the scientific understanding of it I completed an online educational course ‘Climate Change in 4 Dimensions’ earlier this year. While I would highly recommend the course, learning more about the subject has only reinforced my concerns. The scientific conclusions are clear – the climate is changing fast, it’s caused by human carbon dioxide emissions, and it’s going to have major impacts on our lives and especially on the lives of our children and grandchildren.
Having made many changes in my lifestyle to reflect my concerns – including installing solar panels on our house, switching to a renewable energy supplier, and buying and blogging about my Renault ZOE electric car – it seemed to me that the next natural step was to become more active politically. I’m not sure what direction that will take long-term, but I felt it was necessary to start by ‘standing up to be counted’ and attending the first ever Climate March.
I toyed with the idea of going by train but somehow it seemed most appropriate to go by electric car. I therefore headed out along my regular and familiar route down the M1 towards London, stopping as usual at the Toddington Services fast charger on the way. I then drove into north London and parked up at a slow charger in Highgate (the same one I had used previously when attending a rock concert in Kentish Town).
I walked south from where I parked to Kentish Town underground station so I could take the tube down into central London. On the way I was surprised to pass two electric cars – clearly they are more popular in London than in Northampton – and I took that to be a good omen.
The first was a navy blue Tesla Model S parked on Highgate Road, in a bus lane outside a restaurant. It’s a big, good-looking car – though I don’t imagine that most people can tell it’s electric.
Then a few minutes later I saw a ZOE, much like mine apart from being white. It was just parked in a side road, probably in front of the owner’s house, looking perfectly natural.
The trip on the underground was uneventful, heading to Temple for the start of the march. I was encouraged on the way to see a couple of posters by the escalators publicising the event. I anticipated that would mean the march would be well-attended, and so it transpired.