Personal plea from one of the ‘Bath Tub 16’

I feel really frightened to think that my children and grandchildren will grow up in a world threatened by flooding, wildfires, food shortages, water shortages, resource wars, mass migration and dire health impacts. Despite climate breakdown being the greatest threat to human health in history, our government is failing to adequately protect us all from significant harm. 

My twelve year old son, Jacques, died from Asthma. We know that toxic air leads to 40,000 premature deaths in the UK each year and the UK already has the highest asthma death rate for 10 to 24 year olds compared to similar western countries. These deaths will increase significantly in the future because rising temperatures act to make air pollution worse – specifically toxic ground-level ozone and particulates from wildfires. 

As a bereaved Mum my heart breaks knowing that other Mums will have to face the same devastation that I have experienced. The polluters must take responsibility for harming our health. That starts with the Government and local authorities acting NOW to protect public health and minimise the harm done to our children and grandchildren. For me, taking action in Bristol and getting arrested felt necessary to raise this awareness. Most people I know are unaware of the serious consequences that we are facing. I would not be able to forgive myself if I sat back and did nothing. 

Melanie Phelps (55) 
Bereaved Parents Together 
Extinction Rebellion 

Source: American Lung Association