ENVIRONMENTALIST and media personality Rupert Read warned a packed house in Ilkley last week that most people are unaware of how seriously climate change will affect us in the near future.

Rupert Read's talk entitled 'You are the climate majority – how together we can make ourselves safer even as climate breakdown unfolds’ took place at the Clarke Foley Centre in Ilkley on Thursday, May 9.

It was the fourth event in the Climate Action Ilkley series Your World, Your Vote and was open to anyone interested to listen and talk about solutions to climate and ecological emergencies.

Rupert Read, founder of the Climate Majority Project, said polls show a clear majority of the public are concerned about climate change. However, the recent extreme weather - last winter was the UK's wettest on record - has shown that our food systems and other infrastructure does not have the resilience to withstand such changes. He pointed out that the government's own advisors say politicians are not doing enough to prepare us for what's in store.

Wharfedale Observer: Rupert Read Rupert Read (Image: submitted)

He praised Climate Action Ilkley as an excellent example of a group working to reduce carbon emissions and building community through projects such as the community orchard and Library of Things (The Thingery). However, he said that much more effort needs to go into adapting to an increasingly dangerous climate. He suggested extending opportunities for growing food locally, storing water at scale to cope with more frequent future droughts, and deploying natural solutions to offset the danger of sudden extreme rainfall events. Most importantly, Rupert encouraged everyone, of all political persuasions, to talk about the challenges facing us whether that was in their workplace, school, church or other organisation.

Steve Peel, who chaired the event on behalf of Climate Action Ilkley, said: "It was brilliant to see so many people attending - including some local politicians. But it's clear from what Rupert said that Ilkley needs to step up.

"We would encourage everyone to take a look at Rupert's website - https://climatemajorityproject.com - and to join Climate Action Ilkley so that we can work together to get real about the challenges ahead.

"We all need to play a part if we're to be ready for the increasingly dangerous world we're in."