Retired Sheffield doctor to sit in road and block traffic in climate change protest

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A Sheffield man plans to sit in the road and block traffic in a bid to draw attention to the ‘terrifying’ urgency of the climate change crisis.

Retired doctor Bing Jones, 68, of Nether Green, will be sitting in a road in Sheffield from 11am on Saturday (May 1) with a sign that reads “I am terrified by empty promises on the climate crisis”.

He says he is doing this in a bid to draw attention to the fact that both the local Sheffield government and the national government have repeatedly made promises about working towards a greener future, while acting in ways that undermine these goals and make the situation worse.

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Dr Jones said: "I am desperate. I write, lobby and support green politics but see nothing real happening. So I plan to sit in the road on Saturday with a notice saying I am terrified. I am sorry to disrupt ordinary people but I do not know what else to do.

Dr Bing Jones with his sign that he will use in the protest.Dr Bing Jones with his sign that he will use in the protest.
Dr Bing Jones with his sign that he will use in the protest.

“I’m terrified and depressed that we are still not acting meaningfully on the climate crisis. We have targets but we are still increasing emissions today.

"The targets are for far in the future, and they are essentially kicking the can down the road rather than acting now.

"I am a retired doctor with grandchildren and I’m appalled by our inaction. Irreversible environmental damage has already happened and we are making it worse daily.

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"National and local governments talk in half-truths and lies. They set distant targets but avoid meaningful climate action today. Current policies are increasing emissions. Governments protect business first.

"National and local governments set ambitious targets to reduce emissions but then systematically increase emissions by road building, oil gas and coal exploration, airport expansion and fossil fuel subsidies.

"They have cancelled grants for greener homes, renewables, electric vehicles, overseas aid and green banking.”

Dr Jones, who has written extensively on the subject of climate change and worked with Extinction Rebellion in the past, believes that protesting is a last resort to “make it clear how massive the disruption is going to be for every week we delay action on climate.”

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"As Sheffield voters, we need to understand how terrifying the facts are and how little is being done. The climate has already changed. Whole societies have nothing to eat.

"Covid is a consequence of environmental collapse. We cause this by our massive, increasing consumption. It is two years since Sheffield and parliament declared a climate emergency yet CO2 emissions continue to rise.

"Targets without action are meaningless. We need to elect honest politicians who will change the rules now for a sustainable future. Otherwise we are committing collective suicide just to protect the richest in society.”

Dr Jones’ protest will coincide with planned Kill The Bill protests in Sheffield on the same day. There will also be events to mark Labour Day taking place.

He added that while he regrets that he will cause some disruption, he will do his best to minimise the effect of his protest on people’s everyday lives.

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