Ring the Changes on Climate Change

Day of bell-ringing in Belfast to highlight need for action on climate change 

Climate change - it's a man made problem that is getting worse. These are facts that, aside from a few sceptics, there is now almost universal agreement on. But is there really anything you and I can do about it?

In accepting that climate change is a real and present threat many people have moved directly from denial to despair and managed to by-pass action on climate change. Why should they bother recycling when factories in India and China are pumping out so many cubic tonnes of waste a second?

As part of the Global Day of Action on Climate Change, activists will gather on the steps of St Anne’s Cathedral, Belfast on Saturday, December 6 to call on world leaders gathering in Poznan, Poland to make bold decisions on cutting global carbon emissions. 

The event – organised by Christian Aid, Eco-congregation Ireland, Friends of the Earth, Tearfund and Trócaire – is called Ring the Changes on Climate Change and will involve those gathered ringing various kinds of handheld bells at noon. Meanwhile church bells will be rung across Northern Ireland at the same time.

This is the second year in a row that such an event has taken place in Northern Ireland. In 2007 almost a hundred people gathered on the steps of the cathedral and used various instruments and implements – including alarm clocks, mobile phones and a vintage Glentoran corncrake – to Sound the Alarm on Climate Change. This year the organisers are asking people to use bells to make their presence - and their feelings on climate change - known.

One of the main organisers of the event, Niall Bakewell from Friends of the Earth said - 'The focus of last year’s event was on the urgency of the need for action on climate change. This year we want to emphasise the potential benefits that carbon reduction solutions could bring. 

'The sense of urgency this year is even greater, and the ringing bells will still act as a wake-up call to world leaders as they meet in Poland, but they will also be a celebration of a sustainable, low carbon future, which politicians could deliver for us all.' 

Bakewell strongly believes that the time has come for politicans across the globe to act multilaterally to combat climate change. 'In December 2009 world leaders will meet again at Copenhagen, where they hope to agree a replacement to the Kyoto protocol when it runs out in 2012. Over the next twelve months they must receive a loud and clear message that serious action must be taken now if we are to avoid the worst ravages of climate chaos.
'We already have the Climate Change Act in the UK, which commits us to reduce our carbon emissions, including those from aviation and shipping, by 80% before 2050. Now we need to agree a similar deal internationally,' Bakewell continues.  

'Please join us on the steps of St Anne’s from 11am onwards and bring any kind of bell that you can find. If you don’t have a bell, then we can provide you with one when you arrive. If you can’t make it to Belfast that day, there should be a bell-ringing event in your area. Please get in touch with us to find out details about events taking place throughout Northern Ireland.'

To get in contact with Bakewell at Friends of the Earth call 028 9089 7592 or email niall.bakewell@foe.co.uk.