Southwold and Felixstowe Communities Make Waves

Local Extinction Rebellion groups are taking part in MAKE THE WAVE, a UK-wide action by more than 90 coastal communities. Extinction Rebellion and other climate-concerned organisations are Making The Wave over the four days leading up to the G7 summit conference in Cornwall.

Make The Wave is part of a wider set of G7-related actions. It sends a clear signal, to Boris Johnson and G7 summit delegates representing several billion citizens, that ordinary people demand greater, immediate action to tackle the climate and ecological emergency. The action’s focus is on the resulting rise in sea level – we are already drowning in promises, now we demand action. Building higher sea defences is not the answer. Tackling emissions, especially our continued dependence on fossil fuels, is what is needed.

If sea level rises occur as predicted by 2100, 151 million people in major coastal population centres in China, Bangladesh, India, Vietnam, Indonesia and Thailand could be threatened by flooding.  In 19 other countries from Nigeria to Brazil and from Egypt to the UK, land now home to over one million people could become permanently inundated. Although there is uncertainty about the timing and extent of the danger, some estimates suggest a range from 0.5 to 2.0 metres of sea-level rise by the end of the century.

What are the predictions for the low-lying coastal areas of East Suffolk by 2050; what will be the impact on the landscape and towns we are so familiar with today? Will headline news in the next three decades include Southwold being renamed the Isle of Southwold, Felixstowe Ferry settlement swallowed by the sea, Woodbridge and Melton train stations abandoned to the encroaching river, Felixstowe Port now too dangerous to continue operating and Ipswich Town FC’s Portman Road Stadium flooded for the third time and no longer considered safe for supporters? These scenarios could become the reality not just for future generations, but for many alive today.

The Southwold and Felixstowe actions take place as part of Make The Wave day 3:

● On Wednesday 9th June 2021

● Southwold: 14:30-16:30; Felixstowe: 16:00-17:30

● Next to Southwold Pier; at Felixstowe Seafront Gardens

Extinction Rebellion Suffolk Sunrise and Extinction Rebellion Ipswich will attract public attention by offering boat trips to the Isle of Southwold, exhibiting ‘Ernest’ on the beach and displaying a ‘Climate Museum’. Members of the public will be able to view information designed to raise their awareness and understanding of global sea level rise and related local issues, as well as engage in a discussion on the impact sea level rise may have on our East Suffolk communities.

Jonathan Valentine, 64, Bookseller from Woodbridge, commented that: ” If Sea Level rises occur as predicted it will cause destruction and disruption, not just to the larger coastal communities like Lowestoft, Southwold, Aldeburgh, and Felixstowe, but life and business activities will become increasingly tough for many inland communities like Ipswich and Woodbridge.  Will we start witnessing the first ” Climate Refugees ” from this region within our lifetimes ? “

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