It’s been announced that the city’s six annual bonfires have been cancelled this year. The reason given for the cancellation is that it’s to reduce the possibility of transmission of the Covid virus. Details of the cancellation are given in this Yorkshire Evening Post article.
Whilst we welcome the bonfires’ cancellation, we feel that it was for the wrong reason. Almost two years ago, there were unprecedented fires in Australia which killed many thousands of kangaroos, koala bears and other wildlife. More recently, temperatures in the Pacific North West have reached previously unrecorded levels, resulting in many human deaths and the destruction of redwood forests. And just a few weeks ago, there was flooding in West Germany on a scale and with devastation never before seen. It’s generally accepted that all these phenomena are the result of climate change. And so if bonfires in Leeds are to be cancelled, then it should be because they (a) contribute to said climate change, and (b) send out the wrong signal from an administration committed to achieving zero carbon emissions by 2030.