Necessity Still Breeds Ingenuity - Archive of SQUALL MAGAZINE 1992-2006

The Trouble With Words...

Squall 8, Autumn 1994, pg. 17.

Press release No 184, issued by the Department of the Environment in March 1994, was a stirring rally cry to every citizen of this great and noble nation, to rise up together - to love our land and our planet - to save nature.

We were so moved here at SQUALL to be the recipients of such marvellous sentiments that we thought we’d share them with all our readers, so that you too may be inspired to strive for the future of the life support system that we all have to share:

Department of the Environment Press Release 184 - 17 March 1994


World Environment Day is an opportunity for families to join in the battle to save the environment, Environment Secretary John Gummer said today.

Giving further details about the United Kingdom's plans to host the United Nations Environment programme (UNEP) World Environment day on 3 June, Mr Gummer said:

“Fifty years ago, the political future of the world was being determined by a war being waged by young men and women from all walks of life and virtually every country on Earth.

“In June we will be celebrating the Normandy Landings. But also in June the United Kingdom will be hosting World Environment Day, a focus for environmental effort, and a focus that reminds us that the earth has seen countless civilisations rise and fall. The most important battle still faces us: the battle to safeguard the future of the Earth.

“We are sponsoring a nation-wide schools competition to encourage children to set out their vision of the future and a Science Museum exhibition - ‘City Limits?’ - on the future of cities. We will host the laureates ceremony in London to celebrate the excellence of work being done worldwide.

But the day is also a day for individual action. I hope that families across the country will agree that to make a difference to their environment, they have to get involved. The best way of getting involved is to join a local environment group, to work with local people and local authorities to ‘green’ their neighbourhoods. I urge families to join up to make a difference to their environment. ”

As a postscript to this marvellous ‘rally call to the gallery’, SQUALL would like to add a few facts.

In July of this year, The London Air Quality Network warned the Government that the quality of London’s air was the worst in 40 years and is deteriorating further. At Whipps Cross Hospital in Walthamstow, London, doctors thought that there had been had been some kind of industrial chemical emission accident during the summer, after a sudden rise in admissions for asthma. It was then discovered that the dramatic fluctuation in asthma cases was not exclusive to Walthamstow and was connected with high levels of low-level toxic ozone created by the effect of the sun on exhaust fumes. The Government predict that traffic volumes could increase by 142% within 25 years. In August, the newspapers reported that the predicted level of retail car sales (450,000 instead of 500,000) was a bad indicator of the economy. The sale of cars is one of the major indicators used to measure economic success.

“The trouble with words is that you never know whose mouths they’ve been in.” - Dennis Potter

In the light of these facts, SQUALL would like to fill in the missing part of the DoE’s press release, that should have given information on who to contact should you wish to heed their “hope that families across the country will agree that to make a difference to their environment, they have to get involved. The best way of getting involved is to join a local environment group.” Because there is indeed a “a war being waged by young (and older) men and women from all walks of life.” Want to know where? Then contact:

PO Box 371, Southampton, Hants SO9 7BS - Tel: 0703 237809
Will inform you of a local anti-road campaign in your area.

13, Stockwell Road, London SW9 9AU - Tel: 071 737 6641
Network of campaigners involved in non-violent-direct-action road protests.