Editor’s comment: Why we’ve turned the Islington Gazette green for the climate crisis

The Gazette has gone green this week for a climate emergency special.

The Gazette has gone green this week for a climate emergency special. - Credit: Archant

Apologies to anyone who thinks the Gazette looks ill this week.

Changing your masthead, especially its colours, is something you do hesitantly as an editor. The masthead is your identity. It's how readers know they're picking up your paper and not the Racing Post. It is one of the few constants around which everything else changes week to week.

And I must admit the logo, turned green for this one-off special edition, looks kind of... unwell. It's like when a cartoon character's face goes green so you know they're going to be sick.

Obviously, when we planned it, it was meant to signify the environment, nature, trees, the healthy planet we want to save and preserve for our children and grandchildren - that sort of thing.

But maybe it's appropriate, after all, that it looks peaky. The world is sick. We shouldn't have to devote an entire newspaper to the government's failure to address an indisputable international crisis. But it seems we can't rely on our leaders to take the urgent, fundamental action they've been putting off for decades. So I suppose this is our small act of rebellion.

Tackling climate change isn't about shaming your neighbours for not separating their plastic recycling properly. Everyone has different amounts of energy, money, time; none of us should judge anyone else. We are all working within an economic and political system that promotes and rewards selfishness, and that has left many people with very little to survive on.

But we won't recycle our way out of the climate crisis: we need system change. Government inaction, corporate unaccountability and collective denial mean all of us have inherited responsibility for something that really shouldn't be our problem. It is wrong that a handful of big businesses are responsible for the majority of the world's toxic emissions. It is wrong that a Swedish schoolgirl has become the face of a campaign to treat our planet better.

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But the crisis is now so bad that we must all play a part in fixing a problem that isn't our fault. I hope this week's Gazette makes that clear - and gives you some ideas.