WELL, they certainly know how to get a debate going in Wallingford!

Of course, many Herald readers will think that even talking about banning the three biggest events in the town is absurd, and agree with councillor Ros Lester that the motion should have been thrown out.

However, if councillor Beatty wanted to make his point hit home, he certainly did that, and with gusto.

And what is that point? That, at the moment, it is simply not possible to live our lives in the way we live now, or even something recognisably close, and also be carbon neutral.

Laudable as Wallingford Town Council's intention was in 'declaring a climate emergency', the word 'emergency' quickly seems to lose all meaning if the council does not then immediately ban all those things which it knows full well contribute to the very emissions said to be causing that emergency.

It's not just Wallingford Town Council, of course – most of the councils in Oxfordshire and indeed across the rest of the country have made this declaration which sounds so grand, but if they all took the kind of immediate action which would justify the use of the word 'emergency' then their voters would kick them out.

There's a problem in ethics which goes something like this: most of us, if we were walking to dinner in a £1,000 new suit and we saw a child drowning in a lake, would dive in to save their life, regardless of the cost of the suit. At the same time, we all know that we could save the lives of many children in other parts of the world for much less than £1,000 by donating that money to the various charities which work in the poorest countries – yet we don't. Why?

The same problem applies to climate change: the vast majority of us now agree that the emissions from petrol and diesel vehicles are heating our planet up in a way that endangers life around the globe, yet we still get in our cars, other people's cars, buses and trains, not to mention food we buy imported from around the globe.

Councillor Beatty highlights the point excellently, but we do hope we will still see him at fireworks night.

That's assuming it's even allowed to go ahead this year...