Category Archives: Environment

The World Health Organisation’s Manifesto for a healthy and green recovery from COVID-19

WHO Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus addressed the 73rd World Health Assembly.  May 18th 2020:

“The pandemic is a reminder of the intimate and delicate relationship between people and planet. Any efforts to make our world safer are doomed to fail unless they address the critical interface between people and pathogens, and the existential threat of climate change, that is making our Earth less habitable.”

A summary

COVID-19 is the greatest global shock in decades.  Hundreds of thousands of lives have been lost, and the world’s economy likely faces the worst recession since the 1930s.  The resulting loss of employment and income will cause further damage to livelihoods, health, and sustainable development. 

We cannot go back to the way we did things before.

Increasing numbers of infectious diseases, including HIV/AIDS, SARS and Ebola, have made the jump from wildlife to humans – and all available evidence suggests that COVID-19 has followed the same route.

As infections spread, a lack of universal health coverage has left billions of people, including many in rich countries, without reliable and affordable access to medical treatment.

Massive inequalities have meant that deaths and loss of livelihoods have been strongly driven by socioeconomic status, often compounded by gender and minority status.

Attempting to save money by neglecting environmental protection, emergency preparedness, health systems, and social safety nets, has proven to be a false economy – and the bill is now being paid many times over.

The world cannot afford repeated disasters on the scale of COVID-19, whether they are triggered by the next pandemic, or from mounting environmental damage and climate change. Going back to “normal” is not good enough.

In adversity, the crisis has also brought out some of the best in our societies, from solidarity among neighbours, to the bravery of health and other key workers in facing down risks to their own health to serve their communities, to countries working together to provide emergency relief or to research treatments and vaccines.

The “lockdown” measures that have been necessary to control the spread of COVID-19 have slowed economic activity, and disrupted lives – but have also given some glimpses of a possible brighter future. In some places, pollution levels have dropped to such an extent that people have breathed clean air, or have seen blue skies and clear waters, or have been able to walk and cycle safely with their children – for the first times in their lives.

National governments are now committing trillions of dollars, in a matter of weeks, to maintain and eventually resuscitate economy activity.  These investments are essential to safeguard people’s livelihoods, and therefore their health.

But the allocation of these investments, and the policy decisions that will guide both short- and long-term recovery, have the potential to shape the way we live our lives, work and consume for years to come.

Nowhere is this more important than in their effects on environmental degradation and pollution, and particularly on the greenhouse gas emissions that are driving global warming and the climate crisis.

Decisions made in the coming months can either “lock in” economic development patterns that will do permanent and escalating damage to the ecological systems that sustain all human health and livelihoods, or, if wisely taken, can promote a healthier, fairer, and greener world. 

To read the World Health Organisation’s prescriptions for a healthy, green recovery go to its newsroom.

There is widespread public support for policies that do not seek only to maximize GDP, but to protect and enhance wellbeing, and for governments to combat climate change and environmental destruction with the same seriousness with which they are now fighting COVID-19. It is also shown by the millions of young people who have mobilized to demand action not only on climate and biodiversity – but also for the right to breathe clean air, and for their future on a liveable planet.

 

 

 

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Jane Morrice: in a post COVID-19 future, reset the teaching of economics

In a recent article, Wendy Carlin reflected, “Covid-19 along with climate change could be the driving forces of our age to transform economic thinking, policy and the choices people make.”

She referred to a “new way to talk about the economy” and that prompted a response from Jane Morrice (right), whose wide experience includes serving as Deputy Speaker of the NI Assembly.

Her letter advocated a fundamental reset of the teaching of basic economic theory which would require a new culture regarding health as a nation’s wealth, natural resources as its riches and people as its priority.

Our outdated approach to economic principles should be replaced by one which links social, environmental and economic policy and places a sustainable, socially just society alongside job creation and growth in one all-inclusive new theory, “socenomics”.

Jane believes Covid-19 has proved that our economy is intrinsically linked with the health of society and the environment. But our education is divided into information management silos.

She sees the need for radical change in the way we measure and value success to overcome these divisions; the use of gross domestic product to measure national success should be replaced by a system that goes beyond pennies in pockets or investment in stocks and should measure:

  • medics per inhabitant,
  • disease control
  • and levels of air and water quality

Her conclusion: a approach which places a sustainable, socially just society alongside job creation and growth in one all-inclusive new theory, ‘socenomics’ would offer “a simple, yet comprehensive, solution to the most serious challenges facing 21st-century society”.

 

 

 

 

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A different kind of life is possible: Bruce Kent

After a US commander revealed the information to the Senate, the Ministry of Defence confirmed on Sunday that it has committed the taxpayer to fund a multi billion pound replacement of Trident, with nuclear warheads based on US technology.

Colin Archer and Dave Webb point out that, given the importance of finding large sums of public money to fund the now-urgent green transition, this is the right time to highlight the huge sums devoted to the military sector and top of the list is the UK’s commitment to nuclear weapons. The proposed slogan for Global Days of Action on Military Spending (GDAMS) is ‘Military spending costs the Earth’. 

Amongst the articles listed on the GDAMS international campaign website was one by Bruce Kent originally published in Peace News. The article opens with his tribute to the readable, international and interesting Peace News, before signing off, at least for a time. He thanked all on the team, especially the very modest editor and continued:

Hospital is always an eye-opening experience. Any London hospital is an international community on its own: a Portuguese doctor, nurses from the Philippines and all parts of Africa – all helpful and concerned even if very over-worked. My biggest shock came in a chat with a young trainee nurse. I asked if she did an eight-hour day. She just smiled. Her working day runs for 12½ hours. She lives at least an hour away in South London. So she has about eight or nine hours at home to sleep, cook, eat and have any kind of social life. Not fair. It’s not just money that the NHS needs but good working conditions as well.

In the run-up to the general election, both main parties promised many millions to be spent on increased NHS funding. Why did they not say this and do it long ago?

We can apparently afford £200 billion for a new set of very non-independent nuclear missile submarines. Missiles are on rotating loan from the US, which no one seems to notice. Not a word so far, in all the electioneering that I have heard, about nuclear bombs except for a contemptuous mention that Jeremy Corbyn would not ‘press the button’ – and so kill tens of thousands of innocent civilians far away.

Our concern about military expenditure is clearly a global one. Only recently a report came through my letterbox from the Global Campaign on Military Spending (GCOMS) started by the International Peace Bureau in 2011.

(Right: Bruce and other campaigners attended a GDAMS protest and letter hand-in at the MoD in April 2019)

GCOMS concentrates every April-May on actions all around the world, highlighting the connection between military expenditure and the lack of money for real human needs. Last time, there were 110 events in 27 countries – with UK events in York, Bradford and London. Have a look at the work in progress on www.demilitarize.org.

The need is obvious. The money spent on war and the preparations for war is a scandal and ought to be commonly recognised as such. The global military budget is now not far off two trillion dollars a year. We now have the climate change campaigners with us.

To read the small print click here and use the magnifying glass symbol to read the data from SIPRI’s Arms Transfers Database (March 2019)

Military production involves the release of CO2 in massive quantities. The two great current perils, war and climate change, are dangerous twins.

Many of the events are fun to organise, such as the ‘Move the money’ selfie project, or stalls offering passers-by the opportunity to indicate their alternative budget choices (buttons in jam jars or buckets work well, labelled ‘education’, ‘green energy’, etc). We need a group campaigning on military expenditure to be active in every part of this country, but that means hard and imaginative work and energy. We need an enthusiastic volunteer to coordinate and encourage more GCOMS events next spring. How about you?

From “The Chance for Peace,” a speech to the American Society of Newspaper Editors, April 16, 1953

The best quote that I can end with comes, rather surprisingly, from a US general. Dwight Eisenhower was never a hawk. He can’t have been popular in his world for saying that the nuclear bombs on Japan in 1945 were never necessary. He had this to say in 1953 and you may well recognise the quotation: Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who are hungry and are not fed, those who are cold and not clothed. This is not a way of life. Under the cloud of war, it is humanity hanging on a cross of iron….’

Bruce ends: “A different kind of life is possible. Let’s together make it happen”.

 

 

 

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2018 stats: top post was by Dr Devinder Sharma and visitors came from 42 countries

Top post, ‘Natural farming is the future: Andhra Pradesh shows the way’: Professor Devinder Sharma

Ends: Andhra Pradesh has launched a massive programme to promote natural farming.

This programme, Rythu Sadhikara Samstha, aims to bring 5 lakh farmers in all the 13 districts during the period 2017-2022 to adopt natural farming practices (read more here and on their Facebook page). I recently visited a number of villages in Kurnool district to meet some farmers who have moved away from chemical agriculture to natural farming practices.

I was amazed to learn that yields are increasing across all crops

In groundnut, yields have gone up by 35 per cent; Cotton productivity has increased by 11 per cent; Chilli by 34 per cent; brinjal by 69 per cent; and paddy by 10 to 12 per cent. So far, 1.63 lakh farmers have switched to natural farming. If crop productivity can increase without using chemical fertiliser and pesticides; if the net income in the hands of farmers goes up considerably; and if natural farming ushers in a climate resilient agriculture, I see no reason why other states cannot emulate the pioneering efforts being made by Andhra Pradesh. #  Posted by Devinder Sharma

Most visitors came from the United Kingdom

 

 

 

 

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Reviews of John McDonnell’s ‘somewhat alarming publication’

Chris Giles, Economics Editor of the Financial Times, reviews Economics for the Many, a collection of essays by leftwing thinkers who support the Labour party leader Jeremy Corbyn, with an introduction by John McDonnell, the shadow chancellor.

Giles agrees that there is an urgent need for a galvanising economic manifesto for the new left in British politics, because the UK economy has performed poorly since the global financial crisis a decade ago, with stagnant real wages, feeble productivity growth, large cuts to vital public services and many households finding either good jobs or affordable housing out of reach.

“At the core of this programme is a new set of models, institutions and strategies that, if put in place, would in and of themselves produce vastly improved societal outcomes”. It includes:

  • a plan to build a radically fairer and more sustainable society, in which wealth is shared by all.
  • changing the ownership of companies,
  • ending short-termism in the financial sector,
  • a programme of green investment
  • and much greater regional devolution of state powers.

Giles notes some inconsistencies and omissions and complains that “precious little space is devoted to how Britain should deal with an ageing society, housing or how to manage the existing public sector responsibilities of health, education, police or the armed forces”.

He concludes: “If you want a new left coherent programme, this is not it . . . But for all its flaws, the book serves a useful guide to the thinking and language of the new left. Fellow travellers must oppose austerity, financialisation and neoliberalism, while rising to the challenge of radical democratic ownership of the means of production”.

The book will be available in paperback this month and its online blurb says: “With the election of Jeremy Corbyn as Labour leader, and the extraordinary turnaround in Labour’s fortunes in the 2017 election, we have a real opportunity to build an economy in Britain that is radically fairer, radically more democratic, and radically more sustainable”.

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The Telegraph’s Liam Halligan writes in the Spectator: Those wanting an idea of how the world’s fifth biggest economy might look under Prime Minister Jeremy Corbyn should take a look at McDonnell’s speech. For more detail, you can read the book he edited – Economics for the Many – published just before the conference . . .

McDonnell (above) writes: ”Calls for the nationalisation of water, electricity and gas, the Royal Mail and trains, greeted with howls of outrage and press derision, are very popular with the public”.

Halligan comments. “To some extent, that’s true. A recent YouGov poll suggested around 60% of voters think the railways and Royal Mail should be back in public hands, with half wanting water and energy companies re-nationalised”.

He touches on some of the inconsistencies voiced by Giles but continues: “Having said that, this volume does pose some relevant and pressing questions – with McDonnell asking, for instance, if government should ‘deal with Big Data’ by creating ‘new digital rights’. He singles out:

  • a chapter by technology researcher Francesca Bria on ‘surveillance capitalism’, which raises similar key issues, ranging from ‘the monopoly power of the tech giants’ to ‘a new tax on digital platforms’;
  • an argument by Prem Sikka, the respected accountancy academic, that ‘tax revenues are under relentless attack from wealthy elites’ and ‘tackling tax avoidance and evasion is one of the major social and political issues of our time’. He’s not wrong;
  • Ann Pettifor’s call for investment into jobs relating to renewable energy – a policy we’re hearing much more of, after 28-year old Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez won the New York Democrat primary this summer, on a ‘Green New Deal’ ticket. Almost certain to enter Congress in November, her agenda will be catapulted into the political mainstream;’.
  • Christopher Proctor’s chapter about the need for academic economics to get beyond its ‘theoretical strait-jacket’, to become ‘more open, diverse and relevant to the real world’ and
  • McDonnell’s call for ‘a real devolution of powers and resources out from the centre’ of the UK -adding it is, indeed, disturbing Britain is ‘the most geographically unequal country in Europe’ – with ‘the richest single area – central London – but also nine of Northern Europe’s ten most deprived areas’.

Labour’s 2017 manifesto promise of a corporation tax rise from 19% to 26% (the Tories plan a cut to 17% by 2021) and the party’s proposal for public spending to increase by around £75bn, a 10% uplift, over the next three years, leads Halligan to warn, “Such measures could well result in a much weaker currency, higher interest rates and slower growth. Similarly, Labour’s share transfer plans may provoke capital flight, curtail investment and, in the words of the Confederation of British Industry, ‘crack the foundations’ of prosperity’ “. And Halligan ends:

Amid corporate scandals, a massive housing shortfall and polarising wealth inequality, UK capitalism faces a crisis of confidence. Senior Tories, if they fail adequately to respond, are fools. For, as McDonnell writes in this somewhat alarming publication, his ‘better world is in sight’ “.

 

 

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Will the next government move more freight by rail and waterways to reduce air pollution and road accidents?

Money Supermarket reports that more than half of fatal accidents on British roads involve HGVs, though lorries make up only 10% of the traffic. HGVs are involved in one in five fatal crashes on A-roads and an HGV is five times as likely to be involved in a fatal accident on a minor road than other traffic.

Department for Transport figures are quoted, showing that 82% of articulated heavy goods vehicles exceeded the 50-mph speed limit on dual carriageways and 73% broke the 40-mph limit on single carriageways in 2013. Despite this, in 2015 government raised the speed limit for HGVs travelling on single and dual carriageways in England and Wales. An HGV over 7.5 tonnes can now travel along a single carriageway at 50 mph, up from 40mph. The speed limit for HGVs over 7.5 tonnes travelling on dual carriageways increased from 50mph to 60mph.

The arrival of even bigger HGVs (double articulated mega-trucks) and ‘platooning’ trials pending with a driver in the first cab, controlling the following vehicles has raised further safety concerns. Last year, the Government announced that trials of partially self-driving platoons of lorries were set to take place on roads in the UK by the end of 2018.

Edmund King, president of the AA pointed out that we have some of the busiest motorways in Europe with many more exits and entries – and that platooning may work on the miles of deserted freeways in Arizona or Nevada but this is not America.

 

A few recent accidents:

12.9.19

The northbound carriageway between junctions 38 (Huddersfield) and 39 (Wakefield) was closed after an HGV overturned following an earlier collision with a car. The HGV was fully laden with glass bottles that had to be unloaded and diesel that had spilled across all three carriageway lanes had to be cleared.

11.9.19

M6 was shut after lorry crash between J12 and J13, near Cannock. The HGV hit the central reservation and later caught fire. Three lanes reopened southbound just after 12:30. Northbound remained closed most of day.

3.9.19

The M6 northbound between J14 (Stafford) and J16 (Stoke-on-Trent) was closed following an HGV fire.

13.8.19

The A38 was closed in both directions, between the A513 near Fradley and B5016 near Burton on Trent due to a crash and an overturned HGV. Around 40 tonnes of grain were spilled in the carriageway.

9.8.19

Police officers investigate the collision involving an HGV, between J25 and J24 near Taunton.

6.8.19

An HGV driver died following a collision on the M6 when his lorry burst into flames after colliding with a safety barrier.

5.8.19

There were severe delays on the M6 southbound between Junction 16 and Junction 15 due to two lanes being closed following an HGV fire. There was approximately seven miles congestion back to J16.

 

There is an alternative:

 

 

A Route One article reviewed reports by continental researchers who believe that their findings offer some support to policies being developed at Pan-European level to promote new multimodal transport corridors. These involve rail, inland waterways, short-sea (coastal) shipping. The researchers concluded that shifting a greater proportion of freight from roads to rail, boat and/or ship for part of its journey would be a sustainable way of meeting continuing rises in freight demand and reducing numbers of road accidents.

The Freight by Water 2018 conference, part of the Inland Waterways Transport Solutions project, highlighted how switching freight from road and rail to water can compete on cost and cut emissions. Inland waterways across the world have proved to be effective and efficient channels for moving everything from beer to building materials.

The conference highlighted several success stories and discussed several opportunities for freight by water, including the Leeds Inland Port at Stourton, which could take at least 200,000 tonnes of freight traffic off the roads. Its conclusion:

The time is right to increase freight using inland waterways throughout the UK and across Europe as an alternative to road and rail freight.

 

 

 

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Thoughts on the state of the Labour Party: Rex Harris

 

Three years ago Rex Harris (below) reflected on the state of his beloved Labour Party and hoped to demonstrate that the present “doom and gloom” is totally unjustified. His thoughts are well worth revisiting.

Although society has made enormous strides in technology and science we are still living under a very regressive political system. Thus we still have the primitive “first pass the post” electoral system whereby, with just 38% of the vote, the Tories have been re-elected for another depressing 5 years during which time the gap between rich and poor will become even wider.

The cabinet is still predominantly ex-public school and male and in the composition of the new parliament of around 650 MPs, only a very tiny minority will have any significant scientific/engineering background and hence technical knowledge. I believe that in the last parliament there was only one science -based PhD and, in the current lot the picture is probably even worse. This critical absence of any technical expertise is extremely worrying as the quality of the future is dependent on implementing long term, technically-based measures determined by the overwhelming need to reduce carbon. The mammoths in the room are climate change and resource depletion and yet these topics received barely a mention in the debates leading up to the 2015 general election. These and related areas will determine, not only the future shape of the Labour party   but that of the whole world and I will now try and persuade you that these should be the dominant themes in current and future debates.

With the increasing manifestation of climate change in the UK as well as throughout the world, events related to the changing climate will become ever-more predominant in political life. The difficult if not impossible task is to predict the exact time it will take for the reality of climate change and resource depletion to have a significant impact on the electorate. Currently we are all living in a “fools’ paradise”.

The stark reality is that our present consumer driven economic system cannot provide the necessary long-term solutions to these problems

This is why the Labour party must not seek short-term political gain by trying to emulate our existing system which is based predominantly on the motivating force of personal greed. These changes cannot be achieved by short-term tinkering with the existing system.

The majority realise that there has to be a radical change could come in the next 5 years or it might take longer, but come it will. It might be useful to consider what could be some of the political priorities (in no particular order):

  • Introduce a system of proportional representation and real federalisation within the UK.
  • Increase substantially the proportion of Labour candidates with scientific/engineering backgrounds. Engineers and scientists “on top” not just “on-tap”.
  • Develop a series of technical workshops to inform MPs and other policy makers.
  • Set-up a parliamentary group to investigate comprehensively the impacts of climate change and resource depletion. For instance, to develop a full-scale recycling strategy.
  • Look to build a purpose-built parliament building in the Midlands and convert existing parliament buildings into tourist attractions.
  • Strengthen and expand the concept of a “Green Bank” to fund new businesses based of sustainable technologies.
  • Electrify all urban transportation and develop battery recycling technology.
  • Strengthen EC and other international ties.

These are some of the many priorities that Labour will have to address and formulate workable solutions – a far cry from many of today’s trivial and somewhat irrelevant arguments.

The Labour party will have to provide the blueprint for a sustainable future and the sooner it sets its mind to this objective the better. Along with other like-minded groups it will have to formulate detailed root and branch policies to provide a workable alternative to the present unsustainable system, based on the growing consumption of ever diminishing raw materials and evermore carbon-based energy.

 

Rex Harris: Monday, 27July, 2015

Read more about Rex Harris’s work here and his team’s hydrogen-powered canal boat project here.

 

 

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Financial Times: Labour is right, Britain’s private utility model is broken

 

On 19th May, Inside Business focussed on criticism of the UK’s privatised water sector for poor performance, high rate of leakage and failure to put in place adequate measures to help customers struggling to pay their bills.

The privatised water Industry in the UK. An ATM for investors, research published by Greenwich university’s Public Services International Research Unit in October 2018, suggests that the 40% increase in real household bills since privatisation was mainly due to continuously growing interest payments on debt – and not to growing costs and investments, as the regulator had reported.

Earlier, the Guardian noted that the chief executives of England’s privatised water companies banked £58m in pay over the last five years while customers have been faced with above-inflation rises in their water bills.

Inside Business noted that between their privatisation in 1989 and last year, English water companies ‘generated operating cash flows’ totalling £159bn in 2017-18 money, £36bn more than they spent on new pipes and infrastructure. At the end of this period they had paid £56bn in dividends and borrowed £51bn that customers will have to service and pay off over many years

It is suggested that this borrowing served only to pay financial returns to investors.

A year earlier, This is Money recorded that four water firms set up subsidiaries in the Cayman Islands, more than a decade ago, as – at that time – rules in the UK prevented them from raising cash on the bond markets. Though this is no longer the case, many have continued to use the offshore firms as interest payments made through havens often do not incur tax as they would in the UK.

The Greenwich study suggests much of this borrowing by companies served only to pay financial returns to investors: “We show that the skyrocketing debt levels are primarily the result of disproportionate dividend pay-outs”.

Britain’s existing model ought to change. Michael Pooler, in the Financial Times, sets out two ways to solve the problem of private monopoly:

“One is the solution the Labour opposition favours, which is to eliminate it by putting the companies into “not for dividend” public hands. Then you can set whatever social objectives you choose. Eliminating dividends certainly dissolves the conflicts of private ownership. The Welsh and Scottish water companies both have this model — and the latter has not suffered a notable penalty in efficiency versus the English companies, according to the regulator”.

The other is offered by economist Dieter Helm In the 2017 Cost of Energy Review commissioned by government. He suggested increased oversight of utilities, with regulators setting the desired outputs (new transmission connections, flood defences) and then opening them up to competitive tender from anyone — private or even state sources. He points out that Britain’s energy systems face a period of upheaval in order to deal with the challenge of decarbonisation and concludes that a new approach might achieve this shift more flexibly, and align returns a little better with the real risk taken.

The FT notes the involvement of ‘financial engineers’ whose main objective was draining value from these private monopolies, adding that this is what has spurred the interest in renationalisation.

Under Jeremy Corbyn, the Labour party has come out firmly for the renationalisation of rail, water, energy and the postal service. At the Labour party’s annual conference in September, the shadow chancellor, John McDonnell, promised to bring “ownership and control of the utilities and key services into the hands of people who use and work in them”.

The Greenwich analysis found that the public-owned sector in Scotland delivers the water and sewage service just as efficiently and at a lower cost to consumers and Inside Business (reluctantly?) concluded that the Labour party’s attempt to nationalise them ‘cannot be dismissed as a paleo-socialist blast from the past’.

 

 

 

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Listen to inconvenient truths: make Britain a world-leader opposing climate change

 

Janice Turner: if there’s one thing to make Middle England care about the planet, it’s being denied grandchildren

American politician, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, recently said “There’s scientific consensus that the lives of children are going to be very difficult and it does lead, I think, young people to have a legitimate question, you know. Is it okay to still have children?”

When Janice Turner (Times 20.04.19) reported from the campsite on Oxford Circus, a young woman told her she’d gone on “baby strike”. With oceans warming, Greenland melting, coral reefs dead, why would she bring a child into the world? Others are coming to the same conclusion. Her article is summarised here:

A change generation: the cause – ecological disaster

This is a change generation not seen since the 1960s. The chosen cause then was civil rights; now it is ecological disaster.

Today’s young are the first denied a sure route to stakeholder adulthood by student debt, gig economy contracts and unaffordable homes. Many twentysomethings, expecting their lives to be shorter and poorer than their parents’, are willing to lie on Waterloo Bridge to be decanted into a police van.

Hopeless, apocalyptic forecasts scare us: we don’t want to believe the facts

Climate warriors rev up our wrath faster than other campaigners – perhaps because hopeless, apocalyptic forecasts scare us. We don’t want to believe the facts, even if voiced by David Attenborough.

They demand we reform our behaviour in tiresome ways. “Look, I’ve bought a hybrid car, what more do you want,” . . . Yet change we can and must. Change never comes from politicians. It is generated by civil society, protests, discussions and campaigns pushing the status quo towards what was unthinkable a decade before.

More than ever our political system seems unresponsive – even broken

Extinction is unaffiliated to any party, not even the Greens, nor an established charity such as Greenpeace. It is fluid, fresh, leaderless, and growing . . . Oxford Street will be returned to a choking hell-scape but these protesters will multiply and muster in the most inconvenient places. The government will have to decide whether to use extreme force creating martyrs and a mass movement — or listen . . . Some of its aims, such as abandoning fossil fuels by 2025, may be— but why not try harder? . . . Janice ends by saying:

There is a political movement here.

Why fight it?

Why not, for once, be open to new ideas, to make Britain a world-leader in opposing climate change.

God knows we need something to be proud of right now.

 

 

 

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