Extinction Rebellion blockade Amazon warehouses on Black Friday

Extinction Rebellion protest at Fife, Scotland.

Extinction Rebellion blockade Amazon over ‘exploitation of people and planet’

Extinction Rebellion (XR) blocked Amazon distribution centres on “Black Friday”—a day of sales and big profits for the business. 

The group occupied Amazon sites across Britain, in Germany and in the Netherlands in protest at its “exploitative and environmentally destructive business practices”. Climate activists are planning to continue the blockade for the next couple of days. 

Rosie, a student supporter of XR, spoke to Socialist Worker from the blockade at the company’s distribution centre in Doncaster in South Yorkshire. She said Amazon is exploiting “people and planet”. 

She said activists arrived at the depot at 4 am, with rebels locking onto concrete blocks and erecting a bamboo structure at one entrance. 

The group blocked the entrances that HGV lorries use to travel in and out of the centre, effectively halting distribution.

Extinction Rebellion blockades Amazon UK hubs on Black Friday

Activists target distribution network to highlight company’s treatment of workers and environmental impact

Climate activists have blockaded Amazon distribution centres across the UK to highlight the company’s treatment of its workforce and what they say are its “environmentally destructive and wasteful business practices”.

Scores of Extinction Rebellion (XR) activists locked themselves together and used bamboo structures in an attempt to disrupt the online retail company’s distribution network on Black Friday – one of the busiest shopping days of the year.

Unveiling banners reading “Infinite growth: Finite planet”, protesters said the blockade was part of an international action by XR targeting Amazon “fulfilment centres” in the UK, Germany and the Netherlands.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Spectator#Political_ideology_and_policy_positions

The Spectator is a weekly British magazine on politics, culture, and current affairs.[1] It was first published in July 1828,[2] making it the oldest weekly magazine in the world.[3]

It is owned by Frederick Barclay, [dizzy: [ed: the surviving] one of the ‘Barclay brothers’ who may be described as filthy rich i.e. extremely rich and extremely polluting and destructive] who also owns The Daily Telegraph newspaper, via Press Holdings. Its principal subject areas are politics and culture. It is politically conservative. Alongside columns and features on current affairs, the magazine also contains arts pages on books, music, opera, film and TV reviews.

https://www.spectator.co.uk/article/the-snobbery-of-extinction-rebellion-s-amazon-blockade

The snobbery of Extinction Rebellion’s Amazon blockade

Extinction Rebellion is fundamentally a movement for austerity. No wonder it is unpopular. We like our holidays, we like our comforts and we like our Black Friday bargains, so bugger off.

Tory MP Who Criticised Climate Action For Impact on World’s Poor Has Stakes in 18 Extractive Companies

A Tory MP who suggested it is “morally wrong” to discourage poor countries from pursuing high-carbon growth on climate change grounds has a financial interest in numerous fossil fuel and mining companies.

Among the 18 extractive companies listed under the MP’s entry in the parliamentary register of interests are Shell and the world’s largest oilfield services company, Schlumberger.

Marcus Fysh, a member of the “Net Zero Scrutiny Group” of MPs recently launched to push back against the government’s climate policies, told talkRADIO earlier this month the developing world should not be forced to follow greener economic pathways, speaking of the abject poverty he had witnessed in India.

“It is frankly morally questionable, morally wrong some might say, to try to withhold the prospect of development from such people that could improve their lives,” he said. 

Continue ReadingExtinction Rebellion blockade Amazon warehouses on Black Friday

Extinction Rebellion unveils plans to mobilise millions for acts of civil disobedience after Cop26’s failures

https://morningstaronline.co.uk/article/b/extinction-rebellion-unveils-plans-to-mobilise-millions-for-acts-of-civil-disobedience-after-cop26-failures

Extinction Rebellion (XR) vowed today to begin a major campaign of civil resistance in April, following on from large-scale protests before the coronavirus pandemic.

XR said that world leaders had failed to heed the pleas of experts at Cop26, with United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change executive secretary Patricia Espinosa warning that Cop26 leaves the human race continuing to “invest in our own extinction.”

The criticism coincided with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) saying that, in order to avoid global warming exceeding the target of 1.5˚C, greenhouse gas emissions must be cut by 45 per cent by 2030, but the world is on track for a 16 per cent increase in emissions by 2030.

dizzy: Covid disrupted and frustrated climate activism while – of course – it didn’t disrupt or frustrate the continuing damage to the climate. COP26 was disappointing by failing to achieve any meaningful action, a wasted opportunity. Politicians are owned by the filthy rich and powerful.

Politics in UK is continuing to be dominated by the Brexit lies that promoted the Brexit fantasy. We’re on a path as a consequence and a continuation of those Brexit lies and delusions which are mostly xenophobic, racist and divorced from reality.

Continue ReadingExtinction Rebellion unveils plans to mobilise millions for acts of civil disobedience after Cop26’s failures

COP26 News review day 13

COP26 overran into it’s thirteenth day today and produced the Glasgow Climate Pact.

Cop26 ends in climate agreement despite India watering down coal resolution

The negotiations carried on late into Saturday evening, as governments squabbled over provisions on phasing out coal, cutting greenhouse gas emissions and providing money to the poor world.

The “Glasgow climate pact” was adopted despite a last-minute intervention by India to water down language on “phasing out” coal to merely “phasing down”.

The pledges on emissions cuts made at the two-week long Cop26 summit in Glasgow fell well short of those required to limit temperatures to 1.5C, according to scientific advice. Instead, all countries have agreed to return to the negotiating table next year, at a conference in Egypt, and re-examine their national plans, with a view to increasing their ambition on cuts.

Continue ReadingCOP26 News review day 13

COP26 News review day 12

The final day of the COP26 summit.

Honest Government Ad | Net Zero by 2050 (feat. Greta Thunberg)

Hundreds of global civil society representatives walk out of Cop26 in protest

Carrying blood-red ribbons to represent the crucial red lines already crossed by Cop26 negotiations, hundreds of representatives of global civil society walked out of the convention centre in Glasgow on the final morning of the summit in protest.

The audience at the People’s Plenary in the conference blue zone heard speakers condemn the legitimacy and ambition of the 12-day summit before walking out to join protesters gathered on the streets beyond the security fencing.

“Cop26 is a performance,” the Indigenous activist Ta’Kaiya Blaney of the Tla A’min Nation told the meeting before the walkout. “It is an illusion constructed to save the capitalist economy rooted in resource extraction and colonialism. I didn’t come here to fix the agenda – I came here to disrupt it.”

George Minbiot: Make extreme wealth extinct: it’s the only way to avoid climate breakdown

A recent analysis of the lifestyles of 20 billionaires found that each produced an average of over 8,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide: 3,500 times their fair share in a world committed to no more than 1.5C of heating. The major causes are their jets and yachts. A superyacht alone, kept on permanent standby, as some billionaires’ boats are, generates around 7,000 tonnes of CO2 a year.

I’ve come to believe that the most important of all environmental measures are wealth taxes. Preventing systemic environmental collapse means driving extreme wealth to extinction. It is not humanity as a whole that the planet cannot afford. It’s the ultra-rich.

Fossil fuel industry gets subsidies of $11m a minute, IMF finds (An older article for context).

The fossil fuel industry benefits from subsidies of $11m every minute, according to analysis by the International Monetary Fund.

The IMF found the production and burning of coal, oil and gas was subsidised by $5.9tn in 2020, with not a single country pricing all its fuels sufficiently to reflect their full supply and environmental costs. Experts said the subsidies were “adding fuel to the fire” of the climate crisis, at a time when rapid reductions in carbon emissions were urgently needed.

Extra video from thejuicemedia

Continue ReadingCOP26 News review day 12

COP26 News review day 11

‘We are not on course’: scientists warn action must match words at Cop26

Scientists attending Cop26 have sent a clear warning to policymakers: get a move on, because every moment of delay, every extra fraction of a degree of global heating will have dire consequences.

That message has been reinforced at Glasgow with reports, forums and discussions, but those involved in channelling the science to the world’s leaders are frustrated that words are still not being matched by actions.

Peter Stott, a climate scientist at the Met Office’s Hadley Centre who has been attending Cops since 1998, said he was marginally more optimistic than he had been before the Glasgow summit. “I have mixed emotions. I feel relieved that things have started to move, but I am concerned about the speed,” he said. “The scientific message we have talked about for 25 years is being acted on. That is a vindication. We might be starting to turn the corner. But I feel a strong sense of anxiety I haven’t felt before. I want to see the policymakers get a move on. In the next two years we have got to cut emissions rapidly.”

Cop26 targets too weak to stop disaster, say Paris agreement architects

Current national plans – known as nationally determined contributions (NDCs) – would lead to 2.4C of heating, according to an influential analysis this week by Climate Action Tracker.

Countries are currently expected to return with better pledges in 2025, but many are now demanding the deadline should be brought forward. This is seen as the most closely fought area of disagreement as the UK hosts struggle to broker a deal.

“If that [five years] is the first time that countries are called to increase their ambitions, honestly that’s going to be too late,” said Figueres, founding partner of the Global Optimism thinktank.

COP26 aviation pledges ‘full of scams’, campaigners say

A COP26 declaration to cut aviation emissions is “full of scams”, environmental campaigners have warned.

The International Aviation ­Climate Ambition Coalition agreed to ­support measures to reduce the sector’s ­carbon emissions.

These included promoting the ­development of low-carbon aircraft, sustainable aviation fuels and carbon offsetting. It was signed by 20 countries ­including the UK, the US, France and Spain.

But Greenpeace is calling on ­European leaders not to support it, and urged them to ban short-haul flights and “massively invest” in rail instead.

Better public transport is the only way to cut carbon emissions, unions and campaigners urge

CREATING universal and comprehensive public transport is the only way to effectively cut carbon emissions from travel at home and abroad, unions and campaigners have said during Cop26.

Campaigners and politicians condemned the lack of consideration of rail, bus, ferry and cycle transport during proceedings at the summit today, where the focus was put on cars and planes instead.

Officials and delegates at the gathering in Glasgow made a number of announcements on transport, including on zero-emissions vehicles, so-called green shipping corridors, and on decarbonising air travel.

Tory Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said that travel, including aviation, should be “guilt-free.” He also said that the government did not see flying as “the ultimate evil,” after officials, including Prime Minister Boris Johnson, were condemned for using planes for short journeys during Cop26.

Continue ReadingCOP26 News review day 11

COP26 News review day 10

COP26: China and US agree to boost climate co-operation

China and the US have agreed to boost climate co-operation over the next decade, in a surprise announcement at the COP26 climate summit in Glasgow.

The two countries released a rare joint declaration promising action.

It says both sides will “recall their firm commitment to work together” to achieve the 1.5C temperature goal set out in the Paris Agreement.

What do countries on the frontline of the climate crisis think of COP26?

How has the news of progress at COP26 – or lack of it – and the prospect of a 2.4 degree increase in temperature, been going down in countries of the Global South, already struggling with the effects of climate change?

Boris abruptly ends Cop26 press conference after just 22 minutes: ‘Gotta go’

Continue ReadingCOP26 News review day 10

Extreme Makeover: Human Activities Are Making Some Extreme Events More Frequent or Intense

https://climate.nasa.gov/blog/3125/extreme-makeover-human-activities-are-making-some-extreme-events-more-frequent-or-intense/

By Alan Buis,
NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory

In Brief:
It’s not your imagination: Certain extreme events, like heat waves, are happening more often and becoming more intense. But what role are humans playing in Earth’s extreme weather and climate event makeover? Scientists are finding clear human fingerprints.

There’s growing evidence that people and the planet are increasingly impacted by extreme events. According to the Fourth National Climate Assessment, published in 2018 by the U.S. Global Change Research Program, “more frequent and intense extreme weather and climate-related events, as well as changes in average climate conditions, are expected to continue to damage infrastructure, ecosystems, and social systems that provide essential benefits to communities.”

As the impacts of extreme events continue to mount, interest has grown in the scientific community to study whether specific extreme events can be partially attributed to human activities. With the help of climate models, scientists have conducted an impressive array of studies, looking for possible links between human activities and extreme events such as heat waves, rainfall and flooding events, droughts, storms, and wildfires.

A dry lake bed
A dry lake bed. Scientists are seeing an increase in the intensity of droughts. Credit: NOAA

Increasingly, they’re able to draw robust connections. There are reductions in the number of cold waves, increases in the number of heat waves on the ocean and on land, increases in the intensity of rainfall and drought, and increases in the intensity of wildfires. Despite the complications and uniqueness of individual events, scientists are finding significant human contributions to many of them.

An interactive map produced by CarbonBrief in 2020, shown below, provides visible evidence of these studies. On it, red dots represent different extreme events where scientists have found a substantial contribution from human activities – that is, human activities have made these events more frequent or more intense. For some of the blue dots, however (associated with rainfall events), scientists have yet to find a substantial human contribution.

The continued increase in global mean temperatures in response to rising levels of greenhouse gases sets the expectation that we’ll see a corresponding increase in global heat extremes. Indeed, this is being borne out by daily temperature data across the globe. Studies of individual heat waves, such as the devastating event that took place in the Pacific Northwest this summer, suggest such events have become tens to hundreds of times more likely because of human-driven climate change.

global examination of how often heat waves are occurring, as well as their cumulative intensity (how many days heat waves last above a certain temperature level), published last year by Australian scientists from the Climate Change Research Centre and the University of New South Wales Canberra, reveals a clear increase of more than two days per decade in the number of heat wave days since the 1950s.

The intensity of droughts is increasing. It’s not so much that scientists are seeing less rainfall, though that’s certainly happening in some places. Rather, in places where drought conditions exist, soils are becoming drier due to other factors, such as increased soil evaporation and decreased snowpack, which is reducing the amount of river flow during summer and fall. In the American Southwest, scientists estimate human-caused climate change is making droughts 30 to 50 percent more intense. 1

There have been hurricanes and intense storms throughout history, so what’s changed? Model studies confirm that, for instance, about 20 percent of Harvey’s rainfall was attributable to human-produced warming of the climate and waters in the Gulf of Mexico. 2, 3 More generally, climate simulations confirm that this increased intensity is a robust result.

It’s important to note that impacts from extreme events are mainly a question of thresholds – the amount of flooding needed to overtop a levee, or overwhelm storm drains – so every inch (of additional rain) counts. So, while total rainfall may increase only slightly, it’s the extreme precipitation events that disproportionately cause problems.

The Bottom Line

The combination of models and observations, informed by the unique view that space provides, imply that almost all the current multi-decadal trends we’re seeing in climate are the result of human activities. In addition, there’s increasing confidence that human-induced climate change is making extreme events statistically much more likely.

This doesn’t mean every extreme event has a substantial human contribution. But with extreme events such as heat waves, wildfires and intense precipitation, we’re seeing, in event after event, a very clear human fingerprint.

Continue ReadingExtreme Makeover: Human Activities Are Making Some Extreme Events More Frequent or Intense

COP26 News review day 9

Gender day today at the COP26 summit. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Nancy Pelosi arrived today.

COP26 Report Reveals ‘Massive’ Credibility Gap Between Climate Commitments and 1.5°C Target

Climate policy experts on Tuesday called for the final days of the United Nations Climate Change Conference to be spent with world leaders focusing on closing the “credibility, action, and commitment” gap that has emerged as countries put forward their goals for reaching net-zero fossil fuel emissions, with current targets on track to allow global heating far above the 1.5°C limit.

The climate policy organizations Climate Analytics and NewClimate Institute released their annual Climate Action Tracker (CAT) on Tuesday, showing that even with full implementation of emissions targets set for 2030, the planet is expected to heat up by 2.4°C by the end of the century.

[Comment by dizzy: I can’t see humans surviving anything like an increase of 2.4C. Apparently we’re at 1.1 or 1.2C increase currently and look at the problems that we have already …]

First Draft of COP26 Decision Text Slammed as ‘Love Letter’ to Fossil Fuel Industry

As a new analysis revealed Monday that fossil fuel industry lobbyists have a larger presence at the COP26 than any country, global campaigners criticized the first draft of the final decision text for the United Nations climate summit for failing to even mention phasing out coal, gas, and oil.

Greenpeace International, in a statement, highlighted that “this glaring omission” comes despite expert warnings about the need to keep fossil fuels in the ground that have mounted in the leadup to the ongoing summit in Glasgow, Scotland.

“What’s very concerning here in Glasgow is that the first draft of the climate pact text is already exceptionally weak. Usually, the text starts with some ambition, which then gets watered down,” said Greenpeace International executive director Jennifer Morgan.

UN ‘guilty’ of failing to act on climate change say activists and experts from the Global South

Sunday was an official break day for proceedings at COP26 – but that doesn’t mean that climate events weren’t still happening across Glasgow.

Organised by the COP26 Coalition, the People’s Summit for Climate Justice was one of those events. And as negotiators and COP attendees took a well-deserved rest, a People’s Tribunal took place. This is a simulated trial with the aim of holding the UN accountable for failing to act on climate change.

Made up of activists, experts, NGOs and even a former COP negotiator from the Global South, the tribunal heard four hours of evidence against the UNFCCC, the UN organisation behind these climate talks.

Climate change is a far bigger problem than coronavirus, Sir Patrick Vallance warns

The climate crisis poses a far greater threat to humanity than Covid, the UK’s Chief Scientific Advisor Sir Patrick Vallance has said.

In a stark warning, Sir Patrick Vallance said global warming could kill more people than the pandemic and pose a threat that could last a hundred years.

Jeremy Corbyn hits out at COP26 ‘greenwashing’

Former Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has told The Big Issue there is too much greenwashing and “chat” at COP26, and not enough action.

“I’m concerned that there’s an awful lot of greenwash. There’s an awful lot of chat going on, there seems to be very few concrete agreements that have been reached so far. That worries me,” he said.

Boris Johnson to return to Cop26 for one-day visit

Continue ReadingCOP26 News review day 9

COP26 News review day 8

Obama implores world leaders to ‘step up now’ to avert climate disaster

Barack Obama has called on world leaders to “step up and step up now” to avert climate breakdown, singling out China and Russia for being foremost among countries that are failing to cut planet-heating emissions quickly enough.

Obama said that while progress has been made at the Glasgow climate talks, including significant pledges made by countries to reduce methane emissions and to end deforestation, “we are nowhere near where we need to be at” in cutting emissions and that “most nations have failed to be as ambitious as they need to be”.

HSBC led big banks’ charge against climate change action

HSBC coordinated efforts to try and water down action on climate change in the banking sector by seeking to delay a key deadline and scrap mandatory science-based targets for a major net-zero alliance, the Bureau can reveal.

Revealed: 1,000 fossil fuel and big business reps at COP26

Nearly 1,000 representatives from the fossil fuel industry, big business and nuclear power companies have registered to attend the COP26 climate summit in Glasgow, according to an analysis by The Ferret.

They include executives from Shell, BP, Equinor, Chevron, Total, Gazprom and other major oil and gas companies, as well as multinational corporations such as McDonald’s, Bayer, Walmart, HSBC, PepsiCo, Nestlé and Microsoft.

There are also delegations from the coal industry, tobacco companies and pesticide manufacturers. Eleven people from two climate sceptic think-tanks have registered for the summit.

Wera Hobhouse MP: Tory fossil fuel funding is delaying an end date for fossil fuels

‘As long as we have a Government dominated by vested interests, the UK will make no progress on climate action.’

Wera Hobhouse is the Liberal Democrats’ justice spokesperson and MP for Bath.

To reach net zero, we need an end date for the use of fossil fuels. Yet, the Government is taking us backwards on tackling climate change. Any wonder when they are bankrolled by fossil fuel interests and climate sceptics? As long as we have a Government dominated by vested interests, the UK will make no progress on climate action. 

Earlier this week, an investigation revealed that the Conservative party and its MPs received £1.3m in gifts and donations from climate sceptics and fossil fuel interests since the election in 2019. 

How the UK Government is funnelling billions into fossil fuel projects abroad

While spinning itself as a ‘leader’ in fighting climate change, the UK is funnelling billions into climate wrecking fossil fuel projects overseas

Continue ReadingCOP26 News review day 8

COP26 Protests and the Young Communist League

There were huge protests in Glasgow and around the world on Saturday about failure to adequately address the climate crisis.

The Young Communist League (YCL) of Britain was prevented from participating in the Glasgow protest by police. It appears that they were marching behind a banner reading ‘Socialism or Extinction‘. YCL published the following statement on 5 November 2021, the day previous to the protest and an article appeared in the Morning Star on the day of the protest.

COP26: Socialism or Extinction

COP26 has been billed as one of the last chances to save the planet and humanity as we know it. For nearly thirty years these meetings have brought together world leaders to discuss and debate the best way forward, yet little has changed in that time. In fact, since the first COP meeting held in Berlin in 1995, global CO2 emissions have increased by 56%. The imperialist world’s governments are paying this crisis nothing but lip service, rolling over to let the monopolies and big business that they represent in fossil fuels, agribusiness, manufacturing and finance run rampant across the globe. Politicians are still desperate to cling to the economic system that created this crisis.

This week we have seen the representatives of right wing governments gather to express warm words and pledges in order to protect the capitalist system, with keynote speeches from some of the biggest polluters on the planet including BP and Amazon. These huge monopolies do not represent us and we cannot allow them to pressure governments into enabling and promoting the same privatised market solutions to climate change that have already failed for decades.

Right wing governments and these monopolies cynically present the challenge facing humanity as one of “changing consumer choices and habits”. This completely ignores and obscures the fact that, like all things in our society and its development, production and consumption are rigidly dictated by the monopolies and banks that control the global economy and the governments which serve their interests – all for short-term financial profit.

The continuing role of imperialism cannot be ignored. We are so often told that we are all in this together. But we are not! We are not equally responsible for this mess, and we do not equally share the risks of devastation. Yet we are all told that we all must make adjustments. This week, Scotland’s skies have been filled with the private jets of the elite. We have even seen politicians travelling in jets from Prestwick to Glasgow. A journey served well by a direct train link that takes less than 45 minutes.

More than ever, the inequality capitalism has created on this earth has been made starkly clear. While the richest nations make their own plans for net-zero, many developing nations are being left in the lurch, not offered the breathing space required for their own development. All the while, Western imperialist countries outsource their production abroad whilst attempting to shift the blame towards China and other countries with mass exports.

The media’s relentless anti-China sentiment has continued and increased this week with renewed attention on Chinese emissions, despite the fact that China is by far the largest investor, producer and consumer of renewable energy. Its CO2 emissions per capita barely place it in the top 50 polluting countries globally. Of course, it must do more and the Chinese Government have recently published its plans for net-zero. However, the ramping up of hostility, pointing to a New Cold War cannot be allowed to continue. Nor can we allow smaller and developing nations to be left behind and forced to remain underdeveloped in the interests of the already industrialised western countries.

We cannot stand idly by while politicians seek to divide us, demanding individual responses to what is the crucial systemic problem of this age. We say no more! We do not have time to wait, and we cannot allow our leaders to kick the can down the road to 2030 or even 2050.

Capitalism, a system which is only capable of serving the interest of the banks and monopolies and the suicidal drive for ever increasing short term profit at any cost, has proven itself unwilling and unable to handle the impending catastrophe which it has created. It will never be in the interest of big business or the capitalist governments which it controls to discipline the major carbon emitters or implement the radical change needed to save the planet and humanity. Only a system with absolute democratic control over industry, a Socialist system, is capable of tackling climate change head on. So we say:

The choice is clear – Socialism or extinction

Central Committee
Young Communist League


5 November 2021
Glasgow, Scotland

YCL’s statement published under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

22/2/22 Young Communist League: Statement on the COP26 protest

Continue ReadingCOP26 Protests and the Young Communist League