Rethink

The post about rethinking how to campaign effectively. These are suggestions and you are welcome to disagree.

The problem is that climate campaigning has reduced severely and not recovered since pre-lockdown levels. The problem is that climate campaigning is not effective since pro-climate actions are not taken while actions damaging to the climate are. Participation has reduced, but that’s not the issue. The issue is that governments are not taking any meaningful or any action and that deterioration of the climate continues unabated.

Why is climate campaigning not effective? The oil industry is deluged with money, traditional media is generally opposed to climate action and governments are owned by the oil industry, high finance and the media barons, all having power without responsibility. I have reached the conclusion that governments and politicians are so dependent and subservient to big oil, high finance and the media barons that they are inseparable from them. I may be wrong on this point but can’t see any other explanation.

For example, traditional media has decided who the UK’s next prime minister will be. You may have been told that it is Conservative members’ decision but their preferred candidate has already actually been excluded. I know who the next prime minister will be so it’s pointless wasting time watching it. That’s the power that Murdoch has over government and politicians and he will no doubt have his usual back-door key to 10 Downing Street.

In UK we have recently witnessed unaccountable corrupt politicians alien to the concept of truth engaging in profiteering cronyism, showing a total disregard for laws and decency and contempt for the electorate. I suggest campaigning that seeks to hold politicians, big oil or the lying media to account may be effective.

Continue ReadingRethink

The world burns and the richest profit. It doesn’t have to be this way

Republished from OpenDemocracy under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International licence.

As the effects of the climate crisis are seen in global heatwaves and droughts, oil firms are booming

The last time prices rose this fast was 41 years ago. The last time the UK got through prime ministers this fast was the mid-1970s. The last time there was open war between major European powers was in 1945. The last time the Northern Hemisphere was this hot was probably 125,000 years ago.

Yet the FTSE 100 is worth more than ever, corporate profits are higher than ever, there are more British billionaires than ever. And oil companies are richer than ever.

If we took climate change seriously, the petroleum industry would be bankrupt. These firms borrow billions against the future value of reserves they are yet to drill, but atmospheric physics demands we can’t burn that carbon if we wish civilisation to survive.

If our modern societies are to continue to exist in recognisable form, oil companies’ assets are worthless. And if we aren’t, they are still worthless.

But in reality, fossil fuel giants are doing better than ever. Last week, Shell said it expected to revise upwards the value of oil and gas assets it had previously written down, causing its share prices to leap for joy.

Saudi Arabia, which has struggled for investment ever since it allegedly hung a bunch of businessmen by their feet and beat them until they coughed up their bank details, has been welcomed in from the cold.

In May, oil exporter Saudi Aramco overtook Apple as the most valuable company in the world – the most valuable in human history. This week, just months after pretending to take the climate emergency seriously at COP26, Joe Biden has gone to fist bump Saudi’s narco-in-chief and beg him to pump more death into capitalism’s veins.

Meanwhile, as temperatures across England rise above levels with which human homeostasis can cope, the climate crisis collides with the health crisis.

Crushed by a dozen years of Tory austerity and the government’s incompetent response to COVID, NHS waiting lists are already at an all-time high. Accident and Emergency units are “on the fringe of collapse”, with ambulances queueing up outside hospitals, unable to hand over their patients. This means that over the next few days – when experts predict we will see up to ten thousand excess deaths as a result of the heatwave – vast numbers of people will likely spend time cooking in ambulances.

And with world food supplies already shaken by the war in Ukraine, the heatwave also means worsening global hunger.

Italian farmers are expected to lose a third of summer crops like rice and corn, while Sardinia’s fields have been scoffed by a plague of locusts. In China, soaring temperatures are drying out soil, devastating agriculture of all kinds. East Africa is experiencing one of its driest rainy seasons in 40 years, which, combined with the fact that 40% of Africa’s wheat usually comes from Russia or Ukraine, leaves tens of millions facing hunger.

Food and agriculture billionaires, on the other hand, raised their collective wealth by 45% over the past two years, while global food giant Cargill posted a 63% increase in its profits for last year, the best haul in its nearly 160-year history.

With politics in crisis, people are increasingly realising that they are going to have to fight for the future.

As the world moves out of pandemic mode (if not actually out of the pandemic), we’re entering a new phase of global capitalism.

For big businesses and billionaires, the ‘omnicrisis’ presents a perfect opportunity for disaster capitalism: use the overwhelming sense that everything is on fire to plunder: wrack up prices while keeping wages down, extract, extract, extract, extract.

But this isn’t the inevitable future. The faint echo of promises to ‘build back better’ may have disappeared, and, with politics in crisis, people are increasingly realising that they are going to have to fight for that future.

In Britain, more and more unions are voting to strike against the plunder. As concern about the climate crisis grows, so will action against those driving it. Distrust of our broken politics has deepened, creating a deep volatility.

A vast political fight over what comes next has arrived, just as the Labour Party has abandoned the field and, in the coming months, we can expect something else to rush into that space.

What? That’s up to you.

Republished from OpenDemocracy under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International licence.

Continue ReadingThe world burns and the richest profit. It doesn’t have to be this way

We’re occupying schools across the world to protest climate inaction

Youth activists involved in End Fossil: Occupy!

We can’t keep sitting in school, pretending everything is all right, and studying as if the planet wasn’t on fire

The bottom line is: we can’t keep pretending everything is all right, studying as if the planet wasn’t on fire. As other students did before us – from the students of May of ’68 in France to the Arab spring, from the Chilean Penguin Revolution and Primavera Secundarista in Brazil to Occupy Wall Street, we will stop our business-as-usual lives to show our governments and society that we need to change everything, now. From Lisbon to California, from Peru to Germany and from Madrid to Ivory Coast, we call on young people to get together and organize an international revolutionary generation that can change the system.

Continue ReadingWe’re occupying schools across the world to protest climate inaction

Should climate activists get involved in electoral politics?

This is one suggestion from thinking about effective climate campaigning, the post about effective campaigning is yet to be published.

Should climate activists get involved in electoral politics?

We definitely should attempt to get rid of MPs who are enemies to climate action – there are many e.g. Steve Baker, Kwasi Kwarteng and DUP’s Sammy Wilson. Even the threat of such action may prevent MPs taking bribes from the oil industry.

I suggest that we would need to endorse certain candidates and campaign to promote them over others. I would expect climate campaigners to have the level of support to ‘throw’ or ‘flip’ elections. It’s worth bearing in mind that by the general election of 2024 we will have had more climate events since they seem to be happening continuously. If we were to follow this route, it would be wise to avoid actions that frustrate or alienate the public.

This is a suggestion for climate campaigning groups to discuss and decide for themselves. It’s a complex topic – should we campaign against the Conservative party? That’s an easy one but what about the Labour Party? Red Tories who’s leader has called for injunctions against climate protestors. If we’re going to get involved in electoral politics should we campaign for the best possible outcome for the climate and what is that, is it achievable, will it work? “Endorsed by XR”?

28/7/22 Suggestions if you have an MP who opposes climate action.

Let their local party know that you are opposed to them e.g. by writing to them from individuals or your group and telling them, a physical letter may be considered more seriously than an email.

Start an organisation and associated website that opposes them like Steve Baker Watch. later: or Craig Mackinlay Watch. [12/8/22 Robert Courts Watch].

Deliver leaflets, write letters to local papers, participate in radio phone-in discussions documenting their climate-opposing actions.

Continue ReadingShould climate activists get involved in electoral politics?

Coming soon

JSO, FPA, PJP protest London 23 July 2022. My pic, free to use.

I’ve not long got back from the Just Stop Oil, Fuel Poverty Action, Peace and Justice Project protest in London.

Coming soon a rethink by me of how to campaign effectively. Our planet is burning and it’s clear that the Paris Agreement goals were seriously wrong. The World’s climate is fekked now never mind 1.5C rise and there is no action from governments other than accelerating the destruction of out beautiful World. Please feel free to contribute and comment once it’s published.

ed: Forgot to say that I argued with Piers Corbyn while I was there.

23/7/22

Continue ReadingComing soon

Climate protesters call for action against a 40°C ‘new normal’

16.04.22-Marble Arch-London-Gareth Morris-03
16.04.22-Marble Arch-London-Gareth Morris-03

https://morningstaronline.co.uk/article/b/rallies-call-for-action-against-new-normal

CLIMATE change and fuel poverty campaigners are set to demonstrate in London on Satuday after the country endured searing high temperatures this week.

It comes as the High Court ruled that the government broke its own climate change laws by failing to properly assess its net zero policies.

Climate activists from across the country are planning dozens of “swarm” marches from various meeting points across London, converging at Parliament Square for a symbolic mass sit-down.

The demonstration, jointly organised by Just Stop Oil, Fuel Poverty Action and the Peace and Justice Project under the banner of We All Want to Just Stop Oil, will then gather in a park for a picnic and small discussion groups.

Protesters are demanding no new oil projects, the taxation of big polluters and billionaires, an end to families having to choose between heating and eating, more insulation for homes and cheap public transport.

wealljustwanttostopoil

Continue ReadingClimate protesters call for action against a 40°C ‘new normal’

Extreme heat warnings in effect in 28 states across US

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2022/jul/21/extreme-heat-warnings-advisories-28-states

100 million Americans are enduring searing temperatures as Biden declines to announce a climate emergency

The National Weather Service has warned that extreme heat will affect more than 100 million people in the US this week, with triple-digit temperatures in some states and broken temperature records in many areas across the country.

Heat warnings and advisories have been put in place for 28 states, with central and southern states facing the brunt of the scorching heat.

Some parts of Oklahoma reached 115F (46C) this week, while the Dallas area hit 109F (42C).

Continue ReadingExtreme heat warnings in effect in 28 states across US

Revealed: oil sector’s ‘staggering’ $3bn-a-day profits for last 50 years

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2022/jul/21/revealed-oil-sectors-staggering-profits-last-50-years

The oil and gas industry has delivered $2.8bn (£2.3bn) a day in pure profit for the last 50 years, a new analysis has revealed.

The vast total captured by petrostates and fossil fuel companies since 1970 is $52tn, providing the power to “buy every politician, every system” and delay action on the climate crisis, says Prof Aviel Verbruggen, the author of the analysis. The huge profits were inflated by cartels of countries artificially restricting supply.

The analysis, based on World Bank data, assesses the “rent” secured by global oil and gas sales, which is the economic term for the unearned profit produced after the total cost of production has been deducted.

The study has yet to be published in an academic journal but three experts at University College London, the London School of Economics and the thinktank Carbon Tracker confirmed the analysis as accurate, with one calling the total a “staggering number”. It appears to be the first long-term assessment of the sector’s total profits, with oil rents providing 86% of the total.

Continue ReadingRevealed: oil sector’s ‘staggering’ $3bn-a-day profits for last 50 years

M25 blocked as climate protesters declare it ‘site of civil resistance’ after hottest day in history

Just Stop Oil image

https://www.independent.co.uk/climate-change/news/m25-closed-climate-protest-just-stop-oil-b2127228.html

Climate protest group Just Stop Oil has halted traffic on the M25 this morning, declaring the London orbital motorway a “site of civil resistance” following record-breaking temperatures on Tuesday.

The group has issued a statement saying the record heatwave is “without doubt the most important moment in UK history”.

“All-time temperature records are being obliterated, thousands of people are expected to die from heatstroke and the liars and plotters who are vying to lead us are too busy fighting among themselves to even care,” the statement said.

The group accused the government of being “criminals”, who they said were “overseeing the destruction of everything that is needed for society and the state to function”.

Continue ReadingM25 blocked as climate protesters declare it ‘site of civil resistance’ after hottest day in history