You are welcome to disagree with any point although I contend that it is clear.
The climate is fekked. We’ve witnessed extreme weather events on every continent. The climate is fekked because governments worldwide refused to act and instead facilitated rich people – as corporate entities or individuals – fekking it.
Big oil has known for decades that it was fekking the planet and continued regardless.
Thousand of people have already died due to the climate getting destroyed by rich people and governments and thousands more will die. Governments are still failing to accept reality and address the climate crisis. Some have started to in small measure.
People should be held to account for their actions and inactions. People are likely to get killed over it whether legally i.e through a legally sanctioned death penalty, or not.
The US has historically had and the UK repeatedly has and continues to elect political leaders who are incompetent through imbecility.
We are going to suffer extreme food shortages due to the climate being fekked.
Everything is blamed on Russia. Ukraine is not the only place that grows food. Harvests throughout Europe have / will fail.
We should try to make sure that politicians responsible for fekking the climate and planet are not re-elected.
I’m sorry to say that it’s clearly going to get worse.
A Pakistani minister has called the country’s deadly monsoon season “a serious climate catastrophe” and “a climate dystopia at our doorstep” as officials said deaths from widespread flooding in Pakistan had passed 1,000 since mid-June.
Flash floods, which have intensified in recent days, have swept away villages, roads, bridges, people, livestock and crops across all four provinces. Pakistan has appealed for international help as soldiers and rescue workers have evacuated stranded people to relief camps and provided food to thousands of displaced people.
The country’s National Disaster Management Authority said on Sunday the death toll from the monsoon rains had reached 1,033, with 119 killed in the previous 24 hours. It said this year’s floods were comparable with those of 2010 – the worst on record – when more than 2,000 people died and nearly a fifth of the country was under water.
Government plans to reduce sewage spills in English waters fail to include hundreds of storm overflows into estuaries and the sea, according to new analysis.
In the government’s draft storm overflow discharge reduction plan the only coastal overflows that must cut spills are those near designated bathing sites, but it’s not clear what distance is classified as “near” one, according to the Marine Conservation Society.
Its analysis found that around 600 coastal sites therefore won’t have to reduce the number of times they spill sewage into the sea, some of which could be near Marine Protected Areas.
Meanwhile, for inland waters and designated bathing waters water companies must not discharge sewage more than an average of 10 rainfall events per year by 2050, according to the draft targets. A rainfall event is up to 12 hours of rain.
By 2050? Looks like UK government shits are quite content with UK swimming in shit. I suppose it’s only poor, insignificant people after all. Rich people can swim at European beaches of course …
Britain’s “despicable” dumping of raw sewage into the sea threatens human health, fishing grounds and marine life in the English Channel and the North Sea, says a French MEP leading a campaign to sue the British government.
Stéphanie Yon-Courtin told i that she was shocked by the surge in cases of Britain’s sewage overflows seeping directly into the sea, which “reflects the image of the government.”
“reflects the image of the government.” = full of shits
Raw sewage dumped into England’s rivers 375,000 times last year – BBC News
The Tory leadership frontrunner, Liz Truss, was responsible for cutting millions of pounds of funding earmarked for tackling water pollution during her time as environment secretary, the Guardian can reveal.
Truss, who was in charge at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) between 2014 and 2016, oversaw “efficiency” plans set out in the 2015 spending review to reduce Environment Agency funding by £235m.
This included a £24m cut from a government grant for environmental protection, including surveillance of water companies to prevent the dumping of raw sewage, between 2014-15 and 2016-17, according to the National Audit Office.
The richest 1% of the world’s people (those earning more than $172,000 a year) produce 15% of the world’s carbon emissions: twice the combined impact of the poorest 50%. On average, they emit over 70 tonnes of carbon dioxide per person every year, 30 times more than we can each afford to release if we’re not to exceed 1.5C of global heating. While the emissions of the world’s middle classes are expected to fall sharply over the next decade, thanks to the general decarbonisation of our economies, the amount produced by the richest will scarcely decline at all: in other words, they’ll be responsible for an even greater share of total CO2. Becoming good global citizens would mean cutting their carbon consumption by an average of 97%.
There’s an oft-quoted axiom, whose authorship is obscure: it is easier to imagine the end of the world than the end of capitalism. Part of the reason is that capitalism itself is difficult to imagine. Most people struggle to define it, and its champions have generally succeeded in disguising its true nature. So let’s begin by imagining something that’s easier to comprehend: the end of concentrated wealth. Our survival depends on it.
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.
Something to watch on the eve of huge energy price increases driving the cost of living crisis in UK
Climate activist group Just Stop Oil have disrupted three oil terminals and many M25 petrol stations this week. Just Stop Oil are calling for no new oil and gas ventures in UK which is accepted as a necessary measure to address the climate crisis.
Dozens of environmental protesters have blocked critical oil infrastructure in Essex and the Midlands as they revived a campaign to “just stop oil”.
At daybreak on Tuesday, about 50 people took part in protests targeting three oil terminals, from where fuel is distributed to petrol stations, the activist group Just Stop Oil said.
In Essex, about 30 activists occupied the Inter oil terminal in Grays and blocked a road leading to the Navigator oil terminal in Thurrock, while five others occupied tunnels dug beneath access roads to the terminals.
In Warwickshire about 20 people tried to block access roads to the Kingsbury oil terminal, the campaign said. Four others were said to be occupying two tunnels near the site.
Yet public ownership is opposed passionately by the Conservative government, while the leader of the opposition has said he is “not in favour” of it – despite his election on a platform that committed to “bring rail, mail, water and energy into public ownership to end the great privatisation rip-off and save you money on your fares and bills”.
Public ownership is on the media’s radar, too. When Labour leader Keir Starmer announced his policy to freeze bills this week, he was asked why he wouldn’t also nationalise energy, replying that: “In a national emergency where people are struggling to pay their bills … the right choice is for every single penny to go to reducing those bills.”
But so long as energy remains privatised, every single penny won’t. Billions of pennies will keep going to shareholders instead.
The energy market was fractured under the mass privatisations of the Thatcher governments in the 1980s. It contains three sectors: producers or suppliers (those that produce energy), retailers (those that sell you energy), and distribution or transmission (the infrastructure that transports energy to your home).
It is important to bear this in mind when we’re talking about taking energy into public ownership. We need to be clear about what we want in public ownership and why.
By 2019, Labour had a detailed plan on how to do this – worked up by the teams around then shadow business and energy secretary Rebecca Long Bailey and then shadow chancellor John McDonnell. The plan is not the only way, but it illustrates what exists and how one could go about re-establishing a public energy ecosystem, run for people not profit.
The recent TUC report shows the cost of nationalising the ‘Big 5’ energy retailers – British Gas, E.ON, EDF, Scottish Power and Ovo – to be £2.8bn, which would go on buying all the companies’ shares. That’s a lot of money, equivalent to more than the annual budget of the Sure Start programme in 2009/10 (its peak year). But it’s a one-off cost, not an annual one.
And it’s not like the current privatised system doesn’t have its costs: since June 2021, the UK government has spent £2.7bn bailing out 28 energy companies that collapsed because they put short-term profits ahead of long-term stability – companies like Bulb Energy. We have spent billions of pounds already to get nothing in return. So £2.8bn is not a large amount of money to pay to gain these assets, rather than just bailing them out.
The big energy retail companies made £23bn in dividends between 2010 and 2020 according to Common Wealth, and £43bn if you include share buy-backs. What you choose to do with that surplus in public ownership is another matter: you could use it to invest in new clean energy or to lower bills or fund staff pay rises, rather than subject your workers to fire-and-rehire practices as British Gas did last year.
Labour’s previous plan also involved taking the distribution networks – the National Grid – into public ownership. This would end the profiteering at this level, too – with £13bn paid out in dividends over the five years prior to 2019. As Long Bailey said at the time, we need “public driven and coordinated action, without which we simply will not be able to tackle climate change”. Like previous nationalisations, the purchase of the grid and distribution networks could be achieved by swapping shares for government bonds. By international accounting standards, the cost is fiscally neutral as the state gains a revenue-generating asset, which more than pays for the bond yield.
The final part of the plan – and the most complicated – is production and supply. It would be impossible to nationalise the oilfields of Saudi Arabia or Qatar – and for good reasons we should want to leave fossil fuels in the ground, anyway, rather than contest their ownership.
And so what Labour proposed in 2019 was a mass investment in new renewable energy generation projects, with the public sector taking a stake and returning profits to the public. For example, under the ‘People’s Power Plan’, we proposed 37 new offshore wind farms with a 51% public stake, delivering 52GW alone by 2030, equivalent to 38 coal power stations. There were additional proposals for onshore wind, solar, and tidal schemes, as part of a 10-year £250bn Green Transformation Fund, which included other schemes like the Warm Homes insulation initiative.
Labour’s new shadow chancellor Rachel Reeves has promised a similar level of investment – a £28bn a year climate investment pledge.
Any surplus energy would then be sold on international markets, with a People’s Power Fund – a sort of sovereign wealth fund – to deliver public investment in local communities’ social infrastructure: a genuine levelling-up fund, perhaps.
Many people will say this can’t be done, but of course it has been before. The 1945 Attlee government nationalised energy and successive Conservative governments – including those of Churchill, MacMillan and Heath – were happy to have a nationalised asset. Harold MacMillan famously accused Margaret Thatcher of “selling off the family silver” when she privatised state industries.
When I was born in 1979, the National Coal Board, British Gas and British Petroleum were all publicly-owned or majority publicly-owned companies. Between them, they were the major suppliers of our energy. Our gas bills came from British Gas and our electricity bills from our regional electricity board (in my case Seeboard, the South Eastern Electricity Board), and coal and oil fuelled our power stations.
The regional electricity boards had been brought into being by the Attlee government’s Electricity Act 1947, when electricity companies were forcibly merged into regional area boards and nationalised. The Coal Industry Nationalisation Act 1946 and the Gas Act 1948 had together brought energy into public ownership.
Seeboard was privatised in 1990, and later became part of EDF Energy – ironically, the nationalised French energy company, whose profits from the UK’s stupidity are used to subsidise French consumers.
The French government has now fully nationalised EDF (previously it was 84% publicly owned), and household energy bills rose by just 4% this year – compared to over 50% in the UK and a forecast 200% by January 2023.
If Starmer doesn’t want to listen to me (or his own commitments from 2020), perhaps emulating the centrist Emmanuel Macron in this instance would be palatable?
From the depletion of fish stocks to the burning of the Amazon, profit has proved a failed regulator for use of our natural resources
In his later years, Robin Cook argued: “The market is incapable of respecting a common resource such as the environment, which provides no price signal to express the cost of its erosion nor to warn of the long-term dangers of its destruction.”
From the depletion of fish stocks to the burning of the Amazon, profit has proved a failed regulator for use of our natural resources. The market has also failed to decarbonise at pace, or to end the scourge of fuel poverty.
On the media this week, shadow energy secretary Ed Miliband said Labour is “continuing to look at what the right long-term solution is for our energy system”. It is up to all of us to campaign for that solution to be public ownership – whether that’s from within the Labour Party (like me) or from the outside.
Need to get posting again. Think that I need to try to impress on people, perhaps especially young people, that they need to get active. I doubt that there will be any meaningful climate action unless it’s demanded and climate action now is so important,
French climate activists have filled golf course holes with cement in protest against a water ban exemption on greens across the country during a severe drought.
The group, part of the Extinction Rebellion organisation, targeted courses near the city of Toulouse, calling golf the “leisure of the most privileged.”
In a petition, the local activists said the exemption showed that “economic madness takes precedence over ecological reason”.
“At a time when the greatest drought ever observed in France since the beginning of meteorological readings is raging, while the drying up of rivers is accelerating in our regions, at a time when 93 departments out of 96 are placed under water use restrictions, resulting in total bans on irrigation for certain market gardeners and for agriculture; a sector concerning a tiny fraction of the population seems to enjoy a privilege worthy of another world in these times of crisis; golf,” the group said in its online petition.
The former Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has criticised the west for arming Ukraine, arguing that its military support will prolong the war.
Countries including the UK and the US have sent Kyiv billions of pounds of weapons to help it fight off Vladimir Putin’s troops.
“Pouring arms in isn’t going to bring about a solution. It is only going to prolong and exaggerate this war,” Corbyn said, echoing the line taken by Moscow on western military aid to Ukraine.
Although the North Islington MP said he “disagrees” with the Russian invasion, he accused world leaders of using “the language of more war and more bellicose war” instead of pursuing peace.
“This war is disastrous for the people of Ukraine, for the people of Russia and for the safety and security of the whole world, and therefore there has to be more, much more effort, put into peace,” he said.
20 min long unfortunately …
10 August 2022. This post disappears from the blog repeatedly, I don’t know why.
11 August 2022. [Technical] I’m very pleased with my current host while the last one was good when I joined but bought out and then turned useless. It’s cheap, fast and has excellent tech support. I should have flushed the NGINX cache after changing the theme to get this post displaying properly. Not sure about this theme despite it being very popular e.g. quoted text not reactive, [12/8/22 now working, think that my secret secretary should be thanked for that. I don’t know who my secret secretary is – it’s a secret ;)] could be simpler to use (how can I change the background colour in the header? why is it a different colour anyway? I want this sort of stuff to just work straight out of the box).
Historians will be baffled by the readiness of Britain’s largest media organisations to lick Johnson’s boots for so long, and will surely look for an explanation. Part of the reason is ideology. Murdoch and the Barclay brothers personally supported the Brexit movement which propelled Johnson to power.
Another is that Johnson cleverly ensured the major newspaper groups had a vested interest in maintaining him in office. Though lazy and incompetent, Johnson understands the press exceptionally well, and as prime minister managed it skilfully, giving the newspapers everything they wanted in exchange for their support.
This meant allowing media barons to set his agenda. The BBC has long been a target of the press—Murdoch in particular—because it occupies public space which corporate media craves for itself. Johnson’s attacks on the licence fee—and the briefing by allies of his culture secretary, Nadine Dorries, that on her watch “it’s over for the BBC” as we know it—look like gifts to his media backers. So was the appointment of an unqualified Tory donor, former banker Richard Sharp, as chairman of the national broadcaster. The same applies to the proposed Channel 4 sell-off.