Another call for earlier ban on flaring in oil and gas fields

This is the second report this month to call for a ban on flaring in the next two years. A cross-party report by the House of Commons environmental audit committee made the same recommendation on 5 January.

Mr Skidmore was commissioned by the former prime minister, Liz Truss, to review UK proposals to reach net zero emissions by 2050.

Last year, the government accepted a ruling by the High Court that its net zero strategy was unlawful. The landmark judgement agreed with arguments by Friends of the Earth, ClientEarth and Good Law Project that the strategy failed to show how the UK’s legally-binding carbon budgets would be met.

The review ran to 340 pages and had 129 recommendations.

It said flaring was responsible for 22% of carbon emissions on oil and gas fields. About 70% of oil and gas field emissions were from powering equipment on platforms, it said.

The offshore industry published a Methane Action Plan in 2021 to reduce emissions and flaring. This committed the industry to a 50% methane emission reduction by 2030, compared with 2018 levels. Shell has committed to zero routine flaring by 2025.

Net zero: Tory MP warns government must take urgent action to meet climate goals
Continue ReadingAnother call for earlier ban on flaring in oil and gas fields

Jonathan Pie on Conservative Party misrule of UK in 2022

Jonathan Pie: Boris Johnson is a Liar

Jonathan Pie: Bye Bye Boris

Jonathan Pie: Liz Truss Gone

Jonathan Pie: Tax Dodgers

I’m really enjoying Jonathan Pie. He could be a parody of me except that he’s a parody of a UK journalist instead. A few vids here where he discusses Boris, Liz Truss and Rishi Sunak. Enjoy ;)

Continue ReadingJonathan Pie on Conservative Party misrule of UK in 2022

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan condems Just Stop Oil, presents a climate change speech in Buenos Aires and claims credit for dispatching Liz Truss

Mayor of London Sidiq Khan condems Just Stop Oil

Just Stop Oil didn’t delay us getting to M20 crash, says ambulance service

Right-wing papers were wrong to claim climate activists on the Dartford Crossing delayed paramedics responding to a fatal crash, the ambulance service has said.

The Sun and the Daily Mail accused two Just Stop Oil protesters who shut down the Queen Elizabeth II Bridge for two days from Monday 17 October of preventing ambulances from quickly responding to an incident on the M20 in which two women died.

Both papers reported that disruption caused by the protest meant ambulances were delayed in arriving at the scene.

But that claim has now been rubbished by the South East Coast Ambulance Service.

Sadiq Khan insists world leaders ‘meet words with deeds’ at climate change speech in Buenos Aires… after he and his team racked up 361,146 air miles lecturing the world on going GREEN

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan – who is under-fire for he and his team’s estimated 360,000 airmiles – has told eco-conference delegates to ‘redouble their efforts’.

Mayor Khan, 52, talking at the C40 World Mayors Summit in Buenos Aires told the audience more needed to be done.

He went on to confuse delegates bizarrely claiming credit for the ousting of Liz Truss as PM.

He then paused for applause but was forced to shrug as only a handful of people clapped.

Mr Khan added: ‘I’ve heard the news that my political opponent, the Conservative Prime Minister of the UK, has resigned.

‘Had I know that organising this summit could lead to the resignation of the UK prime minister, I’d have organised this sooner.’

I can assure you that Sadiq Khan was NOT responsible for dispatching short-lived UK prime minister Liz Truss since I know who was responsible. I most definately do not make such a bizarre claim.

Continue ReadingMayor of London Sadiq Khan condems Just Stop Oil, presents a climate change speech in Buenos Aires and claims credit for dispatching Liz Truss

Historic Failure

Led by Donkeys: A historic failure

Jeremy Corbyn: A warning to Truss and Hunt: people see the chaos and unfairness – and they won’t accept it

In my 39 years in parliament, I cannot remember a fiscal plan so reckless, arrogant and out-of-touch. More than one in five people – and one in three children – are in poverty in the UK. A quarter of a million people in England are homeless. This October, millions of people will struggle to heat their homes or feed their children. But will nobody think of the bankers?

It doesn’t matter which remnants of neoliberal economics this government tries to rescue from the rubble. Nor does it matter how many chancellors they use to try to resuscitate them. The Tories will never be able to fix the economy until they reckon with the fact that they’ve spent the past 12 years destroying it.

By preparing for another wave of austeritythe new chancellor is not just in denial about the scale and severity of the cost-of-living crisis. He is in denial about the very economic policy that engendered it. The last round of cuts to public services – which has been linked to 330,000 excess deaths by a recent report – did not just plunge millions into poverty. It stole resources from the poorest people in society and transferred them to the richest: as child poverty was heading towards its highest levels since 2007, Britain’s billionaires more than doubled their wealth. Far from rectifying this act of social robbery, the government is intent on helping the 1% steal even more.

As the Tories plunge themselves into electoral oblivion, those in opposition have a precious opportunity: to redistribute wealth, ownership and economic power. To end insecurity, exploitation, poverty and homelessness. To build a society grounded in compassion, creativity and care.

Continue ReadingHistoric Failure

Just Stop Oil London protests continue, Extinction Rebellion make a weekend of it

Van Gogh Sunflowers yesterday. It’ll clean up.

New Scotland Yard sign yesterday. It’ll clean up.

edit: New Scotland Yard is the London Metropolitan Police’s main police station and near the Houses of Parliament.

‘It was terrifying’: Stop Oil activists on the new battle against fossil fuel

Just Stop Oil, XR’s latest successor movement, has vowed to block central London roads every day this October. Friday was their 14th consecutive day, and they stepped up tactics once again, with two young women throwing paint over Vincent van Gogh’s Sunflowers painting in the National Gallery, a polarising action that left many aghast. Another action involved spraying the revolving sign at New Scotland Yard, the Metropolitan police headquarters.

Their demand is simple: that the government agree to a moratorium on all new oil and gas projects, in line with a recommendation by the International Energy Agency.

With the government having announced a new round of licensing only last week, their prospects of success seem bleak, but activists remained committed. “The burning of fossil fuels is killing people right now,” Kat, a children’s mental health nurse said as she sat blocking St George’s Circus.

“It’s fuelling the cost of living crisis, and it’s driving temperatures higher and higher. So I will not stand by and watch this government commit crimes against humanity by continuing to invest in the fossil fuel industry. That is morally wrong.

“So I’m sitting here peacefully and non-violently in the road, and our demand is: no new oil and gas.”

Extinction Rebellion burn energy bills in Downing Street protest

Climate activists Extinction Rebellion burned energy bills outside Downing Street on Friday as Liz Truss sacked her chancellor, Kwasi Kwarteng, and replaced him with Jeremy Hunt.

“We’re here to apply for the job of Chancellor,” the group tweeted, as streams of their supporters marched through the streets. “We need action on the climate and cost of living crisis now.”

“The anti-growth coalition have arrived at Downing Street,” the climate activists said, adopting Ms Truss’ description of Extinction Rebellion among others during her speech at the Conservative party conference in Birmingham this month.

Extinction Rebellion is holding a weekend of resistance in London from Friday until Sunday in an attempt to grow numbers and build momentum towards 100 thousands people on the streets in spring next year.

Continue ReadingJust Stop Oil London protests continue, Extinction Rebellion make a weekend of it

Tories slammed for imposing windfall tax on renewable energy but not fossil fuel giants

https://morningstaronline.co.uk/article/b/government-accused-of-double-standard-for-imposing-windfall-tax-on-renewable-energy%20but%20not%20fossil%20fuel%20giants

Greenpeace UK policy director Dr Doug Parr said: “Was it just a dream or did we all hear the Prime Minister say, just weeks ago, she was against a windfall tax?

“Now she’s going to impose a de facto one after all but only on electricity generators, not a proper one on oil and gas firms.

“This glaring double standard makes no sense. It’s almost as if Liz Truss’s belief in the free market only applied to big polluters.

“Of course, it’s right that industries profiting from the energy crisis should give up lots of their extra cash to help people struggling with their bills, but then why is the government refusing to properly tax fossil fuel giants?”

Continue ReadingTories slammed for imposing windfall tax on renewable energy but not fossil fuel giants

George Monbiot: I’m part of the ‘anti-growth coalition’ Liz Truss loves to hate – and I’m proud of it

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2022/oct/12/liz-truss-anti-growth-coalition-class-power

,,,

For many years, a small band of us “voices of decline” and “enemies of enterprise” who “don’t understand aspiration” have been trying to point out that increments in gross domestic product do not equate to increments in happiness. We have argued that no one wins the human race. We have sought to explain that what mainstream economists call progress is what ecologists call planetary ruin. We’ve contended that infinite growth on a finite planet is a recipe for catastrophe. I hope Liz Truss is right to claim that so many people now accept our arguments.

Even if this coalition is not yet as broad as she suggests, she seems determined to widen it. Her plans to rip down planning controls, to cut public services, deregulate business, crush protests, unleash exploitation and destroy economic security, all in the name of boosting the rate of economic growth, could scarcely be better calculated to reveal the difference between GDP and prosperity.

Is our prosperity enhanced by increasing the volume of sewage in our rivers and on our beaches? No. It may boost the profits of the water companies and the remuneration of their directors, very little of which – unlike the effluent they release – will trickle down into our lives. Will a new roadbuilding programme enhance our lives? Not if, as new roads always do, it pushes congestion to the next bottleneck, while increasing noise, pollution and the destruction of landscapes. Will we be happier if the regulations protecting workers and consumers are stripped away? No. We will find that our health, wealth and wellbeing decline, even as the companies exploiting us become richer. Our lives do not grow in these circumstances. They are shrunk by poverty, pollution, poor health and exploitation.

dizzy: As a blogger, I should only quote small excerpts of copyrighted works and as a rule of thumb I tend to go for 3 paragraphs of newspaper articles. I recommend the rest of Monbiot’s article.

Continue ReadingGeorge Monbiot: I’m part of the ‘anti-growth coalition’ Liz Truss loves to hate – and I’m proud of it

Open Letter to Liz Truss on ‘Anti Growth’ – XR co-founder, Gail Bradbrook

Dear Liz Truss,

In your recent speech at the Conservative party conference you mentioned growth 29 times; said “I will not allow the anti-growth coalition to hold us back” and named Extinction Rebellion as part of this coalition.

Thank you for opening up this critical conversation. We appreciate the opportunity to share our understanding and we hope many others will join us for a grown up conversation in these urgent times. 

We know that members of your party understand our concerns, and are also worried about your economic ideology. When we met Michael Gove in 2019 he said:

“We have had an economic model for generations which has been extractive and exploitative, and in the same way as we’ve created debt fuelled economic growth that creates a burden for the next generation, so our approach towards natural resources has had to change and we’re wrestling as a government with how to do that, how to move towards a more circular economy. And also how to re think different parts of our economy, and again we may disagree over the imperative or the importance placed on growth, but certainly how we can achieve a greater degree of human flourishing and at the same time be more respectful to the limited resources that the earth has and critically also recognise that its not simply about drawing down resources, the earth is a system, our environment is a system of which we are a part and if we do violence to it then we are doing violence to ourselves, we are hacking at the tree of life.”  

There are many forms of growth that are beneficial. Specific sectors of our economy badly need to grow, for example homegrown sources of renewable energy. A sector that would do so much better if this supposed free market was not distorted by the vast subsidies the UK gives to fossil fuels.

However, the data is clear, growth for growth’s sake, without limits, without purpose, is destroying life on earth. When unfettered growth happens in a human body we call it cancer. Economic growth is only beneficial up to a certain point, beyond which it is harmful to people and planet. Economic growth is lucrative to those who are already wealthy (who unsurprisingly then insist on keeping it as the focus). Trickle down economics has failed us for a long time, everyone knows it’s just an out of date idea, not a realistic method that improves the lives of the general public. When we are measuring GDP we would best consider it a measure of the Gross Destruction of the Planet by the Greedy Death Project! 

Do you not agree when Margaret Thatcher said “We should always remember that free markets are a means to an end. They would defeat their object if by their output they did more damage to the quality of life through pollution than the well-being they achieve by the production of goods and services”

Extinction Rebellion are calling for a Well Being economy, which has a clear and measured purpose to maximise wellness and minimise harm; at home and across the world. There is no shortage of fantastic ideas about how to achieve that, including ideas to support circular uses of materials whilst staying within planetary and social boundaries. We love imaginative ideas, such as regenerative finance and mission based economics; where there could be a focus of our specific strengths on tackling major challenges together, making use of the innovation and delivery capabilities in business and markets, the organising capacities of our civil service, the intellect of our academics. We are a wealthy country, we could afford to pay for universal basic services and lead the world on tackling the climate and ecological crisis. And Extinction Rebellion champions assemblies of ordinary people, to think together with experts about how to make this vital transition.

Because it doesn’t matter how attached your Government is, Ms. Truss, to a specific form of free market ideology. Physics and ecology are ultimately in charge and the life support systems of the earth are starting to tip. Doubling down on the extraction of fossil fuels commits our children and grandchildren here and globally to lives where food production fails and civilisation  collapses. We charge that members of your Government, who are making decisions now, against the advice of scientists and international bodies, are committing crimes against humanity. 

We see truths shared from many quarters. King Charles has said “We need nothing short of a paradigm shift, one that inspires action at revolutionary levels and pace.” The Chief Executive of Shell Ben Van Beurden recently called for a windfall tax and  Philip Kotler, father of modern  marketing called for Degrowth (the academic term for an economy focussed on Wellbeing) In October 2018 the IPCC said that limiting global warming would require “rapid, far-reaching and unprecedented changes in all aspects of society”. 

People will become increasingly desperate in this country as the consequences of years of terrible choices come home and impact us all. Choices to sell off our assets, to poison our food, air and water; while at the same time we failed to invest in homegrown renewables and insulate homes. We are left with little security and a cost of living scandal. Over 20,000 people in the UK already died unnecessarily this year since April. Those with the least responsibility for these crises are suffering in the millions, battered and uprooted by climate disasters, from the Horn of Africa, to Bangladesh, to Mozambique, to Pakistan.

We see the callousness and the corruption and the refusal to face reality. Those of us who have the capacity and the conscience will do all we can to stop this death machine. There are a growing number of people who just can’t pay the bills that are mounting and others who won’t work for poverty wages, unable to make ends meet despite their hard work (though I understand you, Liz Truss, think British workers “need more graft”). We will strike bill payments in solidarity and strength, and we will not let you frack the British countryside, poison the water and the people.

Yes, we are uniting, because we believe in our shared humanity, we love our country, and this Earth, and we are willing to take responsibility, whether that comes at a cost to us, on behalf of our collective wellbeing. 

A key aspect of civil disobedience is a belief in the need to talk. I would welcome a dialogue with yourself or colleagues – please be in touch!

Sincerely,

Gail Bradbrook

Dr. Gail Bradbrook, Co-Founder Extinction Rebellion

Notes for Editors

  1. https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2019/jan/23/uk-has-biggest-fossil-fuel-subsidies-in-the-eu-finds-commission
  2.  A systematic review of the evidence on decoupling of GDP, resource use and GHG emissions, part I: bibliometric and conceptual mapping https://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/159385/; Tim Parrique https://unevenearth.org/2020/06/decoupling/ Limits to Growth review https://www.vice.com/en/article/z3xw3x/new-research-vindicates-1972-mit-prediction-that-society-will-collapse-soon 
  3.  When countries have low GDP, economic growth brings a high marginal benefit. But, for developed countries with high GDP, the marginal benefit of economic growth is lower. There is a diminishing marginal utility of extra income and at higher levels, the problems of growth may outweigh the benefits. https://www.economicshelp.org/macroeconomics/economic-growth/benefits-growth/ 
  4.  The academic term is Degrowth – eg see Jason Hickel Less is More, https://weall.org/ etc
  5.  Circular Economy eg https://ellenmacarthurfoundation.org/topics/circular-economy-introduction/overview
  6.  Doughnut Economics https://doughnuteconomics.org/about-doughnut-economics
  7. Eg https://thefinanser.com/2022/10/what-is-regenerative-finance-refi-part-one 
  8.  Mariana Mazzucato https://ec.europa.eu/research-and-innovation/en/horizon-magazine/missions-could-make-europe-cool-again-prof-mariana-mazzucato 
  9.  UBS eg https://universalbasicservices.org/; Calls for UK to not drop its commitments : https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2022/oct/03/cop27-host-egypt-warns-uk-not-backtrack-climate-agenda
  10. https://theconversation.com/climate-tipping-points-could-lock-in-unstoppable-changes-to-the-planet-how-close-are-they-191043
  11. https://www.theguardian.com/business/2022/oct/04/shell-chief-tax-energy-firms-ben-van-beurden-gas-electricity
  12. Philip Kotler, father of modern marketing, supports degrowth: https://www.linkedin.com/posts/ben-tolhurst_degrowth-the-case-for-constraining-consumption-activity-6982821869351510016-jRQb?utm_source=share&utm_medium=member_ios
  13. https://www.newscientist.com/article/2335991-there-are-thousands-more-uk-deaths-than-usual-and-we-dont-know-why/
Continue ReadingOpen Letter to Liz Truss on ‘Anti Growth’ – XR co-founder, Gail Bradbrook

‘Fantastic’: What Truss’s allies said about budget that crashed UK economy

https://www.opendemocracy.net/en/liz-truss-kwasi-kwarteng-mini-budget-think-tanks/

[Kwasi Kwarteng’s ‘mini-budget’] announcements were cheered on by a group of secretive think tanks closely connected to Liz Truss and her advisers. After years of lobbying, a Conservative government had finally adopted their proposals to scrap the top rate of income tax, remove the cap on bankers’ bonuses, shelve a planned rise in corporation tax, and pledge a fresh crackdown on unions.

The Adam Smith Institute, where Truss’s political secretary Sophie Jarvis was head of government affairs, said the plans were “a welcome first step to getting the British economy back on track”.

The mood was particularly buoyant at the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA), whose director general Mark Littlewood greeted the announcement by claiming: “This isn’t a trickle-down budget – it’s a boost-up budget.”

None of the think tanks discloses its funders, but the IEA has received donations from BP and ExxonMobil and, along with the Adam Smith Institute and the Centre for Policy Studies, the tobacco industry. The IEA and the Adam Smith Institute have also received millions of dollars from US funders of climate denial.

Continue Reading‘Fantastic’: What Truss’s allies said about budget that crashed UK economy

Jake Berry apology slammed for being meaningless

https://leftfootforward.org/2022/10/jake-berry-apology-slammed-for-being-meaningless/

Talking to Sky News during the Conservative Party Conference, the MP for Rossendale and Darwen said: “People know that when their bills arrive, they can either cut their consumption or they can get a higher salary, higher wages, go out there and get that new job.

“That’s the approach the government is taking so households can afford their bills,” said Berry, as he defended the tax cuts for the rich made in the mini budget.

‘Living on another planet’

The comments prompted backlash, labelled ‘out of touch and ‘crass’, as the MP’s name trended on social media. UNISON general secretary Christina McAnea said the government was “living on another planet.”

Continue ReadingJake Berry apology slammed for being meaningless