Can the Labour Party reclaim the future from catastrophic climate change?

Rebecca Long Bailey speaking at Preston New Road anti-fracking protest, Oct 8 2014. Photo: Refraction

In a week of fracking irony, can the Labour Party reclaim the future from catastrophic climate change, asks Sam Mason?

It’s a decade since the Labour Party pioneered the ground-breaking Climate Change Act 2008. A rare moment of political consensus forged in the centre ground of New Labour and Tory beyond ideology visions of the ‘modern market economy’.  Responses to climate change if anything, are ideological in their economic and political basis and absurd that solutions can be left to the market waiting for signals.  Surely the scientific signals that we have twelve years to stabilise emissions are paramount and reassuringly something the Labour Party are finally addressing opposing the dogma of the market.  But is the party ready to “reclaim the future” with a transformative and ideological vision as Rebecca Long-Bailey said in her keynote speech at the party conference in September?

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Important victory in the fight against fracking

There was a lively crowd outside the High Court on October 17, showing solidarity with the 3 anti-fracking protestors, Simon Blevins, 26, Richard Roberts, 36, and Rich Loizou, 31, who were appealing their sentences of up to 16 months after being convicted of causing a public nuisance at the Cuadrilla site at Preston New Road, writes Terry Conway

Supporters were jubilant later in the day to hear that the men were to be freed, after the Lord Chief Justice ruled that an “immediate custodial sentence in the case of these appellants was manifestly excessive”. Given that they had already been in custody for two weeks, he granted them a conditional discharge.

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IPCC climate report: a global wakeup call

Alan Thornett offers an initial assessment of the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) special ‘1.5°C’ report published on October 8 on the deepening crisis around climate change.

The timescale available to do something about global warming and climate change just shrank dramatically.  Just this year the planet reached a temperature increase of 1°C in the global average surface temperature over pre-industrial levels. This report concludes that, at the current rate of increase, a 1.5°C limit could be reached as soon as 2030 – in just 12 years’ time. This takes the climate struggle to a new level of urgency.

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An Alternative To De-Growth Pessimism

Recently more than 200 academics published an open letter in support of the demands for an economic system that abandons growth as its central objective, writes Francine Mestrum  from Global Social Justice. In the European Parliament a major conference was organized on ‘post-growth’ and the European Trade Union Confederation held a ‘post-conference’ on the same topic.

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Step up the fight to stop fracking at Preston New Road

Its all been happening at and around the Cuadrilla site at Preston New Road over the last couple of weeks.

On September 26th, three anti-fracking activists, Richard Loizou, Richard Roberts and Simon Roscoe Blevins, were jailed for terms of as much as 16 months for their part in direct action on the site in July. Last week they announced they were going to appeal their sentences, some of the most draconian ever meted out to people taking direct action in this country.

The Campaign against Climate Change is organising this letter of support from trade unionists – sign up here.

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Red Green Labour and the Green New Deal

A new report by the Green New Deal Group should be welcomed. It provides a valuable campaigning tool for those of us in the Labour Party who believe that the party should be Green as well as Red and should identify addressing climate change as a central concern and an important part of its electoral appeal, writes Peter Allen. You can read the report here : https://www.greennewdealgroup.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/GNDJobsReport9-18.pdf

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The rising tide: Kerala 2018 flood

It will not be enough for us to rue the past, writes Arundhati Roy.

This year in Kerala, the monsoon that we long for, and the rivers that we pretend to love, are talking back to us. Certainly, for me, the rain was the ink in my pen, and the river, the Meenachil, drove my story. They made me the writer that I am.

Now their fury is unimaginable, and the scale of the disaster and peoples’ suffering is still unfolding. The Army, the navy, various government agencies, local communities, an extraordinary collective of fisher folk, journalists, and thousands of ordinary people have shown exemplary courage and fellow-feeling, risking their lives to bring others to safety. Help and money is pouring in. More help and more money will be needed. And yet, as the waters recede, revealing oceans of plastic and debris, we are faced with the fact that it would be dishonest of us to treat this calamity purely as a natural disaster in which we humans played no part.We know by now that in the era of global warming and climate change, the mountains and the coastal areas will be the first to pay the price.

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Waste Incineration & Energy-from-Waste: a new capitalist greenwash

Most of us are aware of the need for recycling waste but there is in fact a necessity to move to  Zero Waste as increasing public concerns arise about plastic pollution, food waste or toxic waste, writes Clara Paillard. . In a capitalist consumption society, we continually produce more and more goods, many of them useless or rapidly becoming obsolete by design and lack of quality. Incineration creates many problems.

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March against Trump – and for the Planet

Photo: Greenpeace USA

There are many reasons for supporting the anti-Trump protests this week, writes Alan Thornett. It has become increasingly clear that Trump can do immeasurable damage not only to politics across the planet but to its life support systems.

During Blair’s premiership, when he was moving rapidly to the right, he was accused of doing this in order to win right-wing and middle England votes. His reply was: no, it is worse that than that, ‘I really believe in all this’.
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The fight against Heathrow is far from over

On Monday June 25, Westminster took two decisions which were a major breach in Britain’s commitment to combatting climate change – as well as being disastrous for other reasons, writes Terry Conway. There has been a great deal of coverage about the decision to proceed with a third runway at Heathrow, but not enough analysis of what led to the debacle- and how those of us committed to ensuring that it doesn’t now proceed should be doing now.

The second decision has been less discussed –  not to fund the tidal lagoon at Swansea Bay. Business and Energy Secretary Greg Clark said the £1.3bn project was not value for money, despite claims by developers Tidal Lagoon Power (TLP) a revised offer made it cheaper.
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