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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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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Heathrow: step up the campaign against expansion now

Tory Transport Minister Chris Grayling announced to Parliament on June 5th, after endless prevarication, what he called the government’s ‘final proposal’ on airport expansion in the shape of what he called an Airports National Policy Statement (NPS), writes Alan Thornett. Heathrow, he said, is already full and the other London airports won’t be far behind. The proposal, therefore, is for a third runway and a sixth terminal at Heathrow—to the north west of the existing runways.

The aim is to make Heathrow into a major European hub which would take the passenger capacity of Heathrow to around 120 million a year.

If this plan is allowed to go ahead it would further pollute what is already one of the most polluted parts of London, where air quality is already at illegal levels. Around 4,000 homes will be demolished and hundreds of thousands of people will be exposed to additional aircraft noise. This will suck economic activity even more into London and the South East away from the rest of Britain. It will further congest roads in West London that are already bursting at the seams. Continue reading “Heathrow: step up the campaign against expansion now”

Free public transport

Photo: Bernard Spragg

The Labour Party’s consultation document, A Greener Britain, seeks proposals about different aspects of environmental policy. In this series of articles, Redgreenlabour supporters offer their thoughts. Please comment on these contributions which the authors may well revise and submit to the consultation in due course. We also urge you to submit your own responses to the Party – whether as individuals or through your branches, CLPs, unions, SERA or other environmental groups. The deadline is 24th June.

Q: What action should be taken to address poor air quality?

Labour’s 2017 election manifesto pledged to introduce a new Clean Air Act to deal with today’s plummeting air quality in particular in the big cities, writes Alan Thornett. Such an Act, however, needs to be radical if it is to be effective in getting large numbers of cars off the road.
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The extinction of species

Photo: Barta 1V

The mass extinction of species, currently taking place before our eyes, is arguably the most damaging aspect of the whole global environmental crisis, writes Alan Thornett.  The Earth is losing species 1000 times faster than the normal background rate, resulting in what is known as the ‘sixth extinction’ the greatest extinction of species since the demise of the dinosaurs.

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