Bill Gates Can’t Save the World

In this article from Tribune magazine Grace Blakeley explains why Bill Gates cannot solve all our problems…
Bill Gates is splashed on magazine covers across the world this week with his plan to solve climate change. But his new book ignores the fact that the same system which made him rich is the one killing the planet.
Can Bill Gates save the world from capitalism? Gates’ new book How to Avoid a Climate Disaster lays out his plan for achieving net zero. With all the fanfare around the book’s release—his face was splashed on the cover of multiple magazines this week—this ‘plan’ is depressingly familiar.

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Indian farmers confront agribusiness and Hindu nationalist agenda of Modi government

We are pleased to publish a guest post for Red Green Labour by Pritam Singh, Professor Emeritus, Oxford Brookes University, Oxford 

The current Indian farmers’ protest is the largest, mostly peaceful, protest in history. It is against three farm laws India’s farmers fear will privatize India’s agriculture sector and leave over 600 million Indians at the mercy of large corporations. The agricultural market reforms push further the Hindu nationalist BJP[1] government’s agenda of centralising economic power and decision-making. The opposition to the reforms by farmers, many state governments, and regional political formations is a watershed moment in this government’s agenda of deepening the entry of agribusiness capitalism and of increased centralised control.

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How To Stop Climate Breakdown

This review of Jonathan Neale’s important new book Fight the Fire first appeared on The Ecologist website

 

By Brendan Montague.

My father was a climate activist to the end. Ken Montague was a boomer, born among the bomb craters of the East End of London in what would now be considered abject poverty.

Download FIGHT THE FIRE free now.

The experience instilled in him a desire to take care of those around him. And when I say, ‘those around him’ I mean all of humanity.

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Degrowth: Socialism without Growth

This article, republished from Brave New Europe is a serious and well argued contribution to a necessary and ongoing strategic debate on ‘growth’ v sustainability . 

Red Green Labour does not have an agreed position in this debate but we broadly agree with Joel Kovel’s remark that a sustainable socialist strategy would be about “doing more good stuff and less bad stuff”.

Notable (eco)socialists have recently criticized the idea of degrowth 1. Here we want to argue that such criticism is misplaced. Growth is a problem over and above capitalism. A sustainable eco-socialism should reject any association with the ideology and terminology of growth. 21st century socialists should start thinking how we can plan for societies that prosper without growth. Like it not, growth is bound to come to an end, the question is how; and whether this will happen soon or too late to avert planetary disasters.

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Fight The Fire

From https://annebonnypirate.org/2021/02/12/fight-the-fire/

Jonathan Neale’s new book Fight the Fire – Green New Deals and Global Climate Jobs can be downloaded as a free pdf or a free e-book here. It can be ordered as a paperback for £15 here .

Advance Praise for Fight the Fire

“This is a timely book. At a time when the world is still reeling from the ravages of Covid-19 and the massive economic dislocation that it engendered, now is the perfect time to reinvigorate the campaign for climate jobs, or, as in the case of the Philippines, to launch it. And this book is just what any climate jobs campaigner would need. It provides the big picture, the science and the politics of climate change, as well as the nuts and bolts of how such a campaign would look like. More than that, it is replete with lessons that the author has gained from a life spent fighting in the trenches of various campaigns.” – Josua Mata, Secretary-General, SENTRO union federation, Philippines.

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A Reckless Short Cut

Alan Thornett offers a critical review of How to Blow up a Pipeline by Andreas Malm, published by Verso in January 2021,

When I first saw the title of this book – How to Blow up a Pipeline – I could hardly believe it was serious. Unfortunately it is. It is a vigorously argued appeal for the environmental movement to break from its past and make violent direct action, short of the loss of life, against the fossil fuel infrastructure, central to its strategy to defend the planet.

It calls for a direct action wing the climate movement to be established to carry this out. Targets would include oil pipe-lines and refineries, coal mines, power stations and privately owned high pollution vehicles such as SUVs. This, Malm argues, is the only real route to revolutionary change.

In my view such a change would not only be wrong but disastrous. As, I suspect, one of the few on the radical left who has been trained by the British Army in the use of high explosives in order to sabotage railway lines and blow up bridges I am appalled that such a method is being advocated on the Marxist left today in the struggle against climate change.

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New challenges in South Africa’s fight for Climate Justice

This important article by Patrick Bond looks at the very real challenges South African activists face in 2021.

Rural Women’s Movement sit-in at COP17 summit, 2011

He examines the strengths and weaknesses of oppositional climate politics in South Africa today. He pays tribute to four activists who died in late 2020, and argues that the movement’s key objective in the coming year must be the unity of environmental, community and potentially even labor movements.

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The Oxford Real Farming Conference

The Oxford Real Farming Conference is over and was apparently a great success, though you wouldn’t even know it had taken place from the mainstream media.
We reproduce below a report of it from Wicked Leeks – an online magazine published by Riverford Organic Farmer. This article gives a flavour of the activity that ORFC gives a platform to.
The key themes they showcased in advance were:
  • Resilience and the road to COP26
  • The importance of healthy soil
  • Resisting corporate take-overs of seed and food systems
  • The value of indigenous knowledge
  • Redressing racial inequity in our food system
  • The future of UK farming
  • Biodiversity loss and the impact on our health

A melting-pot of change makers

https://wickedleeks.riverford.co.uk/news/environment-ethics-biodiversity-diversity-ethical-business/melting-pot-change-makers
ORFC small farms
Indigenous farming perspectives, land ownership, agroecological farming and how to enact change were some of the key themes from the seven-day Oxford Real Farming Conference, which took place between 8-13 January.The alternative farming event, which this year went global and virtual for the first time, was attended by thousands of visitors from 75 countries, and was described as a “melting pot” of thinkers and change-makers.

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Labour’s Climate Conservatism

This recent article by Chris Saltmarsh, in Tribune magazine, is very welcome. 

Chris points to the apparent drift in Labour policy away from the radicalism of the 2017 and 2019 manifestos in terms of the environment.

Clearly this is at odds with Keir Starmer’s leadership campaign pledges to put the environment and the Green New Deal at the centre of policy.
That being the case, the present trajectory of Labour under a Starmer leadership does not bode well for Labour Party engagement at the top level with the COP 26 process and the climate activism on the ground around it.

Keir Starmer’s failure to involve grassroots campaigners in Labour’s climate strategy betrays a lack of radicalism in the party’s vision – which is out of step with the policies we need to prevent disaster.

On Tuesday 12th January 2021), Keir Starmer tweeted a Zoom screenshot of a meeting he held with the CEOs and Directors of Britain’s largest environmental NGOs. In attendance were Ed Miliband, Matt Pennycook, and Luke Pollard as members of the Shadow Cabinet with a climate brief. The NGOs represented were Greenpeace, Friends of the Earth, the WWF, the Wildlife Trust, the RSPB, Green Alliance, and the National Trust. Continue reading “Labour’s Climate Conservatism”

For public ownership of seeds

This fascinating article in The Guardian points to a burgeoning movement of seed-sharing and exchanging and makes the case for public ownership of seed. Certainly something which should be discussed widely in the Labour and environmental movement.

https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2020/dec/28/seed-saving-movement-calls-for-seeds-to-be-publicly-owned

Covid has made people see how the food system is dominated by large corporations, say campaigners

An allotment

The pandemic encouraged an interest in allotments and seed saving. Photograph: Bill Allsopp/Alamy Stock Photo

Alexandra Genova

Seeds need to be brought back into public ownership, rather than belonging to a small group of agrochemical companies, say campaigners, after a year in which seed-swapping and saving has reached new heights of popularity.

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