Young activists fight Cumbrian coal mine

The great strides in Labour environmental policy over the past few years were largely driven by the concerns of younger activists- both the new members who came into the party as part of the Corbyn surge and the exemplary work of the school students Climate Strike / Fridays For the Future and other movements. 

It is heartening to see that spirit continue in the opposition to new coal mining activities in Cumbria. Labour must throw its full weight behind the movement against continued fossil fuel extraction.

From The Ecologist

Young activists fight Cumbrian mine

Wind Turbines can handle the cold just fine!

A companion to the pieces published yesterday.  Some Republicans want us to think wind turbines caused the Texas blackout. Here’s why they’re wrong.

First published at vox.com

Wind turbines thriving in the Iowa winter in 2020.

As the energy crisis in Texas deepened this week, leaving millions without power, heat, and even running water, conservative commentators and politicians persistently peddled a myth that wind turbines are to blame.

Continue reading “Wind Turbines can handle the cold just fine!”

Cold Truth- The Texas Freeze is a Catastrophe of the Free Market

The article below by James Galbraith was originally published at the Institute For New Economic Thinking website.

Readers may also like to read a second article on the Texas freeze by Ashley Dawson.

Both articles cover similar ground, with Galbraith clearly situating the failure of energy policy in Texas in the context of the triumph of the ideology of the Market in the US. 

 

By James K. Galbraith, Lloyd M. Bentsen Jr. Chair in Government and Business Relations, University of Texas at Austin.

Lenin, who was a better economist than Rick Perry, once defined communism as “soviet power plus electrification of the whole country.” Competing with Stalin, the New Deal built dams and strung power lines in America’s backcountry.

Lyndon Johnson, then a young congressman, got Roosevelt to help build the Mansfield Dam, which brought public power to the Texas hill country, and another, the Tom Miller dam, which brought it to the city of Austin.

Continue reading “Cold Truth- The Texas Freeze is a Catastrophe of the Free Market”

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.

Continue reading “Bill Gates Can’t Save the World”

Scientists Demand Stop to Tree Burning as Climate Solution

This article which first appeared at Common Dreams takes up the argument against biomass as a solution to climate change and explains why trees are more valuable alive than dead both for climate and for biodiversity.

“Companies are shifting fossil energy use to wood, which increases warming, as a substitute for shifting to solar and wind, which would truly decrease warming.”

EON's biofuel power station in Lockerbie, Scotland with timber supplies. The power station is fueled 100% by wood sourced from local woodlands.

EON’s biofuel power station in Lockerbie, Scotland with timber supplies. The power station is fueled 100% by wood sourced from local woodlands. (Photo: Ashley Cooper/Construction Photography/Avalon/Getty Images)

A group of over 500 international scientists on Thursday urged world leaders to end policies that prop up the burning of trees for energy because it poses “a double climate problem” that threatens forests’ biodiversity and efforts to stem the planet’s ecological emergency.

Continue reading “Scientists Demand Stop to Tree Burning as Climate Solution”

Lithium, Batteries and Climate Change

This article by Jonathan Neale first appeared on the Climate and Capitalism  website and is an important contribution to the crucial debate over electric vehicles. 

I have spent the last year working on a book called Fight the Fire: Green New Deals and Global Climate Jobs. Most of it is about both the politics and the engineering of any possible transition that can avert catastrophic climate breakdown. One thing I had to think about long and hard was lithium and car batteries.

I often hear people say that we can’t cover the world with electric vehicles, because there simply is not enough lithium for batteries. In any case, they add, lithium production is toxic, and the only supplies are in the Global South. Moreover, so the story goes, there are not enough rare earth metals for wind turbines and all the other hardware we will need for renewable energy.

Continue reading “Lithium, Batteries and Climate Change”

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.

Continue reading “How To Stop Climate Breakdown”

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.

Continue reading “Degrowth: Socialism without Growth”

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.

Continue reading “A Reckless Short Cut”

2020 was the joint hottest year ever recorded

This Guardian article makes for alarming reading, confirming what we expected, that global warming continues apace bringing with it climate chaos…

RedGreen Labour will be re-doubling our efforts in 2021 with a strong focus on mobilising for the biggest possible turnout of activists from the Labour Party, the trade unions and environmental campaigns to the COP26 Climate Summit in Glasgow in November. 

Global heating continued unabated despite Covid lockdowns, with record Arctic wildfires and Atlantic tropical storms writes Environment editor

Map showing land surface temperature anomalies from 19 March to 20 June 2020
 The Arctic and northern Siberia saw particularly extreme average temperatures in 2020, with a large region 3C higher than the long-term average. Photograph: Nasa/EPA

The climate crisis continued unabated in 2020, with the joint highest global temperatures on record, alarming heat and record wildfires in the Arctic, and a record 29 tropical storms in the Atlantic.

Continue reading “2020 was the joint hottest year ever recorded”