Israel’s environmental colonialism and eco-apartheid

The construction of Israel’s mammoth apartheid wall has separated Palestinian farmers from their fields and destroyed Palestinians’ legally owned fertile agricultural land

Since the idea of Zionism first gripped the minds of a few intellectuals and the limbs of many agrarian pioneers in the early 20th century, the state of Israel has presented its settlement of the land of Palestine, and its uprooting of the Palestinian people, as a rejuvenation of the earth wrote Ben Lorber, in a piece published in Links in 2012.. By “greenwashing” the occupation, Israel hides its apartheid behind an environmentalist mirage, and distracts public attention not only from its brutal oppression of the Palestinian people, but from its large-scale degradation of the earth upon which these tragedies unfold.
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Red-Green study group responds to Labour Party consultation

Red Green Labour is pleased to publish the response of the Red-Green Study Group to the Labour Party Environment, Energy, Culture policy consultation.  Its in two parts: a shorter summary first and then their full submission,

Earlier we published a series of articles from RGL supporters on aspects of policy we’d like to see in the review – have a look at them if you missed them – or if you’d like to refresh your memory. But the deadline for responses is Sunday June 24th so do it as soon as possible!

Summary

This response is the result of prolonged discussion among members of the RED-GREEN STUDY GROUP, which has been working since 1992 on bringing together green, socialist and feminist thinking. Contributors include Trade Unionists, members of the Labour Party, members of the Green Party and unaffiliated socialists. Our commitment to producing this response arose from the renewal of hope given by the election of Jeremy Corbyn and the new leadership of the Party.

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So Trashy! A Review of EU Waste Management and Inequality Modeling

Landfill in Poland

The policy of the European Union (EU) in the field of environmental protection and natural resources has, since the 1980s, continued to grow in importance, writes Ana Tomicic. But some topics are of particular concern to European citizens. This is the case, in particular, with the production of waste, which is increasingly alarming, with the EU generating some 2 billion tons of waste every year.

More than 40 million tons of this waste are classified as “hazardous waste.” Nearly 60% of the waste produced consists of mineral waste and soil, most often from construction and demolition as well as mining activities. Approximately 30% is produced by manufacturing, trade, energy, services and agriculture, meaning that waste production generally increases at rates comparable to those of growth.

About 10% is “municipal waste” – in other words, waste generated mainly by households and to a lesser extent by small businesses and public institutions such as schools and hospitals.
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The emergence of an ecological Karl Marx: 1818 – 2018

Photo: David Holt

Karl Marx was born in Trier 200 years ago today. The legacy of the political economist is fiercely contested. The Ecologist was among the first magazines to examine his ecological thinking – in an essay published in 1971. Here, Gareth Dale, an editor of the book Green Growth, examines Marx’s own claims about nature and society – and our original interpretation of them

In the closing decades of the twentieth century an ecological Marx was unearthed…the upshot has been a radical rethinking of Marx’s project.

Karl Marx’s 200th birthday is being celebrated today in circumstances he neither desired nor expected: a planet that is governed by, and increasingly shredded and cooked by, capitalism.

The previous such commemorations – in 1918 and 1968 – arrived amidst worldwide upsurges for progressive social-movements.

The Marx for those conjunctures was a theorist of class struggle, revolution and the subjection of the postcolonial world, but was neglectful of nature. Environmentalists found value in Marx, but not in his ecological analysis. Continue reading “The emergence of an ecological Karl Marx: 1818 – 2018”

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”

1936-2018 Remembering Joel Kovel, a towering pioneer of ecosocialism

Michael Löwy reflects on the life and contributions of our friend and comrade, ecosocialist Joel Kovel, who died on April 30.

The passing of Joel Kovel is a great loss not only for us, his friends and collaborators, but for the broad international ecosocialist movement, of which he was a towering pioneer.

I first met Joel at an International Marxist Conference at the University of Nanterre (Paris), convened in 2001 by my friends of the journal Actuel Marx. We immediately sympathised, and found a common interest: the urgent need to bring together the “Red” and the “Green,” under the aegis of a new concept: Ecosocialism. We felt that the most of the left had not yet understood the need for an ecological turn, and we believed one should attempt to contribute to such a re-orientation. The Fourth International, with which I was associated, had just decided to adopt an ecosocialist program, and Joel felt encouraged by this decision.

Joel tells the story of our meeting in The Lost Traveller’s Dreambut, in his unassuming and modest way, does not say that the idea of writing an International Ecosocialist Manifesto was his. I immediately agreed with the proposition and we worked out the document together, after several drafts. As he says, it was like sending a message in a bottle thrown into the sea.
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Nigeria’s conflict is a result of environmental devastation across West Africa

Nigeria is experiencing a major conflict between nomadic herdsmen and indigenous farmers. In 2016, the conflict led to the death of 2,500 people, displaced 62,000 others and led to loss of US$13.7 billion in revenue, writes In January 2018 alone, the conflict claimed the lives of 168 people.

The herdsmen are predominantly Fulanis, a primarily Muslim people scattered throughout many parts of West Africa. The farmers, meanwhile, are mostly Christian. Therefore, when violence erupts between the two groups, with symbolic results like churches being burnt down, it is unsurprising that the dominant narrative in Nigeria and abroad is that this is a conflict motivated by religion and ethnicity.

What’s missing is the environmental perspective. Nigeria spans more than 1,000km from a lush and tropical south to the fringes of the Sahara Desert in the north. And, in Nigeria, the Sahara is moving southward at a rate of 600 metres a year. At the same time, Lake Chad in the country’s far north-east has largely dried up. Fulani herdsmen who once relied on the lake have thus moved further south in search of pasture and water for their livestock. The further south you move, the more the population becomes Christian, hence when resource conflicts emerge they appear religious. Continue reading “Nigeria’s conflict is a result of environmental devastation across West Africa”

The people v the richest man in Britain

Jim Ratcliffe, newly crowned by The Sunday Times as the richest man in Britain, is being given a run for his money by a vibrant anti-fracking campaign in North East Derbyshire, writes Peter Allen. Ratcliffe is the founder and principal shareholder of INEOS and wants to undertake fracking on green belt land near Eckington, in the hope of obtaining a cheap source of gas for his chemical plants.

‘JR’ has been unable to persuade the local community that fracking would not only be in his own financial interest but would also benefit the local economy and society .Frustrated by what he considered to be an unreasonable delay on the part of Derbyshire County Council in responding to his request for planning permission for an ‘ exploratory well’, he appealed directly to his friends in government. Planning permission is no longer being left to locally elected politicians. Instead there is to be a public inquiry to consider the proposal, beginning in Chesterfield on June 19th. Anti fracking campaigners are hoping for a large turnout from protesters on that day.

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An Anti-Forest Policy: Rhetoric or Sleight of Hand?

Sacred grove in Bastar Chhattisgarh Phto: Madhu

If the Indian government really meant what it said by “building on our rich cultural heritage” and “participatory”, would it not seriously review why the Forest Rights Act (FRA} and Panchayats (Extension to Scheduled Areas) Act 1996 (PESA}, meant to give adivasis (indigenous people in South East Asia RGL} the self-governing space they need, are not implemented?

Forests have been the cultural and livelihood lifeline for hundreds of millions of people in India, not to mention home for thousands of species of plants and animals, write Madhu Ramnath and Ashish Kothari. They have an exalted place in virtually every spiritual and religious tradition, in their civilisational history, mythology and folklore, scientific traditions, and even in its politics. So when any government announces a new National Forest Policy, there should be widespread dialogue around the most important question: will it safeguard the most crucial values of India’s forests? From an examination of the draft policy put out by the government on 14th March 2018, the answer is a resounding no. Continue reading “An Anti-Forest Policy: Rhetoric or Sleight of Hand?”

Three high impact policies to protect and improve our natural environment

Photo: Konstandin Minga

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.

There are vast numbers of environmental policies that it would be good to see a future Labour government pledged to adopt, but if our manifesto is to inspire people to vote for us we need to persuade people that we can really make a difference. To do this I think that our manifesto needs to focus on a few key policy pledges, with maximum potential to make a difference. These pledges also need to be specific and clearly deliverable.

In the area of bio-diversity and the natural environment I would like to suggest 3 policy pledges that I think would fit this bill. Continue reading “Three high impact policies to protect and improve our natural environment”