Posts Tagged ‘Trade Unions and Climate Change: A Conversation with Naomi Klein and Jeremy Corbyn’

Trade Unions and Climate Change: A Conversation with Naomi Klein and Jeremy Corbyn

December 8, 2015


Labour Party and the Trade Unions have always been backward when it comes to the environment and the climate.  We see this with Unite calling for massive expansion of Heathrow Airport.

It is therefore a refreshing change to see in Jeremy Corbyn a leader who recognises the need for action on climate change, who sees the need for all progressive groups to unite to fight for a better world.

Maybe This Changes Everything where Naomi Klein calls on everyone to work together to create a better world should be mandatory reading.

Two years ago, England saw massive flooding. This weekend, 341mm of rain in Cumbria in the north west of England in 24 hours, widespread flooding.

What we are now seeing in the West, is what has become the norm in the Third World, extreme weather events.  And we are ill-prepared to cope. Not helped by David Cameron using austerity as excuse for Shock Doctrine, cutting funding to the very agencies whose help we need, relaxing planning controls to fast track building on Green Belt and flood plains.

Lessons have still not been learnt.

Hard flood defences are very expensive and do not work. We have to have soft flood defences. We have to reafforest the hills, re-introduce wolves, the European beaver.

A warmer planet means more moister in the air, more energetic storms, more frequent, more violent.

It is the peak surge that causes the problem. Slow the rush of water off the hills, spread it over time.

We have to have community owned and controlled local area networks, into which feed renewables guaranteed a fair price, consumers pay a fair price, any surplus generation is fed to other local grids via a publicly owned National Grid, any surplus is ploughed back into the network or funds local community projects.

We know what needs to be done, and yet our corrupt politicians fiddle whilst the planet burns, dance and jig as puppets on a string to the tune of Big Business.

We know how much carbon we can release into the atmosphere to keep global temperature rises to below 1.5C.  What we release today, adds to what we released yesterday. Had we started in the 1990s, we could have reduced our carbon emission by 2% a year. To keep below 1.5C we have to drastically cut our carbon emissions, 80% of known carbon deposits have to remain in the ground.

The proposals brought to Paris for COP21 do not add up to this target, they far exceed.

UK has ground breaking legalisation setting in stone, the cuts that need to be made. Legislation that is ignored with ever single planning application. No development should be approved that adds to carbon emissions, no development should be approved that dos not lead to a reduction in carbon emissions.

12-12-12, at the twelfth hour of the twelfth day of the twelfth month, people will take to the streets of Paris in a mass demonstration on climate, ignoring the State of Emergency that prohibits political protest.

A Climate Marshal Plan is needed. Where will the money come from? End fossil fuel subsidies, levy a windfall tax on fossil fuel companies, a windfall tax on arms companies, a levy on the hot money sloshing around the world, deal with tax dodging. In the UK alone corporations are sitting on an estimated £700 billion cash mountain. Hit the 1%, introduce  a wealth tax.

One Million Climate Jobs, title of a report on the number of jobs that could be created in the UK in the renewable energy sector.

If the planet was a bank, it would already have been bailed out.

People Power works. It has blocked the Keystone XL pipeline, it has banned fracking in New York State, Shell pulled out of Arctic drilling, StatOil has also pulled out of Arctic drilling.

The Leap Manifesto calls for no new fossil fuel infrastructure.



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