The environment

The Vestas workers' struggle martin Wed, 08/26/2009 - 21:24

For a full list of all stories on this website about Vestas, click here. Key articles below:

What you can do - practical solidarity

The story so far - timeline 28 April to 18 August

Why wind turbine production should be publicly owned - Government minister Joan Ruddock challenged face-to-face on her "principles"

1980s ozone layer to return by... 2050

Submitted by Matthew on 18 October, 2017 - 12:35 Author: Les Hearn

Good news! The ozone hole is shrinking at last, a rare success for collective action in response to scientific evidence.1 Unfortunately, it will take until 2050 to return to its 1980 levels.

This is because the chemicals largely responsible for its depletion are very stable and those already released will persist in the atmosphere until then, even if no more emissions take place. It’s 30 years since the signing of the Montreal Protocol which aimed to tackle the problem of the accelerating destruction of the ozone layer by chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs).

Letters: All risks and nuclear risks

Submitted by Matthew on 8 March, 2017 - 10:26 Author: Les Hearn and Martin Thomas

The debate in Solidarity on nuclear power is in danger of missing three points. The first is that all forms of energy production carry risks; the second is that some risks are more visible than others; the third is that some risks are exaggerated while others are ignored or minimised.

Laker and Zubrowski (Solidarity 431) warn that the left should not support nuclear power because of “its radioactive byproduct, unique [but unspecified] risk” and contribution to carbon emissions.

Letter: Nuclear holds back renewables

Submitted by Matthew on 1 March, 2017 - 8:58 Author: Neil Laker and Mike Zubrowski

Martin Thomas (Solidarity 230) is right to contribute further nuance to our thinking on the nuclear question. Yet he seems to miss our basic point: we are unconvinced that the left should positively advocate a “solution” which is known to cause further problems through its radioactive byproduct, carries unique risks, and still contributes to carbon emissions.


Submitted by Matthew on 15 February, 2017 - 12:10 Author: Martin Thomas and Patrick Yarker

Neil Laker and Mike Zubrowski (Solidarity 429) agree that nuclear power is “better than many on the left see it”, but argue for only marginal use on grounds of the finite supply of uranium ore and higher carbon-dioxide emissions from nuclear than from hydro-electric or large wind turbines. The source they cite estimates median CO2 emission rates at about 15 units for nuclear, compared to 30 for small and medium wind-power projects, 80-odd for solar, 500 for gas, and 900 for coal.

Letter: Nuclear not the answer

Submitted by Matthew on 8 February, 2017 - 12:25 Author: Neil Laker and Mike Zubrowski

In Solidarity 428 “Copeland, Corbyn, and the future of nuclear”, Luke Hardy reminds us that “socialists should deal with facts”. True, but socialists should deal with all the relevant facts; and in the case of nuclear power, some facts point in one direction, others in another.

Copeland, Corbyn and the future of nuclear

Submitted by Matthew on 1 February, 2017 - 10:45 Author: Luke Hardy

The by-election in Copeland in Cumbria focused attention on the Labour Party’s attitude to nuclear energy. The Sellafield nuclear reprocessing plant is the largest employer in the constituency and the previous Labour MP Jamie Reed is leaving politics to work in the nuclear industry.

Residents plan Heathrow campaign

Submitted by Matthew on 10 November, 2016 - 11:31 Author: Simon Nelson

Four Tory Councils are set to take legal action against the expansion of Heathrow Airport. Hillingdon, Richmond, Wandsworth and Windsor and Maidenhead will be joined by Greenpeace in seeking a judicial review of the decision to go ahead with a third runway.

Court action is likely to delay any final decision actually being implemented. For the residents of the area and those who will be most directly affected the words of David Cameron, “No ifs, No buts. No third runway” now ring very hollow.