Climate change

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Subscribe to, browse, play and download audio recordings from Solidarity, our weekly paper; various other publications; and several public meetings.

Carbon capture and storage? Not a help yet

A debate has been smouldering on about what role, if any, “Carbon Capture and Storage” (CCS) technologies should play in ecological transition. CCS denotes chains of technology for capturing carbon from the chimneys of factories and power plants. The chimney is fitted with solvent filters, which much of the CO2 dissolves into — CCS’s coal industry proponents claim up to 90%. For storage, the solvent is then pumped to somewhere where it is heated up, forcing the CO2 out again, where it is stored, perhaps underground. A small amount may be used for fizzy drinks, in greenhouses for plants, and...

Official report calls for 50% less meat and dairy

“Veganuary” in 2020 was unprecedented in size and publicity. 2021’s veganuary is predicted to break the record once again, reaching even bigger heights as individuals worldwide experiment with being vegan for a month. This comes the month following the “Sixth Carbon Budget” by the UK’s official Climate Change Committee (CCC)’s. The report is politically and economically conservative, and as a result ecologically conservative, aiming for net zero carbon dioxide equivalent emissions by 2050. Its most ambitious “scenario only reaches Net Zero in 2042, with a reduction of 87% by 2035”. This stands...

Against Leviathan, a workers' plan

Zack Muddle’s review of Climate Leviathan is right to point out the eclectic list of thinkers who shape the analysis of the authors, Joel Wainwright and Geoff Mann. That eclecticism masks a major blind spot. Despite writing elegantly about Gramsci and Marx, the authors do not appear to have noticed the world is separated by competing classes. They appear oblivious to the structural divide between capital and labour that was at the animating idea of Gramsci and Marx’s life work. That crucial part of our reality and the idea of working-class agency is missing fromClimate Leviathan. Despite this...

Four climate futures

Climate Leviathan: A Political Theory of Our Planetary Future by Geoff Mann and Joel Wainwright is an interesting read, with much to criticise, but some interesting and important questions raised.

New move on electric cars

The UK government is predicted to set a date for the banning of the sale of new petrol and diesel cars from 2030. This brings it forward from 2035; before February it was set at 2040. They will likely put half a billion pounds towards charging infrastructure from next year. This has been expected alongside several other green plans, whose announcement continues to be delayed as the Treasury is reportedly reluctant to fund much of it. Even despite this, the government’s climate ambitions — to date and predicted — remain far too low, with those that do exist lacking the funding to make them...

"Green" goes beyond curbing carbon

The founding document of the AWL is a polemic against the passivity of the Militant tendency: “The patient is suffering from sleeping sickness and blurred eyesight. But Doctor Militant is obsessed with a patient who suffers from hysteria and an extra sensitivity to the light. The prescription? Sleeping pills and dark glasses!” I was reminded of that image when reading Zack Muddle’s article in Solidarity 567 “Overdoing doom saps activism”. Commenting on my book review in Solidarity 565 he suggests (on the basis of a review of another work by Wallace-Wells with the same name) that The...

Calibrating climate scenarios

In the first half of October, Storm Linfa hit Vietnam, followed by Storm Nangka, causing floods and landslides which left almost 100 dead, flooded over 100,000 houses, and forced almost that number to evacuate — while causing serious damage to agriculture and infrastructure. Towards the end of October well over one million people were evacuated in Vietnam as yet another storm, Typhoon Molave, wreaked havoc: destroying over 50,000 houses in total and leaving over six million without power. Meanwhile, Trump denies climate-change, and the “lesser evil” Biden champions that he will not ban...

Sea levels will rise. How do we save our cities?

Residents of Miami, Florida are bracing themselves for their next king tide on 14-17 November. In recent years, due to rising sea levels, autumnal tides advance into town washing through the streets and houses, and turning one of the most glamorous cities on earth into an open sewer. These sunny-day flooding events are also common on the Marshall Islands. Last month President David Kabul called for the recovery from the pandemic to involve a rapid transition to zero carbon emissions. This island nation - home to a substantial US military base and nuclear test site - will sink beneath the waves...

Climate disaster is already with us

See a reply to this here. A few pages into David Wallace-Wells’ The Uninhabitable Earth, I realised with a shock that for many years I’d engaged in a soft form of climate change denial. Not the full throttle petrodollar-backed conspiracy theory-type denial but just simply not paying much attention. I have been involved in the environmental movement for most of my adult life. But I regarded climate change as some unthinkable, apocalyptic event in the future that we would hopefully avoid, rather than a process already underway and accelerating. Wallace-Wells calls climate change a “‘hyperobject’...

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