The environment

Where the Wasteland Ends

Submitted by martin on 25 April, 2019 - 8:20 Author: Alan Simpson
Greenhouse gases

Ugly scenes outside parliament have made the place look and feel like the Siege of Troy. But around the country bigger issues already fill the landscape.

A 'climate emergency' conference in Lancaster drew in some 200-300 local authority and climate groups (along with similar numbers live-streaming their way in). All were anxious to talk about existential survival. I've done similar meetings recently in Norwich, North Notts, Stroud and Hebden Bridge; each making the same point. It is climate change that most threatens our children's prospects, not Brexit (...or the Spartans).

The ship that turned away

Submitted by martin on 11 March, 2019 - 5:39 Author: Alan Simpson
ship

Sometimes the starkest warnings come from events that don't take place. In this case, the warning came from Honda's decision to turn back a ship destined for the UK. It was the arrival that never happened. But its significance runs far beyond Honda's current vehicle production in Swindon, Nissan's plans for manufacturing in Sunderland, Toyota's plant in Derbyshire or BMW's production of the new Mini at Cowley, Oxford.

Mock-workerism and the Scottish Labour Party

Submitted by martin on 3 March, 2019 - 11:07 Author: Ann Field
Fracking

GMB Scottish Regional Secretary Gary Smith was accorded front page coverage in the 3 March 2019 “Herald on Sunday”.

Billed as an “Exclusive”, the article in fact consisted of some extracts from an interview with Smith conducted by one of the pro-independence paper’s resident right-wing journalists, Paul Hutcheon.

Hutcheon is still remembered for his notorious witch-hunting ‘articles’ about the Falkirk Labour selection contest and Grangemouth Ineos dispute of 2013 (although he has written no shortage of articles in a similar vein since then).

Replacing nuclear by… gas?

Submitted by AWL on 30 January, 2019 - 12:08 Author: Mike Zubrowski
gas power

Hitachi has shelved plans for a new nuclear plant at Wylfa, Wales, months after Toshiba scrapped plans in Moorside, Cumbria, and Horizon suspended work at Oldbury, Gloucestershire. These withdrawals by three private Japanese corporations leave gaps in the UK government’s already bad climate and energy strategy.

Many old reactors are due to retire through the 2020s, and coal-fired power stations are due to be phased out by 2025. These new nuclear plants were due to fill the energy gap while contributing to the UK’s (insufficient) climate goals.

Bolsonaro's threat to Brazil

Submitted by AWL on 23 November, 2018 - 10:55 Author: Alessa Alegre
Bolsonaro

Shortly before he was elected president of Brazil on the second round (28 October), Jair Bolsonaro made clear the extent of his intolerance to political opposition, saying of his political opponents “either they go overseas, or they go to jail”.

He plans vastly to increase the powers of the militarised police, which will have a significant impact on working-class, predominantly black, communities.

Save the planet, stop fracking!

Submitted by AWL on 10 October, 2018 - 12:39 Author: Mike Zubrowski

On 8 October, a scientists’ panel convened by the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, after surveying more than 6,000 scientific studies, reported that the world is on course for catastrophic warming by the end of the century, due to carbon emissions.

And this same week the first UK site for “horizontal fracking” looks set to start in Lancashire.

“Fracking” pumps pressurised liquid deep underground to fracture rock, releasing natural gas. “Horizontal fracking” also drills sideways, accessing larger underground areas.

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