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.

Stop the fossil fuel reboot!

“Build back better, blah blah blah. Green economy, blah blah blah. Net zero by 2050, blah blah blah… Climate neutral, blah blah blah.” This is all we hear from our so-called leaders. Words. Words that sound great but so far have not led to action. Our hopes and ambitions drown in their empty promises… They’ve now had 30 years of “blah blah blah” and where has that led us? Over 50% of all our CO2 emissions have occurred since 1990, and a third since 2005. — Greta Thunberg, 28 September 2021 After a summer of fires, floods, and freaky weather, the gap between widespread green rhetoric and the...

The coral atoll and the iPhone

At every step we are reminded that we by no means rule over nature like a conqueror over a foreign power like someone standing outside of nature – but that we, n flesh blood and brain, belong to nature and exist within its midst, and that all the mastery of nature consists in the fact that we have the advantage over all other creatures of being able to learn its laws and apply them correctly.” - Engels, The Part Played by Labour in the Transition from Ape to Man I think Matt Cooper takes a too narrow definition of “metabolism” as a rather dull process of material exchange that occurs within a...

Diary of an engineer: Blockade week and the future

I speak to one of the Extinction Rebellion (XR) coordinators over the weekend to ask about potential anti-incinerator action at my workplace. XR: “We’ve not planned anything in this city. XR Zero Waste are targeting Edmonton and other places in the south — I’ve not heard about anything here. To be honest our XR group is barely holding it together, and they’re quite a tame lot.” Me: (laughing) “Well, my company are shitting themselves anyway.” We talk about the attitudes at the plant, and the confusion with the Insulate Britain action. XR activist tells me about the conflict over Insulate...

Green reps for PCS?

One of my briefs as Assistant General Secretary is to oversee the union’s work on climate change. With the COP26 conference coming up, we’re mobilising members to attend demonstrations and take part in actions around the country. We also want to use COP as impetus to build up a network of “green reps” throughout the union, with at least one in every branch. Longer term, we want to push for employers to recognise these reps. Climate change can’t be treated as an issue “out there”, it’s something we have to organise around as an industrial issue in our own workplaces. I want to see green reps...

Protests organised for COP26

Far more important, arguably, than what will be discussed and decided by world leaders and delegates in the COP 26 climate conference itself — almost certainly very little — is what the environmental and labour movements make of this opportunity. The event provides an impetus and focal point for environmental activism to reboot post-lockdowns, in a world where the severity of environmental devastation is increasingly hard to hide from. Friday 22 October will be a Youth Climate Strike, Friday 5 November will be a “Workers’ Mobilisation day” around the country, Saturday 6 a “Global day of action...

"For a Socialist Green New Deal!"

This is Edinburgh Central CLP delegate Hannah Taylor’s speech for the left-wing Green New Deal motion the conference passed. "Capitalism is incapable of solving the problem it’s created. Left to their own devices bosses will continue to extract profits, exploit workers, lobby governments to halt change, and argue that our demands are radical, unreasonable, unworkable. "Do not believe corporations when they say little individual lifestyle changes are good enough. Even with a global lockdown, emissions in 2020 were only 7% less than in 2019. Only structural, systemic change can save workers here...

The World Transformed: scratching the surface

A lot of radical things were said at this year’s The World Transformed festival. As one participant said, many speeches only scratched the surface. Clear political conclusions or concrete demands weren’t always drawn out. For example, at a panel on “Kill The Bill,” speakers said that we cannot support police reform and that we must instead “abolish the police” – all the while talking about the negative implications of the police bill. Occasional jibes were made at “white people talking about Trotsky or whatever, telling us how to do a revolution.” Nevertheless, TWT was an informal, accessible...

Final "Socialist Green New Deal" motion going to Labour conference 2021

This is the left-wing “composite” motion backed by various unions including the Fire Brigades Union and a large number of Constituency Labour Parties. For our notes written in advance on what should be in the motion, see here. See here for the broadly similar policy Labour conference passed in 2019. Conference notes: • As with Covid, the climate crisis exposes sharply the inequalities in society in the UK and internationally and we must ensure that workers are at the heart of any future programme and that means unshackling trade unions. • The UK faces a post-covid unemployment crisis with...

What will be in Labour’s Green New Deal motions?

There has been controversy around the Green New Deal motions to Labour Party conference (25-9, Brighton), after the “Green Jobs Revolution” motion promoted by Labour for a Green New Deal (LGND) was ruled out by the Conference Arrangements Committee. Following protests it was reinstated. “Green Jobs Revolution”, submitted by 22 CLPs, is one of several left-wing motions in the Green New Deal section. There are also CLP motions under the title “Global Climate Justice” and motions from the FBU, BFAWU and TSSA unions. Then there is a more right-wing or conservative motion from the GMB, some...

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