2012 events

2012 in perspective

National Climate March

With the Climate Act under threat from a ‘dash for gas’ and planned introduction of wide-scale fracking in the UK, we felt it was time to Get Fracktious on 1 December. With our 7.2m fracking rig, we took a clear message to Parliament - "No Fracking in the UK", a message backed up by other actions around the country, and one that was picked up by the BBC amongst others.

Earlier in the day, we built a "Grosvenor Square Keystone pipeline" between the US and Canadian embassies, in solidarity with activists in North America resisting the export of polluting tar sand oil via the real Keystone XL.

Thanks to everyone who worked hard on the day and in the hectic weeks beforehand!

                                  


Highlighting the crisis of the melting Arctic

This summer, we faced the clearest sign so far that we have changed the physical make-up of our planet. Arctic sea ice extent crashed through the previous minimum recorded – and then kept melting rapidly. On 26 August, the day after we knew that the record had been broken, CCC activists took an iceberg to Downing Street: an "Arctic Wake up Call".

By September 19 the ice had reached its minimum for the year – covering just half the area that would be a normal minimum during 1979-2000. Here in the UK, with clashes over energy policy imminent, we decided to remind the Lib Dems of what was at stake by taking another iceberg to their conference. Many thanks to all who donated to enable us to do that.

We also held a packed meeting on the science of the melting Arctic and what it means for our planet, with guest speakers Professor Peter Wadhams and John Vidal.

                                  
 

Rio +20 Alternative Conference

The Alternative Conference for the Rio Summit (16-17 June) was a great success - with hundreds of people attending - on both days. We were lucky to have a broad range of fantastic speakers to share a multiplicity of fascinating insights into the global environmental crisis.                    

                                   


Climate Jobs Caravan

The Climate Jobs Caravan was organised by the Campaign against Climate Change Trade Union Group. Two ‘caravans’ toured the UK from 12-25 May 2012, raising awareness and linking the climate crisis to the misery of growing unemployment. Read more about all the events round the country at /climatejobscaravan

                                  


Also in 2012

·         Zero Carbon Britain Day, including the London Zero Carbon Games, on 21 July

·         An open letter to the BBC Director General for an end to ‘false balance’ in climate science coverage on the BBC, with over 1000 signatures

·         Post-US Election demonstration, calling on Obama to end his ‘Climate Silence’

·         A rapid reaction demonstration outside the Treasury in response to leaked information about Osborne’s plans to sabotage the Climate Act

·         Through the Trade Union Group, supporting the Climate Bloc at the TUC March for the Alternative

 

Will you stand with us in 2013?

Join us on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/campaigncc

Follow us on Twitter @campaigncc

Or drop us a line on info@campaigncc.org to find out how you can get involved.


How to donate

The Campaign against Climate Change depends on the generosity of its supporters. In particular, those who donate by regular standing order, no matter how small, give the campaign financial security to plan for the future.

To avoid restrictions on ‘political’ activity, we are not a registered charity, which restricts our sources of funding. If you could donate just £3 or £4 a month you can help ensure we can continue campaigning and face the challenges ahead. /join

 

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Alternative Conference for the Rio Summit


Thanks to everyone who made this such a great success!

The Alternative Conference for the Rio Summit (16th-17th June) was a great success - with hundreds of people attending - on both days. We were lucky to have a broad range of fantastic speakers to share a multiplicity of fascinating insights into the environmental crisis that will be the focus of attention for world governments in Rio de Janeiro this week (20th-22nd).

The Conference was Organised by the Campaign against Climate Change with the School for Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) Department for Development Studies.

       

Conference-goers were able relax and network in the Students Union bar of the the Institute of Education (IOE) while workshops and panel-sessions took place there, at  SOAS and on the Sunday at nearby Birbeck college - with the main plenary taking place at University College London (UCL). Session recordings now available.

There was a broad range of talent amongst the 60+ speakers.

For full speaker bio's click here. (See also the timetable below.)

Click here to watch to a recording of the Conference Main Plenary featuring John Lanchberry (RSPB), Phil Thornhill (CCC), Deborah Doane (WDM), Jean Lambert (Green MEP), Steven Tindale (ex-director Greenpeace UK), George Barda (Occupy London), John McDonnell (Labour MP) and Danny Chivers.

Click here to listen to a recording of the session 'Rio+20, a landmark in the fight against eco-crisis or just a lot of hot air?', featuring speakers Neva Frecheville (WWF), Bart Dhondt (Belgium Young Greens) and Harold Heubaum (SOAS).

Click here to listen to a recording of the session 'The Desertec concept: clean power from deserts', featuring Hywel Roberts (Desertec-UK).

Click here to listen to a recording of the session 'Climate Emergency: where the science is now', featuring David Wasdell (Meridian Project), and click here for the recording featuring Peter Challenor (University of Southampton).

Click here to watch a recording of the session 'Gender and Climate Change', featuring Natalie Bennett (Green Party).

Click here to listen to a recording of the session 'Bio-energy: The next Great Mistake in the fight against Climate Change', featuring Clare Coffey (Action Aid).

Click here to listen to a recording of the session 'Economy: Green growth alone is not enough, we need de-growth', featuring Juliet Michaelson (New Economics Insitute) and Mayer Hillman.

Click here to listen to a recording of the session 'Oceans', featuring Peter Challenor (University of Southampton) & Elisabeth Whitebread (Green Party).

Click here to listen to a recording of the session 'Tar Sands: Can we shut down the World's most Destrutive Industry and avoid Climate Chaos?', featuring Emily Coats (UK Tar Sands Network).

You can also find the sound recordings on our youtube channel.

More links to the sound and video recordings of sessions that we have will be posted shortly.

 


 Join our facebook event here
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Rio to Rio: 20 wasted years?

Between 1992 and 2012:
The global surface temperature has risen by 0.38C.
The Arctic sea ice has decreased by 2.94 million square kilometres
The CO2 in the atmosphere has risen by 35.19 PPM.
30 661 900 hectares of Brazilian forest have been lost.
More than 431,215.08 million tonnes of CO2 have been emitted.
The amount of CO2 emitted per year has risen from 21,421.45 to 30,398.42 million tonnes.

Timetable:

Saturday
9.00 - 10.00 Registration, Coffee
10.00 Conference opens: intro at Institute of Education Students' Union
10.30 Session 1
12.00 Plenary in UCL
1.45 Lunch
2.45 Session 2
4.15 Session 3
5.30 End of sessions
Ongoing discussions, drinks, music in IOE SU bar.

Sunday
11.00-12.00 Registration, coffee, stalls
12.30 Session 4
1.45 Lunch
2.30 Session 5
4.00 Session 6
5.30 People's Assembly
6.30 Ends.
Ongoing discussions, drinks, music in IOE bar.

Provisional Session list

SATURDAY

SESSION 1: 10.30-11.45

KLT

SOAS

Food Security: How can we stop a Tragedy Unfolding?

Deborah Doane ((World Development Movement), Vicky Hird (Friends of the Earth), John McLaverty (GROW Campaign, Oxfam)

B102

SOAS

Putting an End to Fossil Fuel Subsidies

Emma Biermann (350.org), Danny Chivers

B104

SOAS

Geo-Engineering – an Insurance Policy for Earth

Andrew Lockley, Tim Kruger (Oxford Geoengineering Programl)

B111

SOAS

Climate Change, Technology and the Luddites’ 200th Anniversary

Dave King (Luddites at 200).

Main Area

IOE

Turning the Tide against Deforestation and Biodiversity Loss

John Lanchbery (RSPB), Neva Frecheville (WWF), Derek Wall (Green Party/Green Left),

S13

IOE

Oceans

Peter Challenor  (National Oceanography Centre), Elizabeth Whitebread, (Global Ocean Legacy)

 

MAINPLENARY: 12.00 – 1.45

Rioto Rio: 20 Wasted Years?

Speakers:

Introduction by John Lanchberry, RSPB and Phil Thornhill, National Coordinator, Campaign against Climate Change

John McDonnell MP

Jean Lambert MEP

Deborah Doane, Director World Development Movement

George Barda, Occupy London

Stephen Tindale, ex-Director Greenpeace UK

Miriam Kennet, Co-Founder and CEO Green Economics Institute


SESSION 2: 2.45 – 4.00

KLT

SOAS

Green Energy versus ‘Extreme Energy’ - Winning the Battle

Oliver Tickell (author Kyoto 2)l, Tobi Kellner (Centre for Alternative Technology), Tisha Brown (London Frack Off))

B102

SOAS

Generational Justice

Terry Reintke (co-spokesperson FYEG- Federation Young Euro- Greens), Bart Dhondt (Belgium & Global Young Greens), Matt Williams (UKYCC), Adam Ramsay (People and Planet),

B104

SOAS

Bio-Energy: the next Great Mistake in the Fight against Climate Change?

Deepak Rughani (Biofuelwatch) Clare Coffey (Action Aid )

B111

SOAS

Thriving and surviving in the face of environmental change: migration, climate change and human rights

Hannah Smith (COIN & Refugee & Migrant Climate Forum),

Main Area

IOE

Can London lead the way in the Fight to Save the World from Ecological Meltdown?

Ken Livingstone (Labour Party), Murad Qureshi (GLA, Labour  & Bangladeshi community), Darren Johnson AM (Green Party)

S13

IOE

Climate Emergency: Where the Science is Now

David Wasdell (Meridian Project), Peter Challenor  (National Oceanography Centre University of Southampton)

                                                                                  

                                                                                   SESSION 3: 4.15 – 5.30

KLT

SOAS

Economy: Green Growth alone is not enough, we need De-Growth

David Powell (Friends of the Earth), Juliet Michaelson  (New Economics Foundation), Mayer Hillman, Policy Studies Institute

B102

SOAS

One Million Climate Jobs Now!

Chris Baugh (assistant General Sec Public  & Commercial Services Union), Suzanne Jeffrey (CCC Trade Union Group), Geoff Archer (UKYCC), Graham Petersen (University and College Union)

B104

SOAS

Building for a Stable Climate

Fergus Nichol, Taus Larsen (Architects for Humanity/BREAM), Susan Roaf (Heriot Watt University)

B111

SOAS

Arctic Methane Emergency

John Nissen (Arctic Methane Emergency Group), Prof Peter Wadhams ( Polar Oceans Physics Group University of Cambridge), Emily Lewis-Brown

Main Area

IOE

Rio+20: A Landmark in the Fight against Eco-Crisis or just a lot of Hot Air?

Neva Frecheville (WWF), Bart Dhondt (Belgium & Global Young Greens), Harald Heubaum (CISD, CEPES, SOAS), Aziz Gueye

S13

IOE

Zero Carbon Britain 2030

Tobi Kellner (Centre for Alternative Technology)


 

SUNDAY

SESSION 4  12:30 – 1:45

Main Area

IOE

Inequity is not only bad for Society but also a Barrier to Dealing with the Ecological Crisis?

Peter Coville (Occupy London), Karen Bell ( School for Policy Studies, Bristol University), Laura Gyte (Friends of the Earth)

S16

IOE

Tar Sands: can we shut down the world’s most destructive industry and avoid climate chaos?

Emily Coats ( UK Tar Sands Network)

S13

IOE

Women and Climate Change

Terry Reintke (co-spokesperson FYEG) Nathalie Bennett (Green Party)

MAL415

Birkbeck

 

Population matters?

John Guillebaud (University College London), Mike Freedman (Population Matters), Danny Chivers,

 

SESSION 5  2:30 – 3:45

Main Area

IOE

Renewing Political Commitment to win the Global Battle against Eco-Calamity: A lost cause or is there a way forward?

Dan Plesch (Director, Department of International Studies and Diplomacy, SOAS), Dr Rupert Read, (University of East Anglia), Ichin Cheng (Sustainable Innovation Lab),

S13

IOE

Climate Justice: “We will not achieve environmental justice without a fundamental shift in values”

Muzammal Hussain (Wisdom in Nature), Tony  Emerson, Christian Ecology Link, ),

S16

IOE

Change will only come from below: Action at the Local Level

Will Cottrell (Brighton Ecology Co-op), Chris Church (Low Carbon Communites), Simon Kenton (Community Action Groups project)

MAL415

Birkbeck

Law: New Frameworks and Concepts for a New Era of Environmental Progress and Justice

Melanie Strickland (Wild Law, Occupy), Ian Mason (Wild Law), Polly Higgins, (Eradicating Ecocide)



SESSION 6   4:00 – 5:15

Main Area

IOE

Fracking: Building the Resistance

Keith Taylor MEP (Green Party), Vanessa Vine (Frack Free Sussex), Andy Chyba (The Vale Says No) Tisha Brown (London Frack Off))

S13

IOE

The Desertec Concept: Clean Power from Deserts

Hywel Roberts (TREC-power from the deserts)

S16

IOE

The Horseless Carriage Strikes Back… at 80mph with acres of new tarmac

Daniel Scharf (Greenspeed), Sian Berry (Campaign for Better Transport), Stephen Plowden

MAL415

Birkbeck

Fighting the Climatic Impacts of Aviation: the US, Germany and the UK

John Stewart (chair Airport Watch, HACAN etc) , Debi Wagner (US Citizens Aviation Watch via skype) Florian Sperk (Bund Naturschutz via Skype)

 >>> Full Speaker Bios see here

 

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Arctic Meltdown Public Meeting


Thank you to everyone who joined us for this very successful event!

With over 100 participants, the venue was fully packed. Even John Vidal managed to join us at the return of his Arctic expedition!
The presentation by Peter Wadhams was very informational and enlightening, some might even say very frightening! The situation is clear and unequivocal, we need to act now! So don't forget to join us for our annual climate march on the 1st of December...

For those who unfortunately couldn't make it, please find some footage of the meeting here.

 

With Professor Peter Wadhams, Head of the Polar Oceans Physics Group at Cambridge University and John Vidal (Guardian Environment correspondent) who will just have returned from visiting the Arctic on a Greenpeace vessel...

Organised by the Campaign against Climate Change with the Arctic Methane Emergency Group

The Arctic ice cap is disappearing before our eyes: this is the first large scale unmistakable impact of climate change, clearly visible from space.

The arctic sea-ice broke an all time record for lowest ever extent on Friday 24th August (after breaking several other records according to other methodologies of measurement by other scientific institutions etc…). This was a bombshell because it was nearly a month before you would expect the ice to reach its seasonal minimum – it is still decreasing now and we can expect it to continue decreasing until around mid September (so we should probably have a good idea of the absolute minimum by the time of this meeting).

What does this mean for our estimates of when the arctic will be completely ice-free at the end of the summer ?

What will be the consequences when this happens ?

How will it affect the arctic biosphere, its animals its indigenous people ?

More to the point how will it effect the rest of the world, global weather patterns and the agriculture and food supplies dependent on those ?

What about the melting of the permafrost? How fast will that happen and how much will that accelerate global warming ?

What about the methane hydrates under the arctic ocean. How suddenly might they be released ? Are we looking at apocalypse tomorrow ?

Professor Wadhams is a leading expert on sea ice. Whilst the forecasts of the IPCC for instance have been left well behind he has been at the forefront of those in the scientific community predicting a rapid disappearance of arctic sea ice. In his own words :

“For 40 years I have been measuring sea ice thickness in the Arctic from UK submarines. I first detected substantial thinning in 1990, and since the most recent submarine voyage in 2007 I have been warning that the combination of sea ice retreat and a massive amount of thinning will lead to the disappearance of the summer sea ice by as early as 2015. Despite the fact that this is a simple extrapolation of a clear and measured trend I have been vilified by scientific colleagues for making such a seemingly radical prediction. I am pleased to see these same colleagues now jumping on the bandwagon and supporting my prediction”

"What is happening is that the Arctic is warming up 3-4 times as fast as the rest of the world. The sea ice grows less thick in winter, and melts more in summer, such that the entire ice cover is now on the point of collapse. The extra open water already created by the retreating ice allows bigger waves to be generated by storms, which are sweeping away the surviving ice. It is truly the case that it will be all gone by 2015. The consequences are enormous - a huge boost to global warming from two sources, the reduction in global albedo caused by the replacement of ice by open water, and an acceleration of methane release into the atmosphere as the warm open water causes seabed permafrost to melt.”[click ice volume graph above to enlarge]

Date: 
Wednesday, September 26, 2012 - 19:00 to 21:00
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Campaign against Climate Change AGM

Saturday March 3rd

Venue: Room B102, SOAS, Brunei Gallery, Russell Square campus. See here.

Time: 12pm - 5pm

Come and help us plan for the year's campaigning. See how you can get involved!

Discuss the upcoming year’s campaigning in the light of:

what the "agreement" reached at the Durban COP really means and how we should be reacting to it.

what we can expect from the Rio Summit and how will the US election effect global action on climate change and our campaigning around it?

To submit a resolution for the AGM please fill in a form here.

Note: If you are submitting a resolution, you need to be present at the AGM.

To submit a nomination for the steering group please fill in a form here.

Note: If you are submitting a nomination, you and the person seconding the nomination need to be present at the AGM.

The deadline for submissions is Wednesday 29th February, with last entry for amendments to resolutions is lunchtime on the day.

 

 

 

 

 

Weight: 
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Fracking Osborne's Dash for Gas

Fracking Osborne's Dash for Gas

Gathering storm against the UK's climate programme from the Tory Right. How can it be stopped?

Public Meeting, Monday 19th November at 7.00 pm 

At Kings College Guy's Campus (near London Bridge) - Room change: now in Greenwood Theatre (55 Weston Street, London, SE1 3RA). Map here


Speakers to include

Guy Shrubsole from Friends of the Earth

Tisha Brown from Frack Off

Ewa Jasiewicz from "No Dash for Gas" 


How serious is the cold wind blowing ever stronger from the Tory Right against green energy and the attainment of climate targets?

How much damage will Osborne's dash for gas do in practice to the UK's climate programme? Is this the end of the Climate Act as an effective restraint on emissions?

How influential have the energy companies been in determining the agenda here? 

Just how strongly will the government push fracking? Will it reach epidemic proportions around the country? What are the other unpleasant ways of producing gas in a domestic context that are being rolled out?  

How strong is the local resistance to fracking and how can we help it?

What is the balance in parliament for and against renewable energy, wind power or more gas and a rolling out of fracking? What are the NGOs doing to lobby for the former against the latter?

Come and hear about - and discuss - this and more on Monday 19th. 

 

Presentation from Tisha Brown from Frack Off

Date: 
Monday, November 19, 2012 - 19:00 to 21:00
Weight: 
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GET FRACKTIOUS !!

 

 

On 1st December!

no-fracking-outside-parliament_0.jpg


Thank you to everyone who turned out on one of the coldest days this year. With our 7.2m fracking rig, we took a clear message to Parliament - "No Fracking in the UK", a message backed up by other actions around the country, and one that was picked up by the BBC (see here and here) amongst others. Not only that but there could hardly have been a more critical moment to stage a conspicuous show of opposition to the the government's unfolding plans for an expansion of fracking and a new dash for gas.   

Photos from Demotix/FlickR: Dougal WallaceNelson Pereira, Adele Nistora,  and Peter Marshall - more photos and video to be uploaded soon.

The day started at the US embassy where demonstators demanded that Obama end his self-imposed climate silence and that the US stop blocking progess at international Climate Talks, like those currently in progress at Doha in Qatar (where there was also a march on this Global Day of Action on climate:see here). CCC Coordinator Phil Thornhill set the scene by referencing this year's precipitate crash in arctic sea ice before moving on to the role of the US but the main highlight of this first part of the days activities was the building of a "Grosvenor Square Keystone pipeline" between the US and Canadian embassies (see video here) in solidarity with activists in North America resisting the export of polluting tar sand oil via the real Keystone XL Pipeline from Canada to the US. Jess Worth from the UK Tar Sands Network explained (see video here) the magnitude of the threat to the climate from the Tar Sands and described the heroic and - at this point - inspiringly effective resistance being made to them by North American activists.

Next came the mobile part of the day's event as demonstators marched, chanting and waving "No Fracking in the UK" placards, via Picadilly Circus and Trafalgar Square to parliament (see video here). After a last barrage of chants for "No fracking in the UK" and "Green Energy Now" Eve Macnamara from REAF ("Ribble Estuary against Fracking") described the ongoing resistance from local residents' groups like her own to the test drilling and planning applications already being pursued by the fracking companies. Symbolising that resistance the "fracking rig" was then hauled up on a rope to its full 7.2 meters, to cheers from the crowd (see video here).

There followed a speech from John McDonnel MP (Labour, Hayes and Harlngton) which included a rousing call to action for a movement against fracking and finally a speech from Natalie Bennett, the new leader of the Green Party, outlining the benefits of Green Energy.

All in all an inspiring day and a critical milestone in the building resistance to the Government's dash for gas and the anti-environmental backlash now coming from the Tory Right.

This year has seen the passing of an awesome milestone in the accelerating escalation of the climate crisis - the record shattering disapearance summertime arctic sea ice, which has now been predicted to disappear completely by 2015 (see further here and here). Something that was not predicted to happen till the end of the century is happening right now! But not only is climate change already altering the planet's basic geography, the rapid changes in the Arctic have been linked to recent extreme weather events that have destroyed crops and sent food prices spiraling, hitting the world's poorest hardest.

Yet even as the world is poised on the brink of a tragedy of unimaginable scale, none of our leaders seems to be so much as blinking an eyelid in response. Worse than that humanity is engaged in a madcap suicidal dash to unearth  yet more of what caused the problem in the first place - fossil fuels. Even as some fossil fuels are becoming more expensive to extract, new types - often more carbon intensive - of fossil fuels are being discovered and exploited. We believe it's time to "get fracktious" about the criminal insanity of the way we are responding to probably the biggest threat humanity has ever faced.

 

 

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Date: 
Saturday, December 1, 2012 - 12:00 to 16:30
Weight: 
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ICEBERG AT THE LIB DEM CONFERENCE


Taking the "Arctic Wake up Call" to the Lib Dems

on Sunday 23rd September

We delivered an "Arctic wake-up call" in the form of  a metre high iceberg to the Lib Dem conference in Brighton, to remind them  of the urgency of standing up to the Tories over climate change.

We were outside the Brighton Centre on King's Road, on the seafront (see map)- with the iceberg -  from around 9.00 am till early evening (around 7.00 pm). The weather was foul and there was much standing around in the wind and the rain (everything got soaked !) but that didnt stop us at all from delivering our message to the Lib Dem delegates (who had to be there, whatever the weather) and aorund 600 "Arctic Meltdown" leafelts were handed out as well as some other literature. Vince Cable's PA has our "Climate Emergency" booklet - we wonder whether whether he will read it ?!?!

The iceberg cost money. Thank you everyone who donated generously to the "Sponsor an Icberg" appeal. We raised enough to go ahead and have got pretty close to covering the cost of the iceberg but its not too late to add your own contribution, if you would like to,   here.

On Sunday 26th August -  the day after the news broke that the record minimum for Arctic sea ice had been broken -  we took our 'Arctic Wake-up Call" (and an iceberg) to Downing Street ....See more about that and more about the arctic ice below ....

 

Arctic "Wake up Call"
outside Downing Street, Sunday 26th August at 1.00 pm

The day after the news appeared on the NSIDC website - that the minimum Arctic sea ice record had been broken - CCC activists were outside Downing Street with an "Arctic Wake up Call", demanding emergency action on climate now - from David Cameron and the government.

They went with a metre high block of ice carved to the shape of a (melting) iceberg. And with placards and graphs showing the message.

Despite the hyper-short notice maybe 30 odd gathered to deliver their urgent message: Cameron must not ignore  the very clear message that Nature is giving him.

See more photos here.

 Couldn't make the demo in London? Then send an email to David Cameron telling him we need to ramp up our response to the unfolding Climate Emergency.....  you can find a sample letter to cut and paste into the No.10 webform here.

Peter Wadhams, Professor of Ocean Physics and Head of the Polar Oceans Physics Group at Cambridge University  supported the Downing Street ‘Wake Up Call’ and contributed this quote to our press release

“For 40 years I have been measuring sea ice thickness in the Arctic from UK submarines. I first detected substantial thinning in 1990, and since the most recent submarine voyage in 2007 I have been warning that the combination of sea ice retreat and a massive amount of thinning will lead to the disappearance of the summer sea ice by as early as 2015. Despite the fact that this is a simple extrapolation of a clear and measured trend I have been vilified by scientific colleagues for making such a seemingly radical prediction. I am pleased to see these same colleagues now jumping on the bandwagon and supporting my prediction.
 
What is happening is that the Arctic is warming up 3-4 times as fast as the rest of the world. The sea ice grows less thick in winter, and melts more in summer, such that the entire ice cover is now on the point of collapse. The extra open water already created by the retreating ice allows bigger waves to be generated by storms, which are sweeping away the surviving ice. It is truly the case that it will be all gone by 2015. The consequences are enormous - a huge boost to global warming from two sources, the reduction in global albedo caused by the replacement of ice by open water, and an acceleration of methane release into the atmosphere as the warm open water causes seabed permafrost to melt.”[click ice volume graph above to enlarge]
 
Arctic Sea Ice is crashing. The NSIDC figures showed that the record for the minimum arctic sea ice extent was broken on Friday 24th August.
 

See BBC report here - based on US NSIDC report here. See Guardian article here.

When you think that the actual minimum for this season is unlikely to be reached till mid September or possibly later then you begin to realise how much of a bombshell this really is - we could see the all-time low record not just broken this year but obliterated....!!!

This means that an ice free arctic ocean could very rapidly become a reality and the consequences could be profound....for the effect that the warming arctic is already having on global weather patterns - with devestating impact on global food supplies - see Phil's blog here. For the potentially apocalyptic impact of a massive methane release triggered by an ice free and therefore warmer arctic see, for instance here and see the "Arctic Methane Emergency Group"'s take on it here.

However you look at it this is dramatic visible evidence of our rapidly warming planet - we can't let it be ignored yet again....

The actual figures are available from ftp://sidads.colorado.edu/DATASETS/NOAA/G02135/north/daily/data/NH_seaice_extent_nrt.csv  (the record low was 4.13 million square km)

 

 

Date: 
Sunday, September 23, 2012 - 09:00 to 19:00
Weight: 
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National anti-Fracking Gathering


Saturday 17th March, Manchester

Methodist Central Hall, Oldham Street, Manchester.  11.00 am to 6.00 pm

Organised by Campaign against Climate Change with REAF, The Vale Says No, Frack Off and No Fracking in Sussex (find out more about fracking here)

British Isles - wide Anti Fracking Network formed !

The Gathering was a great success with more than 70 attending and more importantly representatives from anti-fracking groups all around the country ..... from REAF (Ribble Estuary, Lancashire), RAFF (Blackpool area, Lancashire), The Vale Says No (South Wales), No Fracking in Sussex (Balcombe and Lewis) and from Kent, Scotland, Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.

Also present were activists from Frack Off and The Campaign against climate Change, Tony Bosworth from Friends of the Earth and Justin Woolford speaking on behalf of the Co-operative Society, whilst the meeting opened with a presentation from John Broderick from the Tyndall Centre

The most significant outcome of the Gathering was the formation of the British Isles wide Anti-Fracking Network.

The Gathering also featured reports from 8 local areas around the country and Workshop Sessions that included: 'All you need to know about fracking: General Introduction' by Will Cottrell from 'Frack Off'; 'Stop the frackers in your area: Planning and legal issues' with Laura Gyte from the FOE legal team, Andy Chiba from The Vale Says No and Felicity from TOOKS Chambers; 'Frack Free Zones and other useful campaigning initiatives' with Justin Woolford and Tony Bosworth from FOE; 'Extreme Energy' by Frack Off; Direct Action workshop by Frack Off - and finally a Presentation on fracking, coal bed methane and the companies pushing these by Paul Mobbs.

Activists from the all around the country left the Gathering better linked up than ever before,  with a new sense of the strength of the nation-wide movement and buoyed up by a sense of common purpose for the fight ahead....

 

 

Weight: 
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One Million Climate Jobs Caravan


"At long last somebody is bringing a positive solution to the economic and climate crises we face."

The two ‘caravans’ toured the UK from 12-25 May 2012. Read more about climate jobs or contact climatetradeunion@gmail.com for information. Download full report here.

Route One

Edinburgh

Outside the Scottish Parliament in Edinburgh, Sarah Boyack MSP (Labour), Patrick Harvie MSP (Green) and Marco Biagi MSP (Nationalist) and Des Loughney, Secretary of Edinburgh TUC addressed those assembled to wave the caravan on its way. Before leaving Edinburgh the caravan stopped in the historic Grassmarket in the centre of the city for two hours to spread its positive message.

Newcastle 
From there the northern caravan went on to Newcastle where the caravan had spent the morning engaging with many on the main shopping area. In the afternoon a meeting was held at a nearby venue where about 20 people from different organizations, including unions and local activists debated and discussed the issues raised by the caravan and the booklet on which its ideas are based, One Million Climate Jobs, produced by the Campaign against Climate Change Trade Union Group.  The group agreed to set up a local CCC group to continue to campaign around these issues.

 

Derby 
Around 35 people met in Derby to discuss One Million Climate Jobs and campaigning around this theme in Derby. Speakers included the Secretary of the local Trades Council, Keith Sonnet, Deputy General Secretary of UNISON and Suzanne Jeffery, Chair Campaign against Climate Change Trade Union Group. There was a good discussion with the meeting supported by the local Trades Council. The meeting agreed to adopt a local petition calling for Climate Jobs in Derby. The following day local activists and representative for the Climate Caravan met local councillors. The MP for Derby North Chris Williamson and a number of local councillors have signed a petition calling for Climate Jobs.

I want a Climate Job because… "climate change is the biggest threat to the human race – we need to tackle it."

Leeds 
About 30 people attended the Climate Jobs Caravan meeting in Leeds. Speakers represented the Green Party, Leeds CWU union, a local campaign against the building of an incinerator, students from Leeds Metropolitan university, and local socialists. Following a wide-ranging discussion, attendees agreed to set up a campaign for 10,000 climate jobs in Leeds. There was some discussion about whether to focus on climate jobs specifically or a wider campaign for green jobs. Speakers from the floor argued that it was important to campaign for both, but it was climate jobs that would make the difference to both austerity and the environmental crisis.

Stoke-on-Trent
Our next stop was Stoke, where we were greeted by shop stewards from the PCS and by a couple of local councillors. They help us pitch camp beside a pedestrian precinct. The interior of the van is converted into a mini-cinema, with the climate jobs video showing within. Outside, a large ‘political plant’ is manoeuvred into place: a wheelie bin with huge fabricated leaves and flowers emerging from it, each one painted with climate-jobs slogans, that a Mancunian artist had dreamt up and donated. The councillors help us distribute leaflets, all the while filling us in with details of the local economic blight (the decimation of the ceramics industry, the closure of the Shelton Bar steelworks) and of the sustainability initiatives that they are attempting to push forward. In conversations with passers-by we are struck by the number of people who are either unemployed or working below qualification—most memorably, a graduate in environmental science who works at a supermarket checkout. Many signatures are added to our petitions, and only an occasional ‘climate denier’ raises his head; one such imagines that ‘I bet you read the Guardian!’ is a crafty taunt. He’s right: one of us does buy that day’s Guardian. It carries a story on the implosion of the so-called ‘green deal’: according to the government’s own figures, the rate of new loft and cavity wall insulations is collapsing, by 93% and 67% respectively.

I want a Climate Job because… "soon it will be too late, and where else are you gonna employ everyone?"

Sheffield
The caravan was met in Sheffield by activists and a local folk singer who was releasing her new record about climate change to coincide with arrival of the caravan. There was a very good response to the caravan during the day which was also visited by local councillors. There was an excellent 70 plus evening meeting following time spent with the caravan in the City centre. The next morning activists held a conference on an economy for the 99%.

Liverpool
The Liverpool event went very well. During the day we had a public "street market style" event with the climate van and a marquee where 9 local groups taking part.Joining the climate caravan stalls: PCS Union, Friends of the Earth, Liverpool Climate Action Network, Liverpool Green Party, Greenpeace, Merseyside CND, Recycles (and their bike doctor stall), Student Action for Refugees and the Merseyside Recycling & Waste Authority with the "Love Food, Hate Waste" van. We reached out to thousands of people during the day, getting many interested in the idea of climate jobs. We also had dozens signing the petitions and writing messages to the government about why they "want a climate job".

We had Artemis production performing throughout the day with a giant flower on stilts, interacting with children and gaining attention from by-passers. We also welcomed the Liverpool Socialists Singers entertaining us during the afternoon, especially with their new song "no to climate change". They will keep the song as part of their repertoire (but will change main line to "yes to climate jobs"!)

In the evening, we held a meeting about fracking at the Friends meeting house with 25 people attending (not too bad for a Saturday night with the football on!). We showed the film "fracking hell" followed with Philip Mitchell from Blackpool Green Party speaking and debate. We concluded the event by showing the short version of the "One million climate jobs" film introduced by John Stewart.

Overall, it was brilliant, got local groups to work together, something we hope to sustain and got some of our PCS Green reps engaged.

Huddersfield

There was a very good day in Huddersfield.  In the morning about half a dozen environmental and anti-cuts groups set up stalls around the caravan in Slaithwaite which finished with a short talk from me. Then a guided walk to see the solar panels installed on roofs and the opportunities for renewable energy generation and tackling fuel poverty from such initiatives.
Finally an evening showing of the One Million Climate Jobs film, a talk from John Stewart and a panel discussion.  The panel included the Labour leader of Kirklees Council and Cat from UKYCC and a trade unionist with around 25 in attendance.

I want a Climate Job because… "climate change will not end without investment in people!

Bolton
The Bolton meeting was very good. It was an excellent discussion. They're going to put together a future meeting to plan activity and have some excellent campaigning ideas. Lots of DVDs and pamphlets were sold, in part because 4 or 5 contributions explained how good the pamphlet was.  A union member from UNISON spoke about raising the motion for One Million Climate jobs in their union meeting and want speakers to come and talk about the issue. Earlier in the day the report from Tony who is travelling with the van is that the response in Bolton was very positive. Though there were several stories of "despair” from local young people who are unemployed and hoped we were offering actual jobs. It is the local Bolton MP who has taken the initiated the early day motion on Climate Jobs.

Wigan (Leigh) 

We received an excellent response from the public throughout the day, a few people commenting that the proposals of the One Million Climate Jobs report aren't rocket science and pretty common sense stuff really. Leigh MP Andy Burnham also sent us a message saying he was very much "in support of our hard work for this important cause"

We have subsequently replied to him, thanking him for his support and to ask him to add his name to Bolton NE MP David Crausby's Early Day Motion in support of the Climate Jobs Caravan at: https://edm.parliament.uk/redirect/2012-13/65.

The evening meeting at Leigh Labour Club was also very positive, and there was an excellent discussion, with introductory speakers from the national one million climate jobs campaign, NUT and local Green Party . Those attending agreed to a proposal from Leigh UNITE Branch to meet again soon and to work together as a joint trades union, community, and cross-party campaign group covering the Wigan Borough area. Also, to work closely with others in neighbouring Bolton & Salford local authority areas to:

(i) promote the proposals of the One Million Climate Jobs Report,
(ii) to oppose any expansion of hydraulic fracturing (or fracking) for shale gas and coal bed methane, which might well be coming to our area soon with the promise of lots of new jobs but potentially hugely environmentally damaging consequences, which would also add to greenhouse gas emissions rather than reducing them
(iii)  to promote locally based initiatives across our area such as community renewable energy co-operatives, co-operative community farms & land share projects, incredible edible and other such schemes/projects, etc, which might help local communities, practically address the issues of self-reliance, sustainability and climate change locally.

I want a Climate Job because… "The young generation is going to be a wasted generation and I want more for my grand children."

Blackpool
In Blackpool, around 25 people met to discuss whether Climate Jobs could be an alternative to Fracking. Speakers from the local anti-Fracking group pointed out the dangers from Fracking, and argued that while Blackpool desperately needed more jobs, fracking was not the answer, for safety and environmental reasons. Local campaigners also discussed the potential for working together in the future, particularly over questions of fuel poverty.

Lancaster
The Campaign for One Million Climate jobs visit to Lancaster culminated in a well attended public forum addressed by Martin Empson. This followed a week of other events, including two public film showings at the Dukes, a Green Jobs Fair at Lancaster and Morecambe College, and an all day event in Market Square where hundreds of people signed the national petition. There is now a core group of people locally, including trade unionists, Green Party members, and local councillors who are going to put together a local climate jobs plan for Lancaster. We have a large email list of interested people who want to be involved. We also plan to support the Zero Carbon Britain day with some imaginative activities.

I want a Climate Job because… "I have a degree in outdoor & environmental education but there are no jobs in the North West."

Manchester
We spent most of the day with the van parked at Piccadilly gardens, quite a busy spot with plenty of people passing. Ewa and others used a megaphone to put across the arguments, and we had lots of good conversations, particularly with groups of young people, (though there were a couple of climate change deniers to be shaken off.) Many people signed the petition, most said they could not afford the pamphlet -except the ones Emma approached who all coughed up! Thank you Emma- for that and for the brilliant wheelie bin flowers. We had a good presence as fourteen people came to help at some point in the day, and we never had less than about six on and around the stall. Two of the volunteers on the day were new activists, full of enthusiasm. The only downside (apart from sunburn) was that none of the invited media turned up, so only the indefatigable photographer from the Quakers recorded the Lord Mayor and Lady Mayoress in their bling.

Our two hours near the Manchester universities were less successful in that we did not have such a prominent position for the van, but students relaxing in the park after exams were mostly happy to sign the petition and some were keen to discuss graduate unemployment and the possibility of climate jobs.

Our cavalcade consisted of three cyclists; Critical Mass were meeting nearby for their monthly ride round the city, but they did not join us, despite several approaches in the weeks leading up to the caravan. Some whom we spoke to said they would not ride with a fossil fuel powered vehicle - a stark illustration of the fragmentation and even hostility within the climate change and environmental movement!

Our meeting had over 50 people, not bad on a hot Friday night: Foe had a stall and the audience were a good mix of socialists, trade unionists, Greens, Quakers and others. Martin, Hannah, Karen Evans from UCU and Peter Allen from the Greens all gave good, punchy and varied speeches . The city council leader, Richard Leese, listed what the council have done and are planning,, notably retrofitting council buildings, but he was not sufficiently challenged on the inadequate scale and ambition and the "greenwash" elements of council policy. We had not planned this properly! However, we'll have a follow up meeting to look at what climate jobs might be created in Manchester and how best to campaign for them, which will involve challenging the council...
Thank you to all our speakers and to all who helped out during the day, specially Tony and Cat who had already driven the van to Manchester and to Liz, Ewa and Hannah who had done driving and navigating earlier in the tour.

I want a Climate Job because… "I don’t want to work for the machine or make the problem worse."

Route Two
 
London

Caravan leaves from London

London the caravan was waived off on its way by supporters on a much welcome sunny day. Before the caravan departed from Parliament, John McDonnell MP, Murad Qureshi GLA member, Graham Peterson UCU, Francesca from UKYCC and Peter Colville from Occupy all pressed home the same message. Climate Jobs are an obvious and necessary way to tackle the growing climate crisis and the misery and obscenity of growing unemployment. Picking up on the Climate Job Centre theme, John McDonnell suggested that the slogan should be “Gizza Climate Job”.
 
Before leaving London the caravan was met at Grow Heathrow by supporters who have been part of the successful campaign to stop a Third Runway at Heathrow. Climate Jobs are the alternative to work based on increasing use of fossil fuels.

Coventry
In Coventry the Caravan spent the day outside the national Trades Council conference. There was an excellent response from activists, many of whom took lots of leaflets and information back to their own branches.

I want a Climate Job because… "I want to ensure the future of our planet is protected while developing a career that makes use of my passion and skills. This would take me off the dole and end my unemployment!!!"
 
Cardiff
In Cardiff the southern caravan timed its visit to coincide with the TSSA rail union’s annual conference, parking outside the hotel and engaging with TSSA delegates and passers-by. They were delighted that the Conference agreed an emergency motion to embed the Climate Jobs campaign in to union campaigning, getting the message to branches, engaging members and asking for much-needed donations. The caravan then travelled across town to Unite’s Transport House. Here a stall was set up and films were shown during the afternoon.
 
In the evening over 40 people packed into the upstairs room of an atmospheric pub.  They included a number of members of the TSSA union whose past president addressed the meeting.  A positive discussion ensued.  As at Newcastle, the various groups represented at the meeting agreed to try to form a network to promote the positive ideas of the caravan at a local and regional level.

I want a Climate Job because… "To save what we have got for future generations."

Birmingham
From Cardiff to Birmingham and a meeting in the splendid surroundings of Birmingham Town Hall.  John Stewart spoke alongside Hanna Thomas, the Director of the Otesha Project which promotes green jobs for young in East London.  Again, over 40 people from a range of organizations, including West Midlands Friends of the Earth whose well-respected coordinator, Chris Crean, chaired the meeting.  The meeting included people who were doing work on practical job creation home insulation projects.  At the end of the meeting the different organizations represented agreed that they wanted to coordinate their activities more closely in the future.

I want a Climate Job because… "I have a degree in environmental management. I have experience as a recycling officer. I lost my job because of cuts."

Cambridge
The Cambridge leg of the climate caravan was a step forward for the campaign locally with three events. The van had an excellent response in the pedestrianised zone during the day with lots of visitors to the stall and 25 pamphlets being sold. 

A lunchtime meeting of bus users, organised by the Campaign for Better Transport and Friends of the Earth, brought together the council group leaders from both Labour and the Lib Dems alongside a climate jobs speaker.  The Trades Council hosted an evening meeting with Suzanne Jeffery Chair of the Campaign against Climate Change Trade Union Group and from that a climate jobs centre is being planned for a local free festival as well as plan for a climate jobs audit to submit to the city councils local plan!
 
Oxford
We hosted a speaker event in the main square in Oxford with the Lord Mayor, other Green Party and Labour City Councillors, Representative from UK Uncut, Euro MP Catherine Bearded and Ken from the “van”. The stall/van stayed to attract passersby for an hour until moving up to Oxford Brookes Uni where Occupy had set up camp and hundreds of leaflets were put into student hands.  Then back down the hill to Wadham College for a debate which made up in substance for what it lacked in numbers. Important contributions were made by Colin Tudge on the extraordinary need and capacity of the food/agricultural industry to increase the labour force, from Paul Buckingham   describing the problems of the building sector in building and refitting to the quality required, Graham Peterson on the contradiction between the need for training and skills while further eduction experiences cuts, and from Ken and Josh Moos from the Campaign against Climate Change Trade Union Group. Peter Dwyer from Ruskin College then spoke about the current political situation and we enjoyed a debate between left and right (or middle, with LibDem Catherine Bearder our Euro MP) and others discussing the opportunities which might arise from the current economic crisis.
 
We hope that other have such stimulating event inspired by the Climate Jobs Caravan. Our challenges in Oxford include greater involvement from the Unions and from the colleges of further education. 
 
Norwich

Trade Unionists, Green Activists, Quakers, socialists  and non-aligned others  were delighted to host the Caravan at The Forum in the city centre on Thursday May 17th.  There was much enthusiasm for an idea whose time has come.
 
The evening public meeting generated an interesting 'how to' discussion, and a mailing list of people, who intend to take it further. It was noted that since Copenhagen, when 'they' were going to try to do some of what was necessary, things have changed and we can't afford it - though we can bail out the banks. We have an urgent climate crisis and a desperate need for jobs.  Austerity is worsening both, the deregulated market has failed and the government response is characterised by the cut in the Feed in Tariff. A million climate jobs in the UK would lead to a stable climate and a stable economy, good long-term jobs, investment and tax base.  There are local examples of pioneering projects, such as Kirklees fuel poverty reduction scheme, and Norfolk's energy supply company.  We need government to follow with a national climate service.

I want a Climate Job because… "it is insane so many of us are unemployed while climate change threatens the lives of millions across the globe."

Southampton

climate caravan in Southampton

We had a good day. The Caravan visited various bodies involved in sustainable enterprises then came to Guildhall Square where the local newspaper sent a photographer to get shots of Alan Whitehead MP, the Leader of the Labour Council and myself plus shots of the caravan and the banner with a small crowd around it. Alan then opened the proceedings officially and we watched the video. The Caravan remained in the square until 8.30pm when it left for Portsmouth. The evening meeting went well and we finished the day with a promise from
Richard Williams, the Labour Leader to involve the TUC in their climate change panel and a member of the audience agreed to set up a community pressure group.

Portsmouth
The Climate Jobs Caravan reached Portsmouth on 22nd May and spent the day in the pedestrianised shopping centre.  On the street there was a good level of interest from the general public who readily accepted the idea that the government should directly employ people in climate jobs and create a national climate service.  There was particular interest from those out of work and those with a memory of the formative years of the welfare state and NHS, but support was still much more general.  People shared their ideas for local climate jobs projects in the Portsmouth area; these included the use of harbour marine power, wind power on Portsdown Hill and dockyard engineering skills for training and diversified manufacture. 


 
An evening meeting was attended by 15 people who included a UCU environmental rep, NUS reps, a Unison green rep, a local Lib Dem councillor, members of Portsmouth Climate Action Network, members of Portsmouth Socialist Workers Party and the general public.  After talks by Suzanne Jeffery (Chair, TU Group, Campaign against Climate Change) and Hanna Thomas (Ortesha Project), an engaged discussion continued for an hour and a half.  The meeting decided that future actions in Portsmouth should include: building local support for the Early Day Motion initiated by the MP for Bolton,  continuing the local petition until 5000 signatures will trigger a council debate, map local industries and education providers relevant to climate jobs, engage the council to host a conference and explore opportunities to lead projects on energy efficiency and solar power (such as the projects in Wrexham), challenge the emphasis on retail for development and promote collective bargaining for community green deals. 

I want a Climate Job because… "We need to seriously invest in the future, forget about “defence” spending and let’s make some real positive changes for everyone’s benefit."

Brighton
23 May – The Caravan in Brighton, partly for the PCS annual conference. We set-up with the van right on the promenade, in an official parking space allocated to us by Brighton City Council. The weather was glorious. Holiday-makers with ice creams mingled with the passers-by who stopped and asked questions. Especially encouraging was the number of eastern European visitors who took the pamphlets and told us about their worries about climate change. At 12.30 we held a lunch-time meeting at Sussex University hosted by their Environment Society. Our speakers were Gareth Dale, a lecturer at Brunel University, and Hanna Thomas, a former Sussex student who now oversees the Otesha Project’s East London Green Jobs Alliance. I chipped-in about the importance of students for the movement, but the best contributions came from two seasoned activists from the Labour Representation Committee who had come up to the university to support the Caravan. The day ended with an open “green fringe” meeting at the PCS conference. About 60 people attended, most of them delegates. Some inspiring speeches from, among others, Chris Baugh, PCS Assistant General Secretary, Brighton MP Caroline Lucas, and Clara Paillard, a PCS member who had organised the Caravan’s visit to Liverpool. Our own Suzanne Jeffery spoke especially well. A good day, but not untypical.

I want a Climate Job because… "No planet, no nothing."

Redhill
24 May – We were up at six to claim our spot at the market in Redhill, booked by the local Greens. We parked the van under a tree with the full Caravan panoply of tables, props and display stands. No public meeting that evening but a long, long day talking to shoppers and school students and giving out our literature. We were joined for most of the day by local Green Party members, some of them councillors, and an activist from Redhill Transition Town who gave amazingly succinct explanations of the Million Climate Jobs campaign to anyone who asked. Isobel Tarr from UKYCC, who had been on the van since Southampton, was also brilliant at talking to people. A reporter from the local paper did an interview with me and Green Councillor, Jonathan Essex, and all of us lined up against the van for a photo-op. One woman told us, “You people bring us hope, which is what we need at the moment.”

London
The climax of the southern route of the tour was reached when the caravan arrived in London on Friday 25th May. Its first stop was the Department of Work and Pensions. A letter was handed in to the Department asking Chris Grayling, the Minister responsible, to seriously examine the message of the tour: that a million climate jobs be created to help solve the economic and environmental crises which we face. A number of the messages the caravan had picked up from around the country from people explaining why they would like a climate job were also handed into the Department.
The tour ended with an evening rally in central London with a range of speakers from politics, the trade unions and from environmental and social movements. The mood was upbeat. We felt that the caravan had brought a message of hope to many in near-despair, had outlined a solution which activists could unite around and fight for and had provided a real challenge to the politics of cutbacks and climate negligence.

I want a Climate Job because… "I want to have a world that future generations can live in."
 

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Petition to the new BBC Director General on climate change coverage


We are facing a Climate Emergency. Global temperatures are rising and Arctic ice melt is outpacing the IPCC's worst predictions. We might hope that the BBC would lead the way in providing clearsighted coverage of the situation, but unfortunately this is not always the case. So for example, on 13 July, in an interview on the Today programme, John Humphrys asked "You can't absolutely prove, can you, that CO2 in the atmosphere is responsible for global warming?"

On 17 September, a new Director General, George Entwistle, will take office at the BBC. We will be writing to him to ask for the BBC to take its responsibilities seriously when it comes to reporting climate change.

Please add your name to the letter and show him that this is something many licence fee payers care about.

 

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Stop Osborne Killing the Climate Act !


Emergency Demo – Thursday 26th July, 5.00 pm to 7.00 pm

At the Treasury, 1 Horse Guards Road

Missed the demo ? - online action (email Nick Clegg via Friends of the Earth website) here

Protestors gathered outside the treasury to demand genuine renewables, not a second dash for gas.  In line with this they demanded that the decarbonisation of the electricity supply by 2030 be written into the forthcoming Energy Bill (as recommended by the Committe on Climate Change).  George Osborne was identified as currently the biggest obstacle to progress on tackling climate change in the UK - if he and the Tory Right get their way on a second dash for gas it will render the Climate Act effectively dead in the water.

For more background to the demo see below.....

Latest - The Government announced today that levels of onshore wind subsidy will be cut only by 10%, not the 25% demanded by the Treasury. But they state that gas is expected to play a 'key role'. A 'dash for gas' has not been ruled out, with £500 million new subsidy for gas fields announced.

In order to meet the government's legally binding emissions targets, it is essential that the Energy Bill contains a commitment to decarbonise the electricity sector by 2030. Without this, the way is open for unabated gas to take over, and the Climate Change Act will effectively be left dead in the water.

A major battle lies ahead, between Osborne and the right wing of the Tory party on the one hand and those seeking to fight climate change on the other. Time to say NO to a fossil fuel future!

A leaked letter (see Financial Times article here - you need to register but it's free) revealed that  “George Osborne had offered to drop his demands for tougher cuts to onshore wind subsidies if the Liberal Democrats backed down over “inflexible” targets for Britain’s shift away from fossil fuels” – in other words if they agreed to effectively ignore the targets enshrined in the Climate Act, thereby rendering it effectively dead.

The Commons energy committee has recommended that the forthcoming Energy Bill set a target for largely decarbonising the electricity supply by 2030. The Committee on Climate Change has said that this is effectively the only way that the UK can fulfil its statutory carbon reduction commitments. Osborne however has been pushing for unabated gas and therefore the effective abandonment of meaningful climate targets.

Osborne has been allying himself with the Tory right against wind farms and using this to pressurise the Lib Dems into accepting a climb-down from the projected decarbonisation of electricity by 2030. Ed Davey the Lib-Dem Energy Secretary had already accepted a 10% cut in the subsidies for wind energy but backbench Tories were pushing for 25% cuts to the subsidies for onshore wind.

So Osborne and the Tory right are effectively pushing for a second dash for gas in place of a determined attempt to move to renewable energy – and in the process they are destroying investor confidence in what was a booming sector. Even Tim Yeo – senior Tory and former minister – has accused Osborne of wrecking the government’s green energy plans to placate backbench Tories. See Guardian article here and further Guardian blog here.

Osborne’s attack on the green policies (already woefully inadequate in the light of the climate science) of the Coalition has been ramping up over several months and has now reached a peak which clearly threatens to annihilate the ground-breaking Climate Act, as a viable means of keeping to (even inadequate) carbon reduction targets.

 

 

 

 

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US Election: Demo against fossil fuel money in US politics

 


Credit: Emanuele Giovagnoli

Wednesday 7th November

3.00 pm to 5.00 pm: Activists demonstrated outside the UK HQ of 'Koch International' at Fountain House, at 130 Fenchurch Street, in the City

5.00 pm to 6.00 pm:  Acticvists boarded the "Dirty money and climate lies" open-topped bus for a ride from the City to the US embassy at Grosvenor Square.

6.00 pm: Tea Party at the US embassy       

Activists called for Obama to break his self-imposed 'Climate Silence', to stop allowing the extreme right to dominate the agenda on climate, and to take action on climate at home and stop sabotaging progress at the international negotiations. 

There were quotes from Mitt Romney, Paul Ryan, Rick Santorum, Michelle Bachmann, Ron Paul, Senator James Inhofe, Dick Armey et al on why "God wouldn't allow global warming" and it's all a socialist-inspired hoax. Photos were taken of Romney and Obama as puppets manipulated by the Koch brothers, of the "Obama End the Climate silence" banner (photo above) etc...

The US has stood out as the only significant nation to consistently reject the Kyoto protocol, the only international treaty so far negotiated on climate change and is still the biggest immediate barrier to effective internationally coordinated action on climate (see e.g. here).

As the world's most powerful nation the US inevitably has a huge influence on the international process - which makes it all the more damaging that in the last few years, as part of a Tea-Party-led lurch towards right wing extremism, one of the two major parties of the US has become dominated by an overtly climate-sceptic, or denialist, agenda. This politicisation of what should be a rational, science-based debate has had hugely damaging repercussions, with a parallel climate-sceptic take-over of the mainstream right wing party in Australia and knock on impacts in other countries, including the UK where the right wing of the Tory party is feeling the magnetic pull of "tea party politics".

A dominant factor in all this has been the power of special interests and the corporate funding of climate-denial along with extremist right-wing politics. The biggest funder of climate denial - as identified by US Greenpeace - have been the Koch Brothers - also identified as a major funder, and even part-instigator, of the "Tea Party". The CCC has already organised two protests outside the London HQ of the International arm of their massive privately owned business conglomerate - see here and here

Our protest the day after the US election 2012 started outside the London offices of Koch International to highlight the role of corporate money in funding lies and disinformation on climate change.  Campaigners then boarded an open-top bus to take the message through the streets of London and symbolically link fossil-fuel industry cash with the US government and election. There was then a demonstration outside the US embassy, calling on Obama to "End the Climate Silence" , speak out and take action on climate change.

Join our Facebook event.   For the role of climate change in creating the Hurricane Sandy "Frankenstorm" see here and here.

 

 

Photo credit: Emanuele Giovagnoli

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Zero Carbon Britain Day 2012


Saturday July 21st 2012

 

The 'Race to Zero' event organised by Southampton Cycling Campaign and the Green Party on behalf of the Campaign against Climate Change

 One of the events around the country promoting the goal of a Zero Carbon Britain by 2030 (see more about that here).

 

 

 

 


See  the Zero Carbon 2030 report, published by the Centre for Alternative Energy (CAT)  to show that ZCB by 2030 is really possible.

 

 

 

 

 

We need a bold ambitious target both for the UK to fulfill its responsibilities to the rest of the world (especially the poorest and most vulnerable)  and to do our very best to jog the rest of the world (especially the rich and powerful) into getting serious about an effective international agreement to bring down greenhouse gas emissions globally. Zero Carbon by 2030 is just the bold ambitious target we need for the UK. For more about Zero Carbon Britain see here.

 

 

 

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