What the new IPCC report says about climate change and land

9 August 2019 — Climate & Capitalism

Summary of new UN report that documents the impact of climate change on land and agriculture — and how land misuse accelerates climate change.

On Thursday, August 8, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change published a special 1200-page report titled Climate Change and Land, a detailed summary of current scientific knowledge of complex relationships between “climate change, desertification, land degradation, sustainable land management, food security, and greenhouse gas fluxes in terrestrial ecosystems.”

The following summary of the report’s key findings was prepared by Daisy Dunne, Josh Gabbatiss, and Robert Mcsweeney, and published by Carbon Brief under a Creative Commons license.


Continue reading

The Monkey’s Face. The Climate Crisis is Destroying “Real Environmentalism” By John Steppling

27 June 2019 — Greanville Post

Environmental activists have a tough time attracting serious and consistent media attention. And we know what the media does do with its time. (WWF, via flickr)


“The more reified the world becomes, the thicker the veil cast upon nature, the more the thinking weaving that veil in its turn claims ideologically to be nature, primordial experience.” — Theodor Adorno (Critical Models)

“Nature contains, though often unnoticed, an extraordinary amount of human history.” — Raymond Williams (Culture and Materialism, 2005)

“It is obvious that an imagined world, however different it may be from the real one, must have something — a form — in common with it.” — Wittgenstein (Tractatus)

“Year after year
On the monkey’s face:
A monkey’s face.”
— Basho

What I am seeing of late is that the Climate Crisis is destroying environmentalism. What I consider real environmentalism. The Climate discourse is quickly being taken over by monied interests whose desire is to save capitalism before they save the planet. They fly (in jets, often private) to conferences in which avocados (or whatever) are flown in from California (or wherever). And there is aristocracy, literally, in attendance. It feels almost required. The British or Dutch Royals, if we’re talking carbon footprints, are tracking in with size 12 Florsheims– while the indigenous activists who toil and are persecuted in places such as Honduras, or Colombia, are not invited. They are of an other way of life, the life of actual concern for nature. These conferences are a kind of ceremonial environmentalism.

Continue reading

Extinction Rebellion and the Theory and Practice of Oligarchical Collectivism

11 May 2019 — News from Nowhere

This is part 4 of a series of articles entitled ‘Astroturfing the way for the Fourth Industrial Revolution’.

Here are the links to the other parts:

0) Introduction: Some Inconvenient Truths about Extinction Rebellion and the Climate Mobilisation movement
1) Dr Gail Marie Bradbrook: Compassionate Revolutionary… for hire?
2) Political Charities and the Brave New World of Professional Activism
3) Green Gail and the Technocratic Industrialists: Citizens Online’s Digitopian Nightmare

Exactly a month on from the beginning of Extinction Rebellion’s demonstrations in London, the British Parliament has approved Labour party leader Jeremy Corbyn’s motion to declare a national ‘climate emergency’ – being one of the group’s three demands. This comes two days after pro-Corbyn campaign group Momentum declared its ‘union’ with Extinction Rebellion in the Guardian [1]. The rallying of the climate movement under the Labour party is an entirely predictable affair. And already we have cardboard cut-out [2] ex-Labour leader Ed Miliband declaring that “Politics needs to be on a war footing to deal with this enemy.”

Why protesters should be wary of ‘12 years to climate breakdown’ rhetoric By Myles Allen

18 April 2019 — The Conversation

[I’m presenting this essay by the lead author of the IPCC report on climate change, not because I necessarily agree with his views but because it’s important for us to recognise and understand how science and politics collide. WB]

I was invited to speak to a group of teenagers on climate strike in Oxford recently. Like many scientists, I support the strikes, but also find them disturbing. Which I’m sure is the idea.

Continue reading

CAPITALISM COULD COST US THE EARTH!

8 October 2018 — The Planning Motive

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has just released its report on Global Warning. Global temperatures broke through the 1 Degree barrier in 2017 and will breach the planet altering threshold of +1.5 Degrees sometime in the next ten to twenty years. The IPCC has produced a vivid graph showing the thresholds:report.ipcc.ch/sr15/pdf/sr15_spm_fig1.pdfThe only important point to come out of this report is that capitalism is not slowing down this rise, never mind reversing it. It confirms that capitalism is putting society together with the planet, in harm’s way.

Continue reading

Media Lens: Tilting At Easy Targets: Climate Change And The ‘Highly Ideological’ Liberal Mindset By David Cromwell

27 September 2013 — Media Lens

When a senior UN climate official warns that the world is ‘heading for a heart attack’ (The Times, September 23, 2013), there is clearly no time to lose in taking the radical action necessary to avert disaster. But we also have to understand why it is that no matter how many scientific warnings and ‘wake up calls’ are issued, we are still headed for climate chaos.

Continue reading

Statewatch News Online, 4 February 2013: EU: Solidarity or militarisation?

4 February 2013 — Home page: http://www.statewatch.org/  e-mail: office@statewatch.org

1.    EU: Council of the European Union: Visa lists and Intra-Corporate Transferees
2.    USA: BODY SCANNERS: Rapiscan Backscatter Contract Terminated – Units to be Removed
3.    EU: Solidarity or militarisation? Proposed ‘solidarity clause’ legislation criticised for lack of clarity and “encouraging armament”
Continue reading

EMERGENCY – ESCAPING METHANE GAS IN THE ARCTIC OCEAN

29 February 2012

December 2011

Dear World Leader
Emergency intervention to stabilize Arctic sea ice and thereby Arctic methane is today a matter of our survival.

Ameg map

I write to you on behalf of the Arctic Methane Emergency Group, which includes among its founding members Peter Wadhams, Professor of Ocean Physics, Cambridge; Stephen Salter, Emeritus Professor of Engineering Design, Edinburgh; and Brian Orr, former Principal Science Officer at the UK DoE (as was). The Group has received support and advice from many pre-eminent climate science colleagues around the world. The purpose of this letter is to respectfully bring to your attention new evidence of the rapidly deepening climate change crisis in the Arctic. We appeal to you to support our call to put the imminent loss of Arctic summer sea ice and escalation of Arctic methane emissions at the top of the climate change agenda and to support emergency measures to cool the Arctic.

Michael E. Mann: A scientist in the crosshairs of climate-change denial

16 November, 2010 — Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists

Abstract

mann.jpgThe Penn State climate scientist who helped author the ‘hockey stick’ global warming temperature graph describes the campaign to discredit him following the theft of emails, including some he wrote, from servers at England’s University of East Anglia. Climate-change denial groups said the emails showed unethical conduct, but scientific organizations and academic panels said this was not the case, defending Mann and the credibility of climate science. Mann believes the widespread media coverage contributed to the failure of the US Senate to take action on carbon dioxide emission controls this summer. But he cites polls showing that the matter may not have compromised public belief in climate science and expresses optimism that policymakers will force emissions reductions in time to avert truly catastrophic changes to Earth’s climate.

Continue reading

MEDIA LENS ALERT: GATES OF DELUSION Media Distortions And +Real+ Climate Scandals

22 February, 2010 — MEDIA LENS: Correcting for the distorted vision of the corporate media

Since November last year, the public has been bombarded with the story of stolen emails from the Climatic Research Unit at the University of East Anglia, revealing a supposed “scandal” of scientific malpractice, stupidly and lazily named “climategate”. Further media frenzy erupted over an erroneous Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change statement that 80 per cent of Himalayan glacier area would very likely be gone by 2035. Other climate-related storms in a teacup have been appearing in the corporate media almost on a daily basis. This nonsense is distracting attention from a mountain of evidence that human-induced climate change is accelerating and poses a deadly threat to civilisation.

James Hansen, the leading NASA climate scientist who first warned the US Congress of the dangers of global warming in 1988, gave us his view of media performance on “climategate”:

“The media have done a great disservice to the public. This mess should be cleared up in the next year or so, although the damage may linger a while, because some people who paid attention to sensationalism may not bother with accurate explanations of the truth.

“The impression left from this affair is that there are some parts of the media that care less about responsible reporting than about selling newspapers or other ware. Some of the problem may be honest ignorance, as the quality of science reporting has declined in recent decades. And of course some media are controlled by people who have a political axe to grind.” (Hansen, email to Media Lens, February 18, 2010)

Misleading the Debate on Climate

The excellent Realclimate website at www.realclimate.org, run by authoritative climate scientists, has been diligently issuing rebuttals of the relentless barrage of disinformation churned out by the Daily Mail, the Sunday Times, the Daily Telegraph and, yes, even the Guardian, the self-proclaimed flagship newspaper of the environment. (See Realclimate, ‘Whatevergate,’ February 16, 2010; www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2010/02/whatevergate/)

Continue reading

The Myth of Policing By Consent By Kevin Blowe

28 July, 2009 — Random Blowe The full text of an article I’ve written that appears in the current issue of Red Pepper.

In one the bleaker parts of Stepney’s Commercial Road, in London’s East End, is a modern housing association building called Peter House. Just around the corner from it stands another, on Sidney Street, named Painter House. In late September 2008, the Metropolitan Police Federation and the Daily Mail managed to work themselves into a fury at the decision by Tower Hamlets Community Housing to name these properties in commemoration of one of the area’s most celebrated anti-heroes and one of the most notorious incidents in east London’s turbulent working-class history. In January 1911, police hunting a Latvian anarchist gang, who had shot and killed three police officers in a jewellery-shop robbery, cornered three suspects at 100 Sidney Street. The siege that followed, famous locally as the ‘Battle of Stepney’, is remembered for the escape, disappearance and ensuing elevation to popular outlaw status of the gang’s anarchist leader, Peter the Painter, a man who many historians now believe may not even have existed.

But the siege is also remembered for the controversial decision by the then Home Secretary – one Winston Churchill – to take personal charge of the police blockade, call out army reinforcements and then insist that the fire brigade stand by whilst the besieged building burnt to the ground and incinerated those trapped inside. Seldom has any sense of separation between political influence and the supposed ‘operational independence’ of the police been breached more blatantly, or more brutally.

Continue reading