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Boris Johnson promises urgent climate action after stinging criticism | Environment | The Guardian
Boris Johnson has promised “urgent action” on the climate crisis, taking personal leadership of this year’s UN climate talks after a blistering attack by the sacked former minister who was to lead them.

“Unless we take urgent action, we will get 3C hotter,” the prime minister told a gathering of climate experts, business leaders and civil society groups at the Science Museum in London on Tuesday morning. “As a country, as a society, as a planet and as a species, we must now act.”

He called on all governments to follow the lead of the UK in setting a target of net zero emissions by 2050, promised support for “our Chinese friends” in their efforts to tackle species loss and environmental degradation, and announced he would bring forward the phaseout of diesel and petrol cars in the UK from 2040 to 2035.
UK  politics  climateChange  COP26  Glasgow  JohnsonBoris  O'NeillClaire  AttenboroughDavid 
8 weeks ago by petej
Brexit is a Tory mess. Labour’s future must not be shaped by it | Zoe Williams | Opinion | The Guardian
The party cannot resolve its hopes into a clear and programmatic set of ideas through the fog of someone else’s fantasy. It cannot make sense of its own values in the middle of someone else’s culture war. Too often, Labour has resolved such crises by simply jettisoning its values in favour of electoral calculation, whose abject failure was guaranteed by that very act. It must not make the same mistake again.
UK  politics  ToryParty  LabourParty  Brexit  immigration  freedomOfMovement  racism  deindustrialisation  jobs  manufacturing  climateChange  dctagged  dc:creator=WilliamsZoe  cultureWar 
december 2019 by petej
Why Corbynism matters | Prospect Magazine
The Corbyn project helped saved Labour from “Pasok-ification”—the fate of the traditional party of Greek social -democracy, which like so many of its European counterparts, has been hollowed out. Imagine if Labour had, as self-styled “moderates” urged after the 2015 defeat, eschewed dramatic rethinking to embark instead upon a focus-group-led chase to connect with, in the words of the then-MP Tristram Hunt, people “who shop at John Lewis.” Who is to say how low such a Labour Party, stripped of anything but aspirational platitudes, may have fallen. By wriggling free of the “end of history” ideological straitjacket that was fastened around formal politics after the Berlin Wall came down, Corbynism has expanded the politically possible; breaking up, as Lawson puts it, “the permafrosted soil that for 30 years had been too harsh for our dreams to grow in.”

If Corbynism were to storm the citadel this winter, its contradictions will be thrown into sharp relief in power. After defying expert predictions, the starting point for a Corbyn government—a broken economy, tattered social fabric and dysfunctional democratic infrastructure—would still be inauspicious. As Tom Blackburn points out, there is a danger that, having avoided the fate of Pasok, Labour would instead follow the path of Syriza, which rode to power in Greece on the back of a rejection of the ancien regime, rather than any positive embrace of its own ideals. Just as in Athens, the vested interests of business and the state could swiftly gut a Labour government’s radicalism.
UK  politics  LabourParty  Corbynism  Bennism  TheLeft  youth  austerity  precarity  CorbynJeremy  McDonnellJohn  economics  socialDemocracy  state  property  socialMovements  participation  grassroots  McCluskeyLen  Unite  Momentum  activism  climateChange  GreenNewDeal 
november 2019 by petej
The Best of a Bad Situation | Issue 33 | n+1
The immediate switch to sustainable energy on a global scale also addresses one of the intellectual stumbling blocks that has bedeviled even well-intentioned climate-change policy makers: what to do about so-called developing societies. Unlike the ascetic cap-and-trade system, we aren’t required by this switch to turn to Indian or Chinese middle classes and say, “we deny you the quality of life that we enjoyed.” We should have never enjoyed it in the way we did — that was well understood, then as now, if for different reasons. The extraction-based political economy that buoys a specific stratum of India, Brazil, Iran, the Arabian Peninsula states, and China is objectionable on nearly every level; there’s no “global justice” legitimacy to the idea that past resource exploitation by Western powers entitles the elites of postcolonial developing countries to squander the future of their own citizens and the rest of the planet. Wholesale disaster under the banner of postcolonial nationalism will not feel better than under the banner of revanchist white nationalism.

Does this sound madly utopian? If so, it’s because the fossil-fuel industry — and that term, industry, must now include governments like Russia’s and our own — has been successful at obscuring how close we are to being able to switch over to renewable energy. The relevant technologies of solar, wind, hydro, and even nuclear power all exist. Architects and green industrial designers know how to make structures that aren’t just energy efficient but even net-energy positive. Under political conditions other than our current ones, we’d have great reason for optimism.

But unlike with other utopian programs, no one seems to see the promise. “Decouple now” and “Renewable or bust” don’t seem likely to harness the diverse interest groups currently opposed to Trump and the Republican Party. Most of us prefer to remain in the dark when it comes to energy. It’s still far easier to imagine the end of the world than the end of carbon-based capitalism. But what other choice do we have, America? Let’s get right down to the job — nearsighted, psychopathic, queer, angelic, diabolical, whatever we are, harness that most renewable of resources, human will, and put our shoulders to the wheel.
climateChange  politics  globalWarming  inequality  refugees  migration  USA  ObamaBarack  TrumpDonald  coal  Paris  COP21  emissions  fossilFuels  socialDarwinism  authoritarianism  racism  fear  catastrophe  KolbertElizabeth  writing  energy  renewables  sustainability 
october 2019 by petej
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