This post originally appeared on postgrowth.org, I wrote it for the Post Growth Institute blog, and wanted to repost it here as well.
“Good jobs! Clean environment! Green economy!”
That is the rallying cry of the BlueGreen Alliance, an impressive coalition of environmental organisations and labour unions in the US, with over 15 million members. Their existence is part of a growing synthesis between the labour and environmental movements, which is based around two core ideas: 1), that building a sustainable society has the potential to create millions of decent ‘’green-collar’’ jobs, and 2), that the effects and even the mitigations of climate change will have serious impacts for workers and will hit the poorest hardest, unless they have a voice in the debate, ensuring their right to a ‘’just transition”. Continue reading
I’ve just finished reading This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs the Climate by well-known Canadian environmentalist and writer Naomi Klein. It’s the best book I’ve read in ages.
Book cover. Creative Commons licensing.
This book doesn’t mess around. It bravely goes straight to the core. Continue reading
I already knew that national carbon accounting does not include the emissions embedded in imported goods. Those emissions are attributed to the country that produces the goods. Which is why many post-industrial countries can claim to have reduced emissions, while pointing accusing fingers at China and other emerging economies that now make all our stuff. What I didn’t know until Naomi Klein’s fantastic new book This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs the Climate enlightened me, is that the emissions from international shipping are not attributed to any country.
Massive container ship. Creative Commons copyright.
The Green Party have been campaigning to be included in the televised leader’s debates prior to the UK’s upcoming general election.
The initial suggestion of the BBC, Channel 4, Sky and ITV was to have a first round with the leaders of the Conservatives, Labour, the Lib Dems and (controversially) UKIP, a second with the three traditional parties, and a final round with just Cameron and Miliband.
Since then the Green Party have raised a petition of over 275,000 signatures for their inclusion in the first round, and they have received a large amount of news coverage over the issue. A poll by the Guardian says 89% of their readers want the Greens included, with only 3% agreeing with the current proposals. A YouGov poll for the Times said 47% of respondents wanted the Green Party leader Natalie Bennett included. Continue reading
Hello lovely readers, I hope you’ve all been having a gorgeous festive time.
As 2014 draws to a close and the new bubba year is just a couple of days away, I’d like to take this opportunity to write about some of the big deals in sustainability from the last year, sustainability-related things I’ve been doing personally, and some of the things I’m eagerly and nervously awaiting from 2015. I think it’s going to be a big year.
This is a UK-centric post as that’s where I’m based. If you live in another country, please feel free to leave a comment telling me what the big sustainability news from your neck of the woods has been in 2014!
Okay, so I may have been slacking on my blogging lately, but I’ve been crazy busy in the rest of my life. My dissertation and other university coursework is taking up a lot of time, and I’ve been volunteering with my local Green Party each week, campaigning to get our Green MP re-elected. But the most exciting reason why I’m extra busy, is that I’ve become a core member of the Post Growth Institute.
If you haven’t heard me mention them before, they’re an international group exploring how we can chart a course to a shared sustainable prosperity beyond our addiction to growth-mania. Continue reading
Two days ago the BBC, ITV, Sky and Channel 4 announced they have invited UKIP’s Nigel Farage to the televised leader’s debates in the run up to the UK’s 2015 general election. They’ve have not invited Green Party leader Natalie Bennet, nor the leaders of other non-establishment parties.
The TV station’s plan is to have a 4-3-2 set-up where the first round has David Cameron, Nick Clegg, Ed Miliband and Nigel Farage, the second has Cameron, Clegg and Miliband, and the final round has just Cameron and Miliband. All these debates will take place throughout April, 2015.
As you can imagine, I’m outraged by this proposal.
If UKIP are being included, the Greens have every right to be included as well. You can read a pretty comprehensive list of reasons why this is so with one of my favourite bloggers, Another Angry Voice. However my top arguments in a nutshell are: Continue reading
Today I want to give a little shout out for a close friend of mine, who’s been doing something amazing.
My friend Aleesha recently spent eight days skating solo across the whole South coast of England, raising money for The Orangutan Project in Borneo.
Between the 14th and 23rd of September 2014 she in-line skated from Hastings to Plymouth, a distance of 310 miles, averaging roughly 40 miles per day. You can read about her adventure on her blog, Blading For Borneo, which she updated each night while staying with generous coach-surfing hosts. Continue reading
The other day I found out about this really cool new website called Note My Vote, which basically lets you vote on potential new laws before they’re debated in parliament, and tells your MP what you (and your fellow constituents) think.
The website, which has no political affiliation, basically conducts lots of opinion polls, and sends each MP their constituent’s results. It also shows your MP’s voting records and has some demystifying information on how the UK legislative process works.
The site’s logo. Image from notemyvote.co.uk
So on Tuesday, 23rd September 2014, the UN held a Climate Summit in New York, which was attended by over 100 heads of state and over 800 leaders from business, finance and civil society.
Not my image.
I wrote about the aims of the Summit a couple of weeks ago, but basically it was meant to galvanise political momentum towards the all-important COP-21 meeting in Paris 2015, where a global legally binding climate deal will finally be signed.
These world leaders descended on the UN headquarters just two days after over 600,000 people took part in the largest climate mobilisation in history – hailing from 155 different countries, but with an amazing 300,000 marching in New York.
The New York march. Not my image.
The Summit didn’t produce an agreement or decision. But that’s okay, because it wasn’t planning to. It wasn’t a negotiating session. It consisted of all the leaders giving small speeches, offering pledges and commitments for their country, or at least promising to do so before Paris 2015. Some of the pledges are exciting, but most of it appears to have been simple lip-service. However, the key thing is that the Summit (and the global People’s Climate March) has put climate change firmly back on the agenda. That seems to be what UN secretary-general Ban Ki-moon had in mind, which explains why he described it on the website as a resounding success despite many of the national pledges being very vague. Continue reading