I was encouraged to take in the audiovisual presentation of “All Watched Over by Machines of Loving Grace”, wherein Adam Curtis demonstrates what appears to be a lack of understanding regarding failure in the financial markets. Most foundational year ecologists can tell you that systems are self-correcting, that virtual bubbles get popped, that hubris gets torn down, that over-population gets underfed. Rabbits and foxes. Owls and mice. George Monbiot’s “War On Slugs” because of missing hedgehogs and thrushes. It all depends on the natural resources available to feed the participants in the game. The global economy can only accelerate growth so much before it implodes. There are Limits to Growth. Curtis could be said to be expressing his suspicions that the fake “Knowledge Economy”, the Asian “Shock Doctrine” and the Property Crash were an artefact of a secret evil cabal formed from the vaguely impressed followers of Ayn Rand – but the rest of us all know that’s silly. She was a lovely, sensitive, principled woman, although she could have done with a little more kindness in her life to inspire altruism in her worldview.
CLIMATE VIGIL PRAYERS
1. Christian Ecology Link, the Campaign against Climate Change, and other members of the Stop Climate Chaos coalition are holding an overnight vigil between Saturday 15th May 2010 and Sunday 16 May 2010, celebrating the Earth in the Arts, and reminding the newly-formed British Government to act decisively and urgently on Climate Change.
2. As part of the Climate Vigil, Christian Ecology Link, with the support of Operation Noah, are offering a meeting of Christian prayer, music and reflection at St Martin-in-the-Fields Church, Trafalgar Square, London WC2N 4JJ, on Saturday 15th May 2010 at 11pm (23:00), to which all are welcome.
3. Mark Dowd of Operation Noah, Channel 4 “God is Green” documentary presenter, will address those meeting at St-Martins-in-the-Fields Church, on the subject of the crisis in Climate Change, the damages the World is already experiencing, the failures in the international negotiations, and hopes for what the new British Government can bring.
My Earth Hour day.
10:00 – Do some research about the failings of the international strategy for Carbon Trading. Make a few telephone calls. Type a few electronic mails.
13:00 – Cook a fantastic vegan korma curry for lunch.
17:30 – Turn off the freezer, the refrigerator, the telephones and the computer kit in preparation for Earth Hour. The natural gas central heating has only been on for a couple of hours this week. Its default position is off. There is no longer a television here. The place is strangely, yet comfortingly, silent and still.
I’m in the Climate Union. Are you ?
Yesterday evening, I sat in an amazing discussion.
There were representatives from some of the UK’s best social movements, including environmental campaigns, faith communities and trades unions.
Part of a series of coalition talks, yesterday’s goal was to make progress on forming a united front on Climate Change. There are some politics to do.
Because, well, you know, it’s not just about Global Warming. It’s about Climate Change. And that will affect us all.
So, what do you think would be appropriate Community Service orders for the 29 men and women who held up the coal train to Drax “the Destroyer” power station in June 2008 ?
Should they be sentenced to build a straw bale, lime and mud community centre in Liverpool ? Should they be required to host Permaculture seminars in inner London ? Should they be asked to take part in leafletting and campaigning for the 10:10 campaign ?
When are the intellectual and political ranks going to stop trying to apply universal guilt ? The real question to ask is not, “how are we going to get average emissions down ?” You can’t treat all the people in the United Kingdom as one blurred lump. Around 20% of consumers are conscious. Another 20% to 30% are going to be hit directly by any measure designed to put an environmental tax on Carbon, and will have no choice about responding.
Climate Change worldwide is affecting the poorest first and hardest – an expression used by everyone from Nicholas Stern through to Christian Aid. But it’s a stratification of impact that isn’t just global. The poorest in the industrialised countries are suffering hardship too : people who cannot get their homes renovated after floods, people who have to apply for Fuel Poverty assistance.
Pipped to the news post by other events of global import, social action on Climate Change got completely wiped off the map today.
The necessary Media footage of violence featuring the Police, intended to diffuse tension built up by the BBC and others over the week, was nicely provided by football hooligans, saving anyone having to trump up some charge about the Climate Campers.
Britain is not Fair. The division between rich and poor is getting wider, and the number of those at the bottom of the stack is rising. This is going to have a significant impact on the ability of people in Great Britain to adapt to Climate Change policy.
Social measures must surely include public investment in de-Carbonising each home. At costs 100 times less than the announced new Nuclear Power programme, and an order of magnitude cheaper than the Carbon Capture and Storage demonstration projects, I think this shows excellent value for money as well as ethical rectitude.
Continue reading Climate Change and Social Justice
1st Apriil 2009
2pm : Trading our way into Trouble – How carbon trading hasn’t worked so far, why it’s not going to work and the problems it’s causing in the Global South (CarbonTradeWatch).
3pm : Plenary (all together session) – “Their solutions / our solutions” – with starting contributions on “their solutions” and an open discussion on “our solutions”.
The “protest community” have a very stark choice about options for non-violent direct action and other forms of demonstration this week. Either you do something to entertain and amuse people, or you do something to annoy.
At a stretch you might even manage to do both, but for the most part it is an either-or situation. Do you hold a street party in fancy dress, or do you try to blockade something, lock on and shut it down ?
Do you publish a newspaper pulling apart current Economic, Energy and Climate policy ? Or do you set up a tent outside the London Climate Exchange and refuse to leave ?
Fundamentally, I believe in tolerance. But since I’m tolerant, I’m not going to preach it. However since I’m a fundamentalist about tolerance, I’m not going to tolerate anyone preaching fundamentalism.
It doesn’t take a psychoanalyst to understand the tension implicit in those last sentences. And yet Christian Anarchists live with this complex, tortuous position every day, while remaining really well-balanced, considering.
You’d be forgiven for thinking that London has become the eco-celebrity film-making green-carpet capital of the world.
Gushing lesser and former names have been falling all over themselves to promote “The Age of Stupid”. Gillian Anderson (ex of X) was beside herself at the premiere and hasn’t stopped drawling since.
Doors have opened. Doors to Government Ministers, green pretender corporates, la-la fashion design houses. Anyone who’s green is ganging for Franny Armstrong. It’s like she’s made it to the Moon and made a new giant leap for cinematic (wo)mankind.
[ An address by Jo Abbess to Barkingside 21 Group, Fullwell Cross Library, 28th October 2006, 1 – 3 pm.
[ Meeting Speakers :-
Chris Church, Community Environment Associates and London 21
Jo Abbess, Poole Agenda 21
Lee Scott MP, Ilford North
Harry Cohen MP, Leyton & Wanstead
Jean Lambert MEP, Greater London
Cllr Hugh Cleaver, Redbridge Council ]
[ Put a large wastepaper basket on the table ]
Hello. My name is Jo Abbess and I’m a member of Poole Agenda 21. We have launched a national campaign called “Take Global Warming Seriously” and we are members of the Stop Climate Chaos coalition.
As campaigners for the Local Agenda 21, we frequently come up against the deeply
entrenched conflict between DEVELOPMENT and CONSERVATION.
Until recently, our proposals were considered “ahead of our time”, but it seems that time has finally caught up with the Sustainability Agenda. If the Earth cannot absorb the impacts of DEVELOPMENT, then we must take the CONSERSATION route.
Ealing Abbey Personal Presentation for One World Week
Speakers : Bishop John Oliver, Laurie Michaelis, Jo Abbess
Hello. My name is Jo Abbess, and I get nervous when I have to speak in public, so please forgive me if I start to resemble cranberry jelly…
Over the last few years I have been busy reading and reporting on Energy Trends, Climate Change and Resource Depletion; and as a direct result I am morphing into an environmental campaigner. Along the way, I became a member of Christian Ecology Link, gratefully recognising there are others of faith who are on a similar journey.