Friday, 28 September 2018

'Solidarity with the Palestinian People':a public meeting in Brent

'Solidarity with the Palestinian People':a public meeting in Brent, London organised by Brent Palestine Solidarity Campaign and Brent Trades Council, 27/9/2018 Hugh Lanning, Chair of the Palestine Solidarity Campaign speaks on 27/9/2018 at a public meeting in Brent, London organised by Brent PSC and Brent Trades Council . Introduced by Mary Adossides , Chair of Brent Trades Council . url: https://youtu.be/nuoNb38nsQo Kiri Tunks President, National Union of Teachers section of the National Education Union.speaks on 27/9/2018 at a public meeting in Brent, London organised by Brent PSC and Brent Trades Council . url: https://youtu.be/1ONGO7229vM David Rosenberg, Jewish Socialists' Group speaks on 27/9/2018 at a public meeting in Brent, London organised by Brent PSC and Brent Trades Council . url:https://youtu.be/mg5_iiJbgmQ Salma Karmi Ayyoub, of Al Haq, speaks on 27/9/2018 at a public meeting in Brent, London organised by Brent PSC and Brent Trades Council . url:https://youtu.be/QqzhGHrwY9U Graham Durham of Brent Labour Party speaks on 27/9/2018 at a public meeting in Brent, London organised by Brent PSC and Brent Trades Council . url:https://youtu.be/Xo5wnoxkRb8 Questions and discussion part 1 on 27/9/2018 at a public meeting in Brent, London organised by Brent PSC and Brent Trades Council . url:https://youtu.be/DKE_lmK7MSI Questions and discussion part 2 on 27/9/2018 at a public meeting in Brent, London organised by Brent PSC and Brent Trades Council . url:https://youtu.be/gdtj-rvxX-g

Jonathan Bartley: Will you join me to show our support for the Stansted 15?


Fifteen of our friends are being put on trial for terrorism charges.
Their crime? Blocking a brutal deportation flight at Stansted Airport. It was peaceful. It was proportionate. And it worked. Eleven of the people on the plane are still here in the UK.

If these peaceful protesters get sent to prison for these trumped up terrorism charges, where will it end? 


Our Government charters planes to fly people out of Britain against their will.
They send people to places they barely know. They send people to places where their life is in danger. They take an approach of ‘deport first, appeal later’. But for many people, later is too late.
I don’t think the Stansted 15 are terrorists. I think they’re heroes. That’s why I’ll be showing my support outside the court when the trial starts up again next Monday.

The public outcry over this trial should be huge. Over the last few months, our Government’s ‘hostile environment’ for immigrants has taken a battering from the public like never before. 
The Windrush scandal exposed the Conservatives’ cruelty. The bravery of people taking action against forced removals has gone viral. Now, it’s time to end deportations for good.

In solidarity,
Jonathan Bartley
Co-leader of Green Party of England and Wales

PNR UPDATE (28/09/2018)


PNR UPDATE (28/09/2018)

The HUGE news, of course, is that earlier this week, the Fantastic Four truck surfers of July 2017, were handed down prison sentences for their actions to protect our planet and its climate:





















In case anyone has forgotten, their actions were undertaken to prevent what we saw this summer - an unprecedented global heatwave that was such an extreme piece of evidence of dangerous global warming that even the tabloids felt it necessary to carry front pages that drew attention to the mounting Climate Crisis:



Yet, in this bizarre and increasingly undemocratic corporate state that the UK has become, those who try - peacefully - to help the government meet its carbon-reduction ‘commitments’ are now put in prison, whilst the perpetrators & facilitators of the climate crime that is fracking remain outside prison.

It is worth bearing in mind that this is the first time, since 1932, that anyone has been imprisoned for peaceful civil disobedience. Since 2016, when the Tory government went back on its election ‘promises’ about ‘Big Government’ and over-ruled Lancashire County Council’s decision to refuse Cuadrilla planning permission to frack at Preston New Road & Roseacre, several more democracy lines’ have been crossed:
·        planning regulations have been altered to make it possible for dirty energy companies to by-pass democratically-elected local councils
·        an increasing number of injunctions have been granted by High Courts to prevent effective peaceful protests designed to protect Planet Earth and all the species that live on it.

But these prison sentences are arguably the most serious crossed line of all - I, for one, shall certainly be re-thinking about ‘upping the game’. Having been privileged this summer to be part of two Greenpeace actions which ‘disrupted the days’ of facilitators and perpetrators of various climate crimes, I’m thinking that the time has well & truly come to disrupt the days of all those facilitators of fracking whose offices are not covered by the injunction.

To slightly misquote James Larkin:

“The powerful only seem powerful because we are on our knees. Let us rise!”

Only maybe we should be thinking more of sitting down - in HUGE numbers - and linking arms, rather than standing up: the former is much harder for the police to deal with!

However, one piece of encouraging news is that, even if the Tories haven’t understood the seriousness of the Climate Crisis, Paul McCartney has!

His new LP, Egypt Station, has a 7-minute track about the Climate Crisis, entitled ’Despite Repeated Warnings’. You can listen to it via this link:



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Forthcoming Green ‘Mondays’:

1 October - As you will have seen from the covering email, the 100 Women are taking their climate & democracy campaign to the Tory Party Conference in Birmingham on Monday.

However, as planned, Emeritus Professor Terry Sloan, of Lancaster University, will still be the main speaker on this Green Monday.

Although his main specialism has been physics, he has also written much on fossil fuels and global warming.

So, if you’re not going to Birmingham with the 100 Women, PLEASE make a big effort to come to PNR on Monday:

He will be speaking at around 12.30pm.


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8 October - We are very pleased to announce that the main speaker on that day will be Clara Paillard, the President of the Public and Commercial Services Union’s (PCS) Culture Sector Campaigns Group:


She is also the Green Officer for Merseyside TUC, an active ‘green’ member of the Labour Party, and has written several articles about the Climate Crisis and the need for climate jobs.  The more Greens & Reds reach out to, and join with, each other, the greater our chances of stopping fracking - and getting rid of this neoliberal Tory government. As was said during our 1st. Green Monday Anniversary, we need a new ‘Gathering of the Tribes’!

She is expected to be speaking outside the gates at around 12.30pm.

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22 October - We are pleased to announce that, on this Green Monday, we’ll be having a MYSTERY speaker (or two!) from Friends of the Earth! Don’t miss out on the surprise! 

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Other speakers, for other Green Mondays, are currently experiencing a renewed deluge of emails & Tweets - as soon as they ‘capitulate’, they’ll be advertised here! However, once fracking actually begins at PNR, our plans may change somewhat.

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All the best
Allan Todd
Membership Secretary
Allerdale & Copeland Green Party



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Tuesday, 25 September 2018

Brexit: a cry from the Irish border



URLhttps://youtu.be/8cZe2ihEZO8

Sunday, 23 September 2018

Stay Grounded 13 Steps for a Just Transport System and for Rapidly Reducing Aviation



Stay Grounded
13 Steps for a Just Transport System and for Rapidly Reducing Aviation
Please discuss this position paper with your group or organisation, and sign in support, or also join our network and get involved.
Fill in this form

Aviation is the most climate damaging form of transport [1] and one of the fastest growing sources of greenhouse gas emissions [2]. In the next two decades, the industry expects a doubling of air passengers [3]. A massive global wave of aviation expansion is underway, with about 1200 airport infrastructure projects planned [4]. Many airport projects are among the biggest, most expensive mega-projects, some being imposed by governments serving corporate interests.
The Dilemma:
While less than 10% of the world population have ever set foot on an aircraft [5], it is mostly non-flyers who bear the brunt of the climate crisis and the negative effects of airport expansion like land grabbing, noise and health issues. Communities in the Global South [6], which have barely contributed to the crisis, are affected most. The problem of aviation is part of a bigger story of injustice: It is contrary to the need to eliminate fossil fuel use; it is tied to the military-industrial complex; it also is connected with the undue influence of big business on public policy, including trade, economic development and climate. Aviation remains fossil fuel dependent, yet the industry promotes false solutions such as new aircraft technologies which do not yet exist. Also offsets (see below) and biofuels fail to reduce emissions whilst endangering food supplies, biodiversity and human rights.
Who We Are:
We are people, communities and organisations from around the world, dealing with the multiple impacts of aviation: Some of us are directly affected by airport infrastructure and the negative health impacts of pollution and noise from aircraft. Some of us are climate justice activists and young people who want to live our lives on a healthy planet. Some of us live in communities defending our homes, farmland and ecosystems from land grabbing for new airports, airport expansion, biofuel production or projects for offsetting aviation emissions. Some of us are academics, trade unionists and workers in the transport sector, as well as environmental and transport organisations from around the world, and from initiatives fostering alternative modes of transport such as railways.
Business as usual is not an option. We therefore stand for the following 13 steps to transform transport, society and the economy to be just and environmentally sound.
What it takes:
1. A Just Transition 
We must end over-reliance on the most polluting, climate-harming forms of transport driven by a globalised corporate economy. This requires negotiations and collaborative planning for a transition that will not be made at the expense of workers in the relevant sectors – although it does include changes in what we do and how we work. It needs replacement of failed privatisations with climate-friendly local initiatives, good working conditions, public ownership and democratic accountability. To achieve this in the face of a growth-oriented aviation industry also requires overcoming corporate power. We need a transport system that is democratically regulated and planned, promotes and supports the common good and that is integrated and ecological.

2. A shift to other modes of transport
We must shift from harmful modes of transport to more environmentally sound ones. Short-haul and some medium-distance flights can be shifted to trains in regions where relevant railway infrastructure exists, or otherwise onto buses/coaches. Trains don’t necessarily need to be high-speed but daytime and night services should be attractive, affordable and powered by renewable energy [7]. Also ships and ferries can be an alternative, if their energy source is “carbon free” (wind, battery-electric, hydrogen or ammonia).

3. An economy of short distances
Freight transport accounts for a significant share of carbon emissions. Instead of aiming to triple the volume of transport by 2050 [8], we need to reduce the demand for goods from far away and develop localised economies. The aim here is climate protection, not nationalist-style protectionism. This can and needs to happen alongside maintaining multi-cultural and open minded societies.

4. Enable changing habits and modes of living
We must challenge social and workplace norms that encourage excessive air travel. Leisure trips can generally be in-region or slow-travel. Online conferences can replace many working trips. We must question the growing habit of travelling to far-away regions, weekend trips by plane and mass tourism which harms local cultures and ecosystems.

5. Land rights and human rights
In order to stop the ongoing dispossession, pollution, destruction and ecocide caused by the aviation industry and connected activities, the rights of Indigenous Peoples, local communities, peasants [9] and women, regarding the governance and tenure of their lands and territories should be fully recognised and respected. This also helps ensure food sovereignty and to protect the livelihoods, work, culture and customs of peoples. Persistent, health-threatening noise from overflying near airports should be reduced.

6. Climate Justice
Achieving Climate Justice is more than a legal process. It requires societies to prioritise a “good life for all” [10] above profits for the few. This includes justice among all – now and for future generations. It also implies the struggle against all forms of discrimination based on gender, origin, race, class, religion, or sexual orientation [11]. It means that the Global North [12] and the global wealthy are responsible for a larger share of the effort to combat the climate crisis and to mitigate the consequences, including financial payments for liability and redress. Climate Justice also means that people from the Global South have a right to resist neo-colonial climate policies like offsetting emissions, geo-engineering and biofuels (see Steps 11, 12, 13).

7. Strong political commitments
To limit global warming to 1.5 ° C, and to leave fossil fuels in the ground, we cannot rely on voluntary promises. We need binding and enforceable rules as well as clearly defined limits for greenhouse gas emissions. It is necessary that international aviation emissions are part of national emission reduction efforts inside the UNFCCC [13] process and that ongoing corporate capture of public policies be ended. At all levels – locally, nationally, and regionally – we need binding targets, transparency and meaningful democratic participation. While global targets are important, stricter regional and local measures and regulations are also necessary, such as kerosene taxes, VAT [14], ticket taxes, frequent flyer levies, aircraft environmental standards, caps on the number of flights and moratoriums on airport infrastructure.

What must be avoided:
8. New airports and airport expansion
A moratorium on the construction and expansion of airports is necessary. This includes airport-centric commercial and industrial developments serving aviation growth, including aerotropolis [15] (airport cities) and Special Economic Zone projects. Communities that would be isolated without access to air travel must be considered and ecological ways of connecting them should be sought.

9. Privileges for the aviation industry
Aviation should no longer receive special advantage over other transport sectors. Airlines, airports, and aircraft manufacturers get huge subsidies and tax breaks – the main reason why many flights are so cheap. Few countries tax kerosene and there are rarely any VAT or passenger taxes. Some areas of concern include: airline bailouts; subsidies for flights; debt; aircraft manufacturing and purchase; export credits; and state aid on new airport infrastructure, amongst others [16].

10. Air travel industry marketing
Systemic incentives for air travel should end. These include flight-related ads or other marketing by the travel, airline and aircraft manufacturing industries. Frequent Flyer Programs (FFP) should end as they strongly reinforce flying as a status symbol. [17] These strong actions have precedent. Some nations banned cigarette ads decades ago, despite the ubiquity of smoking (and the ads) and the perceived rights of smokers. Some countries have already banned domestic FFP [18].

11. Offsetting
The current mitigation strategy of using offsets is a false solution being pushed by the aviation industry and its captured regulators [19]. Airlines and airports rely predominantly on the misleading premise that instead of reducing emissions, they can offset them by buying carbon credits from others – like reforestation projects or hydro-electric dams that are claimed to lead to emissions savings. Airports also often try to legitimise their destruction of ecosystems by offsetting the biodiversity loss. Carbon offsets do not deliver real emissions reductions [20], and biodiversity losses cannot in reality be compensated [21]. Offset projects often lead to local conflicts or land grabbing. This is especially the case with land- or forest-based projects like REDD+. [22] Offsetting is unjust and distracts from the urgent need to reduce, not shift, destruction.

12. Biofuels
Substituting fossil kerosene with biofuels is a false and highly destructive prospect. Biofuels cannot be supplied at the large scale the industry would require [23]. Substantial use of biofuels in aircraft would (both directly and indirectly) drive a massive increase in deforestation and peat drainage and thereby cause vast carbon emissions. It would also lead to land grabbing and human rights violations, including forced eviction and loss of food sovereignty. [24]

13. The illusion of technological fixes
We must avoid the lure of the aviation industry’s greenwashing. Future technical improvements for aircraft and operations have been identified and should continue to be researched but we must recognise that these are and will be insufficient to overcome aviation’s emissions problems. The forecasted efficiency gains in fuel use are exceeded by historic, current and planned growth rates of air travel and air freight (a phenomenon known as the ‘rebound effect’). Step-changes in aviation technology are uncertain and will not come into effect until decades from now. Given the urgency of emissions reductions, relying on questionable scenarios like a sector-wide introduction of electric planes is too risky and diverts focus away from the immediate emission cuts needed [25]. Even future electrofuel propelled aircraft would be harmful without strong sustainability criteria and a reduction in aviation. [26] For the decades to come, decarbonised air traffic or “carbon neutral growth” will therefore remain an illusion.

Let’s get active
STAY GROUNDED is a growing global network of initiatives, organisations and activists working together worldwide to bring forward a just, environmentally sound transport system and to rapidly reduce air travel. Activities include: supporting affected communities; campaigning; research; policy and industry analysis; demonstrations and direct action. We call for solidarity with people already affected by climate change, with those who struggle against airport projects, with those protecting forests and indigenous peoples’ rights, with those promoting alternatives to aircraft and with those who work for a just transition.
The climate crisis is not simply an environmental issue. It is our societal responsibility and needs to be addressed by joining forces. We invite all stakeholders to join us and commit to the implementation of these 13 necessary steps.
Please discuss this position paper with your group or organisation, and sign in support, or also join our network and get involved.
Fill in this form


References
1 Cohen et al. (2016): Finding Effective Pathways to Sustainable Mobility. Bridging the Science-Policy Gap. http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/pdf/10.1080/09669582.2015.1136637?needAccess=true.
Hall et al. (2013): The Primacy of Climate Change for Sustainable International Tourism. https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Daniel_Scott9/publication/264488262_The_Primacy_of_Climate_Change_for_Sustainable_International_Tourism/
2 Aviation grew over 7% and air freight over 9% in 2017 (doubling rates in 10 and 7 years respectively). See: http://atwonline.com/manufacturers/boeing-projects-another-record-year-aircraft-deliveries-2018
4 423 new airports, 121 runways, 205 runway extensions, 262 new terminals and 175 terminal extensions. CAPA – Centre for Aviation (2017): Airport Construction Database
5 Scott et al. (2012): Tourism and Climate Change: Impacts, Adaptation and Mitigation (p.109), citing Worldwatch Inst. (2008): Vital Signs 2006-2007 (http://www.worldwatch.org/node/4346). “Yet only 5 percent of the world’s population has ever flown.” (p. 68) This estimate is old, but most recent, so we use a conservative “10%”.
6 We use “Global South” for those regions that are often called “developing countries”, which suggests that there was still the need for industrial development and modernisation. The terms Global South and Global North refer to the geopolitical (not necessarily geographical) situation in an unequal world system.
7 Night trains are in particular useful when the day journey time would be more than four hours. They must offer a choice of comfort levels, with fares that are attractive but not too complex and tickets that are easy to book and that are compatible with day trains.
8 International Transport Forum (2017): ITF Transport Outlook 2017 – Summary. https://bit.ly/2JknZWu
10 This concept stems from the “Buen vivir” in Andean societies of Latin America and is understood as an alternative to the capitalist understandings of development as growth.
12 See footnote 6
13 UNFCCC: United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change
14 Value Added Tax
15 Global Anti-Aerotropolis Movement (2015): What is an Aerotropolis, and Why Must These Developments Be Stopped? https://antiaero.files.wordpress.com/2015/03/gaam-whats-an-aerotropolis2.pdf
16 More on different privileges see: Todts, William (2018): Ending Aviation’s Tax Holiday. https://www.transportenvironment.org/newsroom/blog/ending-aviation%E2%80%99s-tax-holiday
17 Gossling & Nilsson (2010). Frequent flyer programmes and the reproduction of aeromobility. https://www.academia.edu/attachments/7559357/download_file?s=work_strip
18 OECD (2014): Airline Competition – Note by Norway. http://www.konkurransetilsynet.no/globalassets/filer/publikasjoner/oecd-bidrag/2014/bidrag-fra-norge–competition-issues-in-airline-services.pdf
For DK: Storm (1999) “”Air Transport Policies and Frequent Flyer Programmes in the European Community – a Scandinavian Perspective”, page 86. http://www.konkurransetilsynet.no/globalassets/filer/publikasjoner/oecd-bidrag/2014/bidrag-fra-norge–competition-issues-in-airline-services.pdf
19 The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) is the specialised UN agency that regulates international air transport and that is working closely with the aviation industry. Its climate strategy called CORSIA (Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation) relies almost entirely on offsetting emissions. (https://www.icao.int).
20 The Öko-Institut (2016) investigated the effectiveness of existing offsetting projects for the European Commission and concluded that most likely only 2% of United Nations offset projects resulted in an actual additional emissions reduction. See: https://tinyurl.com/ybk7xybl
21 Spash (2015): Bulldozing Biodiversity. The Economics of Offsets and Trading-in Nature. In: Biological Conservation 192, S. 541⁻551;
Counter Balance/ Re:Common (2017): Biodiversity Offsetting. A Threat for Life. http://tinyurl.com/yc2uacen
22 REDD+: Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation. See more on REDD and offsetting in the study “The Illusion of green flying”: http://www.ftwatch.at/flying_green/ ;
Further Information on Offsetting: Film “Carbon Rush”;
Spash (2010): The Brave New World of Carbon Trading. In: New Political Economy, 15/2: 160-195
23 The only proven aviation biofuel technology relies on vegetable oils and the only feedstock that would be economically feasible on a large scale is palm oil, which is one of the main drivers of deforestation worldwide. See: Ernsting, Almuth (2017): Aviation Biofuels: How ICAO and Industry Plans for ‘Sustainable Alternative Aviation Fuels’ Could Lead to Planes Flying on Palm Oil. https://www.biofuelwatch.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/Aviation-biofuels-report.pdf
24 For a recent (2014) study on the detrimental impact of biofuel consumption in the European Union, see: https://ec.europa.eu/energy/sites/ener/files/documents/Final%20Report_GLOBIOM_publication.pdf;
See open letter to ICAO signed by 96 civil society organizations: http://www.biofuelwatch.org.uk/2017/aviation-biofuels-open-letter/
25 Peeters (2017): Tourism’s Impact on Climate Change and its Mitigation Challenges – How Can Tourism Become ‘Climatically Sustainable’. https://repository.tudelft.nl/islandora/object/uuid:615ac06e-d389-4c6c-810e-7a4ab5818e8d/datastream/OBJ/download
Peeters et al. (2016): Are Technology Myths Stalling Aviation Climate Policy. https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Scott_Cohen10/publication/296632724_Are_technology_myths_stalling_aviation_climate_policy
26 Malins (2017): What Role for Electrofuel Technologies in European Transport’s Low Carbon Future: https://www.transportenvironment.org/sites/te/files/publications/2017_11_Cerulogy_study_What_role_electrofuels_final_0.pdf