Climate Change

1 April 2018Feature

A Corbyn premiership could open up exciting possibilities for a just transition to a zero-carbon economy

There can be few more dogged campaigners than David Polden.

When I arrived at the Jobs and Climate conference on 10 March at 10am, the start of the 45-minute registration period, the seasoned 77-year-old peace campaigner was already there, distributing flyers to the general public. Believing that the event would start at 10am, David had been there since 9.15am. Given that no one else had arrived during the intervening period, it was a miracle that he hadn’t given up.…

1 December 2017News

4,500 invade opencast coal mine during Climate Summit

The Pacific Climate Warriors held a ceremonial ritual on 5 November in solidarity with the people of Kerpen-Manheim. The German village is now almost completely abandoned due to the relentless expansion of the Hambach coal mine. Photo: 350.org

The two-week COP23 climate talks in Bonn, Germany, in November were met with a 25,000-strong march; a 4,500-strong mine invasion (above right); the occupation of a nearby coal-fired power station; a banner-hang on a coal ship in Bonn itself;…

1 December 2017News

Prosecution failed to rebut activists defence, says judge

On 3 November, 10 Greenpeace anti-fracking activists were acquitted of highway obstruction by Blackpool magistrates court. The 10 had locked themselves together for eight hours, blockading the entrance to the Cuadrilla shale gas exploration site at Preston New Road near Blackpool in May.

In his judgement, the district judge said: ‘I have to consider location, duration, interference with the rights of others and overall reasonableness. If the crown cannot show that these defendants…

1 October 2017Feature

Contrasting coverage of Hurricane Harvey and the South Asian floods

Cyclone Gonu, Indian Ocean, 2007 via wikimedia commons MODIS image captured by NASA’s Aqua satellite

In JG Ballard’s classic novel, The Drowned World, people are struggling for survival on a post-apocalyptic, overheating planet. A ‘sudden instability in the sun’ has unleashed increased solar radiation, melting the polar ice caps and causing global temperatures to rise by a few degrees each year. Once-temperate areas, such as Europe and North America, have become flooded…

1 October 2017News

800 arrested during weekend of mass civil disobedience

PHOTO: Ende Gelände

At the end of August, 800 people were arrested as over 6,000 climate justice activists gathered in western Germany for the Rhineland Climate Camp, taking part in different protests against brown coal mining in the area. The arrests came during the Ende Gelände (‘Here and No Further’) weekend of mass civil disobedience involving 3,000 people. Affinity groups crossed fields (see above) to enter the Tagebau Garzweiler lignite coal mine or to block coal trains to the…

1 October 2017Feature

An interview with a leading campaigner for fossil fuel divestment

Ellen Gibson. PHOTO: Fossil Free UK

Ellen Gibson: It’s been a slogan for a long time: ‘Think global, act local’. I think divestment is one of the campaigns that really tangibly offers people an opportunity to do that. It taps into the institutions and things that they have control over locally, but make a statement at a global level.

I think that’s a really, really powerful thing for people because it’s really getting to the heart of the climate change problem. It isn’t…

1 August 2017News

Rolling month of action comes to Lancashire

You never actually own a lock-on....

Local families, councillors and anti-nuclear power activists joined the first days of the ‘Rolling Resistance’ month of anti-fracking action in Lancashire organised by local groups and national climate activist network Reclaim the Power.

As PN went to press, we were half-way through the month of action, which aimed to disrupt work every single day in July at the Preston New Road site near Preston, owned by oil and gas company Cuadrilla.…

1 August 2017Review

Pluto Press, 2016; 192pp; £18.99

At the heart of this book lies the unresolvable dilemma between economic growth and ecological sustainability. Its key contribution is to combine a global study of the Anthropocene (the ‘proposed epoch dating from the commencement of significant human impact on the Earth’s geology and ecosystems’ – Wikipedia) with an anthropological analysis of how it is perceived locally. The result is an informative, multi-scaled account of our fast-paced times.

Over five chapters, Eriksen…

1 August 2017Feature

With the ever-cumulative emissions growing, a climate activist envisions the world two years from now and the lessons that tomorrow can teach today

Montage of 2005 Hurricane Katrina damage in Bayou La Batre, Alabama, USA (showing the cargo ship M/V Caribbean Clipper and fishing boats pushed ashore near the bayou) and David Attenborough. Photos: NOAA, agency of US Federal Government; and Malcolm McCallum via wikimedia Commons

Sometimes Mother Nature gives climate change activists a boost. She tried in the summer of 1988. She tried again in August 2005, when Hurricane Katrina bullseyed New Orleans. She tried again in the long hot summer…

1 June 2017News

Over 280 events take place in 45 countries

On 8 May, a wedding was broken up on the steps of the London headquarters of the Church of England.

Christ’s bride (representing the church) was about to be given in marriage to the fossil fuel industry, when Jesus objected and persuaded the bride to break her engagement with fossil fuels and to seek forgiveness.

Christian Climate Action’s sketch was one of dozens of actions around the UK during the Global Divestment Mobilisation (5 – 13 May).

Thousands of people…

1 June 2017News

Court's decision favours corporate power over public interest - campaigners

Climate activists block the rail head terminal road at Ffos-y-frân on 21 April. PHOTO: COAL ACTION NETWORK.

On 8 May, five Welsh activists learned the price of nonviolent action they had taken in April to save lives and mitigate environmental harms. Sentencing them to 18 months’ conditional discharge, magistrates in Merthyr Tydfil also ordered them to pay compensation of £10,000 to the Miller Argent mining company plus court costs of £525.

On 21 April, environmental activists had ‘…

1 June 2017Review

Verso, 2017; 320pp; £10.99

The idea that we have entered a new geological era, the Anthropocene – an era characterised by humanity’s impact on the Earth’s atmosphere, oceans and wildlife – involves a drastic re-evaluation of humankind’s relationship with the natural world.However, the authors of this book insist that we have not just woken up to this fact in the last few decades. Indeed, far from being ignorant of the human imprint on the earth’s ‘living tissue’ – including the other species that occupy it – we have…

1 April 2017News in Brief

On 26 January, the hands of the Doomsday Clock moved 30 seconds closer to catastrophe.

‘It is two and a half minutes to midnight’, announced the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists Science and Security Board, warning that ‘world leaders were failing to act with the speed and on the scale required to protect citizens from the extreme danger posed by climate change and nuclear war’.

In 2016, according to the board, ‘the international community did not take the steps needed…

1 April 2017Review

Pluto Press, 2015; 288pp; £18.99

With its black and yellow cover, featuring silhouettes of security cameras and other paraphernalia, at first glance this book looks intent on scaring the reader. Even the word ‘dispossessed’ in the title has classic horror film connotations. And perhaps this was the intention of the contributors, academics and activists who, in dismay at the failure of climate talks in 2009, came together for a seminar to discuss what should be done. The resulting papers comprise this volume, with…

1 April 2017News

Indigenous struggle over pipeline continues

On 7 March, a US district judge refused the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe’s attempt to stop oil flowing through a part of the Dakota Access pipeline (DAPL) near their reservation.

The Sioux thought they had won on 4 December when the US army corps of engineers stopped construction of DAPL for alternative routes to be considered. Then, on 24 January, US president Donald Trump signed an executive decree ordering the secretary of the army to expedite approval of the pipeline – without a…