News in brief

Climate trial

On 1 March, it was confirmed that ClientEarth, Friends of the Earth and Good Law Project can take the UK government to court over its inadequate net zero strategy.

The government’s own baseline forecasts show that the UK’s projected emissions in 2037 will be more than double the levels the government is legally required to achieve under the 2008 Climate Change Act in order to meet its legally-binding carbon budget.

Climate deadline

If we’re to have a chance of keeping global heating at 1.5 ºC, and if we want to avoid putting the burden of the climate transition on poorer (fossil-fuel producer) nations, then rich countries must completely stop producing oil and gas by 2034.

That was the stark message of the UK’s Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research in a major report released on 22 March.

The report notes that some poorer countries, like South Sudan or Gabon, are so reliant on fossil fuel revenues that ending production rapidly would be immensely destabilising.

Even in developing countries, coal production and use must peak in 2022 and end by 2040.

Nature finds a way

On 24 February, Panama became the latest nation to recognise the legal rights of nature, following Bangladesh, Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Mexico and New Zealand.

The Panamanian law recognises nature’s ‘right to exist, persist and regenerate its life cycles’, its ‘right to conserve its biodiversity’, and its ‘right to be restored after being affected directly or indirectly by any human activity’.

In December, the Ecuadorian constitutional court withdrew mining licences for the Los Cedros rainforest nature reserve because of the rights of nature – which are part of the constitution.

Faslane freshens up

Faslane Peace Camp is having a Big Spring Clean in April and May:

The price is worth it

Madeleine Albright has died, aged 84. On 12 May 1996, on the US news TV programme 60 Minutes, presenter Lesley Stahl asked Albright, then US secretary of state, about the impact of US-backed economic sanctions on Iraq: ‘We have heard that a half million children have died. I mean, that’s more children than died in Hiroshima. And, you know, is the price worth it?’

Albright responded: ‘I think this is a very hard choice, but the price – we think the price is worth it.’

Audio guides to strife

Activist training group Resist + Renew have just finished the second season of their half-hour UK-based podcast about social movements.

It featured a lot of episodes about conflict in groups, including ‘Understanding conflict’, ‘Unhelpful frames about conflict’, ‘Transformative vs punitive approaches to conflict’, ‘Conflict in the moment’ and the wonderfully-titled ‘You’ve named it, now what?’ Audio (and transcripts) are on:

PN emergency talks

In response to the Russian invasion of Ukraine on 24 February, Peace News hosted an emergency online meeting on 9 March with emeritus professor of Peace Studies at Bradford University, Paul Rogers. (See here for a review of Paul’s latest book, with a discount code.)

Over 280 people attended Paul’s excellent talk and a video has been posted on our YouTube channel:

(There’s a transcript on our site.)

We also held a talk on 17 March by PN editor Milan Rai based on his post, ‘How the West paved the way for Russia’s nuclear threats over Ukraine’ (see pp15 – 17).

This was on top of an excellent PN Chat with our own Claire Poyner on 1 March, talking about her life and about the Network for Peace.

The PN YouTube channel is also hosting the video of a talk by US activist George Lakey on nonviolent response to aggression:

The talk, organised by a Quaker group in the US on 20 March, was based on George’s Waging Nonviolence article on Ukraine.

Defend Slade Hall

Current and former residents of Slade Hall, believed to be the oldest house in Manchester, are calling for support in their fight to turn the 16-bedroom building into a housing co-op.

A developer plans to turn the garden into flats and to convert the existing buildings into a profit-driven establishment.

The Slade Hall Project is looking for advice and guidance for securing funding to potentially buy the property in order to protect the site and create a housing co-operative that serves and enriches the local community. Contact:

Militarising space

Did you know that the Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space releases a 10-minute video every month? The most recent is ‘Space Force Becomes More Lethal’ (about the US military command that is in control of the GPS navigation satellites, among other things).

In February, they also released a half-hour discussion with Dave Webb, former chair of CND: ‘Space Tourism and Militarization’.

In December, they had a 17-minute video on ‘Is US-NATO Provoking Russia in Ukraine?’ 

For more, search on YouTube for ‘GNspace4peace’.

Dark running

Nukewatch reports that a British nuclear warhead convoy travelled from England to Scotland on 18 March.

The convoy left Burghfield early for its first 150-mile leg. It passed Oxford and Birmingham to stop for lunch at MoD Stafford.

The second leg was 300 miles, along the M6 and the M74, arriving at the nuclear weapons store in Coulport at 11.30pm.

For many years, the ministry of defence did the trip over three days because it judged that taking nuclear warheads on the roads in the dark was unacceptably risky.

It changed to continuous and dark running in 2005, according to Nukewatch.