Tag Archives: climate

Was Tory crackdown on protest really prompted by this oil-funded think tank?

Targeted: Extinction Rebellion members – here protesting at a Murdoch print works – were briefly defined as an extremist group. Although they have now been removed from the list, Home Secretary Priti Patel has continued to refer to climate protesters as “criminals”.

A Tory crackdown on legal political protest was devised by a right-wing think tank that is funded by the US fossil fuel corporation ExxonMobil, it has been alleged.

And it is easy to see the reason: it removes the right of ordinary citizens to protest against the climate-wrecking policies followed by the oil industry.

According to Open Democracy,

Policy Exchange explicitly said the government should pass legislation to target Extinction Rebellion (XR) in a 2019 report that got the attention of Tory MPs and peers.

The report called for protest laws to be “urgently reformed in order to strengthen the ability of police to place restrictions on planned protest and deal more effectively with mass law-breaking tactics”.

Sections of Priti Patel’s controversial policing bill, which became the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Act, appear directly inspired by the Policy Exchange report.

The Policy Exchange report that appears to have contained the seeds of the policing bill was later cited in the House of Commons by Tory MP Steve Baker, who urged ministers to read it, and in the Lords by Tory peer Matt Ridley. Baker is a trustee of the Global Warming Policy Foundation, a climate sceptic group that has received money from groups with oil interests in the US. Ridley is a member of the group’s academic advisory council.

Patel said openly that the legislation was intended to stop tactics used by Extinction Rebellion. The home secretary first pledged to introduce the bill just over a year after the Policy Exchange report was published.

Policy Exchange does not disclose its donors, but openDemocracy has uncovered that ExxonMobil Corporation donated $30,000 to its American fundraising arm in 2017.

There is much more information on the Open Democracy site (link below).

Circumstantial evidence?

Maybe – but then it isn’t likely that the Conservative Party, Policy Exchange and ExxonMobil are ever going to admit conspiring to silence legitimate political protest.

Source: Policy Exchange: Was oil-funded think tank behind anti-XR policing bill? | openDemocracy

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#PritiPatel’s #NewYearResolution is to direct her hate at individual groups – like #ecoprotesters

Vile.

Priti Patel – who, please remind yourself, is actually the UK’s Home Secretary and not a lunatic screaming from the social media sidelines – has released a video announcing her intentions for the New Year.

It’s ugly propaganda.

In part of it, she announces an intention to clamp down on eco-protest. This comes after the government that she represents pushed through a legal change that allows water companies to pump raw, untreated sewage containing human waste, condoms, tampons and who-knows-what-else into the UK’s waterways.

Her speech may be directed at people like Insulate Britain but you can be sure she’ll use new laws to attack anybody who dares to question the Tories’ right to fill the whole of the UK with their sh*t.

Here’s a quick video summary I did on TikTok (still testing what I can do):

@voxpolitical

#PritiPatel plans clampdown on #eco protest after government voted to dump #rawsewage into UK waterways.

♬ original sound – VoxPolitical

(Apologies to those who want subtitles but I still haven’t worked them out yet.)

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Johnson’s green credibility is blown; he flew back to London for meal WITH CLIMATE CHANGE DENIER

Not the Garrick Club dinner: you can bet Boris Johnson wasn’t drinking water (if that’s really what it was in this pic) at the booze-up with climate denier Lord Moore on Tuesday.

So much for all that nonsense Number 10 was spouting about Boris Johnson’s plane being super-green and its carbon footprint being negated.

It turns out he couldn’t catch a train back to London from COP26 because he was going to a meal with a climate change denier and wanted to get there on time.

Downing Street also said “time constraints” prevented Johnson from travelling by train – and this is clearly more true than all that crap about the environment.

According to the Mirror, Johnson left COP26 at 6.20pm on Tuesday, arriving at London Stansted at 7.16pm.

The train journey would have taken four and a half hours – meaning he would have been very late for the flash dinner reunion for Daily Telegraph journalists, including former editor Lord Charles Moore, who once said the climate crisis was “speculation”.

So there you have it.

After falling asleep at the major meeting to stop climate armageddon – maskless, thereby polluting the atmosphere around national treasure David Attenborough…

He took a plane – the more polluting option, no matter what Downing Street says (have those carbon-offsetting trees been planted yet?)…

And spent the evening at a slap-up meal in the Garrick Club with a self-confessed climate denier.

What a hypocritical puff of hot air.

Source: Boris Johnson took private jet from Cop26 to dine with climate sceptic at members’ club | The Independent

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MP says he never intended to make people colder and poorer – while doing just that

Craig Mackinlay: busy making his constituents colder and poorer.

Check out the complete failure of self-understanding displayed by Conservative MP Craig Mackinlay in this clip from the BBC’s Politics Live:

He said he didn’t become a Conservative – I think he means a Tory MP – to make his constituents colder and poorer.

But he should know perfectly well that being a Conservative MP means doing both of those things.

Consider the decision to end the triple lock on pensions for a year because the Covid-19-related fall and rise in earnings had created an anomalously large percentage wage increase that had not been anticipated when the idea had been enshrined in law.

That single change will mean a massive fall in pensioners’ incomes, that has already been mapped out as far as five years into the future:

An attempt by Baron Sikka to save the triple lock, during a debate in the House of Lords, was foiled when other peers shouted over his call for a vote:

So we see that by voting to abandon the pensions triple lock (as you can see by checking Hansard here), Mackinlay did indeed – deliberately and knowingly – make his constituents poorer.

Remember that, even though pensions are still being uprated, inflation is higher than it has been in many years; the cost of things like heating will outstrip pensioners’ ability to pay for them.

And that brings me to Mackinlay’s claim about making his constituents colder. If they can’t afford to heat their homes then they will be colder. It’s as simple as that.

And his government’s refusal to accept Insulate Britain’s call for social housing to be properly insulated (rather than left to be leaky, as they are now) mean any heat generated in these dwellings dissipates into the atmosphere, increasing climate change.

And that brings us back to Mackinlay’s argument – that he doesn’t think the investment in fighting climate change is worthwhile.

Either he has not realised that ensuring that people are warm, by spending on insulation, would help to fight climate change – or he’s disingenuously trying to convince you of that.

That’s just a simple chain of logic involving two sets of people. Feel free to work out ways the Tories are impoverishing and freezing other sections of society.

And if you ever meet Craig Mackinlay, feel free to point out the faults in his logic.

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#COP26 : How are these polluting politicians going to tackle climate change? With weapons-grade HYPOCRISY?

If you’re doubting the sincerity of the world leaders who are meeting to talk – and I stress, talk – about fighting climate change and the destruction of our eco-system at COP26, you’re not the only one:

It’s true, isn’t it?

These leaders – certainly Boris Johnson and his crony Alok Sharma who is hosting the conference – did their level best to keep the coppers rolling in for their big business funders during the (ongoing, let’s not forget) Covid-19 crisis – at the cost of our lives.

They scheduled two hugely important summits back-to-back – in cities thousands of miles apart. And they are travelling between those places in hugely-polluting aircraft and enormous gas-guzzling motorcades.

They are likely to put the onus to take action against climate change on the majority of the population, even though the 1% – the billionaires – who fund them are responsible for as much of the damage as a full half of the 99% – the rest of the population.

They are likely to ignore the fact that the 99% have no choice when it comes to climate change. We have to use the facilities provided to us by the 1% who control them, and if those facilities are provided using resources that trigger climate change, we can’t do anything about it.

And they are likely to blame us when nothing changes.

Meanwhile, they are unlikely to impose strong demands on the 1% that will actually stave off our impending eco-doom. Such demands would require their funders – remember, the businesspeople causing the problem pay money to the politicians – to forgo some of their massive profits in order to restructure their enterprises to cause less pollution.

And that might mean they couldn’t build their own – hugely polluting – spaceships!

Knowing all this, if This Writer were you, I would take everything these people say at COP(OUT)26 with a massive spoonful of salt.

And remind yourself that nothing is ever going to change when we are led by people of such weapons-grade hypocrisy.

Right-wing sabre-rattlers will only worsen UK-EU fishing rights crisis

It seems this prediction may have been all-too-accurate:

Sure enough, the UK and France are at loggerheads – over fishing rights, of all things. And it seems the UK is at fault.

Under the Brexit agreement, the EU and UK have agreed they will give fishing licences to boats if they can show they have fished in each others’ waters for years.

But the UK has rejected applications from French fishing businesses, quibbling over the amount of evidence that is needed. It is suggested that only around 40 boats are affected, who had either not taken part in a monitoring survey, or were replacement vessels for firms that had fished in UK waters with their previous boats.

It seems to This Writer that this is a classic case of “computer says no”; because these French applications did not tick all the boxes required by an automated system, they were automatically disqualifed. All that is really needed is for a human being to consider the circumstances. Sadly, it seems the UK government no longer has human beings working for it.

France has threatened to retaliate with sanctions described as “targeted measures”, if the row is not resolved by Tuesday. These may include blocking ports to UK boats, increasing checks on UK goods, boats and trucks, and cutting energy supplies.

(That is possible because a previous UK Conservative government privatised our energy suppliers, passing more than a third of them into the ownership of foreign governments, including that of France. French firm EDF controls 10.3 per cent of UK energy.)

The BBC has aggravated the row by publicising a letter by French Prime Minister Jean Castex, saying that the EU needed to demonstrate that there was “more damage to leaving the EU than remaining there”. Shouldn’t our public service broadcaster be impartial?

Of course the right-wing and racist flag-wavers have taken the opportunity to whip up anti-French feeling, banging the tribalist drum in the hope that nobody will bother to check whether the UK’s Tory government might actually be in the wrong (because it is).

,,, With limited success:

If France does take action unilaterally, the UK may have reason to escalate the matter – on a claim that our friends across the Channel have broken international law.

But…

Remember when the UK’s Tory government was threatening to break international law with its Internal Market Bill, that would have unilaterally rewritten the Northern Ireland Protocol? Boris Johnson would not have the moral high ground here.

Worse than “looking like total nobheads”, though, is the isolation in which the UK is viewed by practically every other nation in the world.

Boris Johnson’s government is not trusted at all and France, together with the EU, would be justified in doubting the sincerity of a national government that reneges on its treaties whenever its ministers find it expedient:

In this context, let’s turn to COP26, the imminent summit on climate change, taking place in Glasgow. Why should any nation stick to an agreement struck by Boris Johnson’s untrustworthy government?

If they don’t, though – or if he fails to achieve one because of his innate untrustworthiness, then the world burns.

Climate change campaigner Greta Thunberg has already condemned world leaders for spouting a load of “blah, blah, blah” and achieving nothing. Johnson may prove her right.

We should all hope that common sense will prevail.

But with Boris Johnson involved, if that does happen it will be the first time.

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How is Boris Johnson going to save the planet when he can’t even talk sense to kids?

Boris Johnson as he must have appeared to those kids: that’s right – This Site doesn’t have any pictures of him near children (thankfully).

On the eve of the crucial COP26 climate summit, Boris Johnson held a press conference about it for young children – and showed that they are more mature than he is.

This creates problems for the world, because he and his UK Tory government are hosting the event.

At one point, he actually suggested that we should “redress the balance” (what balance?) by feeding human beings to animals:

Here are just a few of his other comments, according to The Mirror:

The tweet below sums up the general feeling about his performance:

With his government in charge of COP26, we’ll all be out of our depth soon enough – as the sea level rises.

Perhaps Johnson is hoping the sewage-laden tide will cover his shame.

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Sturgeon is to be praised for reassessing Cambo oilfield in light of climate report

Nicola Sturgeon: a principled rethink.

It isn’t often one has an opportunity to praise a politician but this is one such event.

Earlier this week, This Writer criticised Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon because she failed to demand that permission for the planned new Cambo oilfield west of the Shetlands should be withdrawn in the light of the UN’s report on climate change.

“Nicola Sturgeon just met a climate change protester and said to her face that she would not oppose a new oilfield in the North Sea,” I wrote.

“She’s got issues (to consider). Truer words were never spoken – in defence of the indefensible.”

Well, it seems she has reconsidered those issues, changed her mind, and called for Boris Johnson’s mob to cancel permission for the new, polluting oilfield.

In her letter, Ms Sturgeon asked Boris Johnson to commit to “significantly enhancing the climate conditionality” associated with offshore oil and gas production.

She added: “I am also asking that the UK government agrees to reassess licences already issued but where field development has not yet commenced. That would include the proposed Cambo development.

“Such licences, some of them issued many years ago, should be reassessed in light of the severity of the climate emergency we now face, and against a compatibility checkpoint that is fully aligned with our climate change targets and obligations.”

Sturgeon’s change of heart only serves to highlight the prime minister’s hypocrisy.

Having said that we should “consign coal to history” he has proved unwilling to do the same to oil.

Contracts should not be “ripped up”, he said – but that is precisely what is necessary.

And his words are exactly as I predicted politicians would react in the fact of opposition from big business.

Referring to Johnson’s Tory colleague Alok Sharma, who is hosting the COP-26 climate change summit later this year, I wrote:

“He’ll merrily tell all the other politicians that they must switch to green energy immediately; they’ll say, “Oh, but we’ve got this multi-billion [name the money unit of your choice] project on the go, it’s a huge investment that will create jobs for the plebs and MASSIVE PROFITS for us,” and he’ll say: “Oh, that’s all right then, You go ahead.”

“See if I’m right.”

Well, it didn’t take very long at all before I was proved right, did it?

And now it is important to remember that Johnson’s comment is not the last word on this subject.

He is a weakling who buckles in the face of strong public opinion.

So all we have to do is show him that his decision is unpopular and he should change it. He will.

Of course, for all I know, you might agree with him, and want us to go on burning fossil fuels. The lack of popularity attracted by my previous articles on this subject suggests that this may be the case.

All I can say – if that’s your attitude – is, I hope you don’t live on particularly low land.

If you do, then I hope you’re a strong swimmer.

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Climate change: let’s put pressure on the companies causing it


Did you know that just 100 corporations are responsible for 71 per cent of the pollutants that cause global warming?

That was the finding of the Carbon Majors report in 2017. And here are the names of the firms doing the damage (as it seems unlikely that many – or indeed any – of them will have gone out of business in the last four years). They are:

China (Coal)
Saudi Arabian Oil Company (Aramco)
Gazprom OAO
National Iranian Oil Co
ExxonMobil Corp
Coal India
Petroleos Mexicanos (Pemex)
Russia (Coal)
Royal Dutch Shell PLC
China National Petroleum Corp (CNPC)
BP PLC
Chevron Corp
Petroleos de Venezuela SA (PDVSA)
Abu Dhabi National Oil Co
Poland Coal
Peabody Energy Corp
Sonatrach SPA
Kuwait Petroleum Corp
Total SA
BHP Billiton Ltd
ConocoPhillips
Petroleo Brasileiro SA (Petrobras)
Lukoil OAO
Rio Tinto
Nigerian National Petroleum Corp
Petroliam Nasional Berhad (Petronas)
Rosneft OAO
Arch Coal Inc
Iraq National Oil Co
Eni SPA
Anglo American
Surgutneftegas OAO
Alpha Natural Resources Inc
Qatar Petroleum Corp
PT Pertamina
Kazakhstan Coal
Statoil ASA
National Oil Corporation of Libya
Consol Energy Inc
Ukraine Coal
RWE AG
Oil & Natural Gas Corp Ltd
Glencore PLC
TurkmenGaz
Sasol Ltd
Repsol SA
Anadarko Petroleum Corp
Egyptian General Petroleum Corp
Petroleum Development Oman LLC
Czech Republic Coal
China Petrochemical Corp (Sinopec)
China National Offshore Oil Corp Ltc (CNOOC)
Ecopetrol SA
Singareni Collieries Company
Occidental Petroleum Corp
Sonangol EP
Tatneft OAO
North Korea Coal
Bumi Resources
Suncor Energy Inc
Petoro AS
Devon Energy Corp
Natural Resource Partners LP
Marathon Oil Corp
Vistra Energy
Encana Corp
Canadian Natural Resources Ltd
Hess Corp
Exxaro Resources Ltd
YPF SA
Apache Corp
Murray Coal
Alliance Resource Partners LP
Syrian Petroleum Co
Novatek OAO
NACCO Industries Inc
KazMunayGas
Adaro Energy PT
Petroleos del Ecuador
Inpex Corp
Kiewit Mining Group
AP Moller (Maersk)
Banpu Public Co Ltd
EOG Resources Inc
Husky Energy Inc
Kideco Jaya Agung PT
Bahrain Petroleum Co (BAPCO)
Westmoreland Coal Co
Cloud Peak Energy Inc
Chesapeake Energy Corp
Drummond Co
Teck Resources Ltd
Turkmennebit
OMV AG
Noble Energy Inc
Murphy Oil Corp
Berau Coal Energy Tbk PT
Bukit Asam (Persero) Tbk PT
Indika Energy Tbk PT
Southwestern Energy Co

These are the firms whose bosses need to be persuaded to rethink their business plans – and they won’t do that unless public opinion is mobilised against them.

That’s where you come in.

If you have any concerns about climate change at all, you need to get in touch with these firms and express your unhappiness with what they are doing. Call for them to reconsider their approach and to re-model their businesses to conform with a greener agenda.

I appreciate that many of these companies are not based in the United Kingdom. This is an international issue. They don’t just pollute their own countries; they pollute the whole world because we are all feeling the consequences of their irresponsibility.

That said, I would appreciate it if you would share this article with your friends – including those who live outside the UK. The more people take action – from as many countries as possible – the more likely these moguls are to pay attention.

I will try to look up contact details for these firms and add them to this article as they become available. If anybody can help with that, please do.

We cannot rely on our government(s) to do the right thing. The UK’s government is currently pushing legislation through Parliament to criminalise those protesting against the destruction of the planet. It is also providing tax relief to those reponsible for that destruction.

Government representatives and members of the party of government in the UK are lining up to pretend that there’s really no problem at all, and that the polluters should be allowed to carry on stinking up our homes in any way they please. Perhaps these people have shares in the companies concerned.

Remember: There is no planet B. Where are you going to go when the billionaires have poisoned the Earth so badly that you can no longer live on it?

Have YOU donated to my crowdfunding appeal, raising funds to fight false libel claims by TV celebrities who should know better? These court cases cost a lot of money so every penny will help ensure that wealth doesn’t beat justice.

https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/mike-sivier-libel-fight/


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UN report shows irreversible damage to the planet. Why aren’t polluters being jailed?

Pollution: did your home suffer flooding last year? Here’s the reason. And I bet you haven’t done anything about it, have you?

A landmark United Nations report has demonstrated that the planet where we live – Earth – has suffered irreversible damage to its ecosystem because of pollution by big business moguls.

But it does not propose any punishments for those people that would deter them, so they will keep right on with it.

Here in the UK, a group of right-wing politicians has rebranded itself specifically to fight against efforts to clean up industry, we’re told.

The report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) states that

the warming we’ve experienced to date has made changes to many of our planetary support systems that are irreversible on timescales of centuries to millennia.

The oceans will continue to warm and become more acidic. Mountain and polar glaciers will continue melting for decades or centuries.

It predicts a rise in sea levels that will threaten millions of people living in coastal areas with flooding by the year 2100.

But the behaviour of some UK members of Parliament shows that the people who can stop this vandalism of paradise simply don’t care.

They never wanted poor people to have fresh air and clean water anyway.

It seems the former European Research Group (ERG) of far-right Tory MPs (including Jacob Rees-Mogg, if memory serves) has undergone a metamorphosis.

After briefly becoming the Covid Recovery Group, an Orwellian perversion of the words by an organisation that wanted to do as little to fight the virus as possible, it now appears to have become the Climate Action Group – determined to prevent government from halting climate change.

As Richard Murphy of Tax Research UK states,

The plan is to argue that climate science is wrong, and we can’t afford it anyway.

Destroying the economy and national health is not enough, the aim is to trash the planet as well.

He continues:

We have due warning that the right wing are lining up to demand the right to take us to oblivion.

This one is the fight for survival, and we have to win it.

It will be a particularly hard fight, when one notes that the IPCC report does not even suggest penalties for polluters.

Given that the damage they have done is said to be irreversible – that is, there is no going back – it seems to me that those responsible should receive irreversible punishments.

I would suggest that they be removed from their jobs and banned from any executive positions in any firm globally, that their life savings should be confiscated and used to fund initiatives to de-pollute the planet, and that they should face imprisonment for varying terms, depending on the harm that has been done on their watch.

I would also suggest that their firms should be ordered to pay fines for the damage they cause – on an ongoing basis, so each year they would have to fund measures to roll back this damage, according to the amount of damage done. If the firms were to be dissolved, then all of their assets should be taken for this purpose.

Nothing like that has been suggested but it is what is needed. And it won’t happen unless you demand it.

Ah, but you’re afraid of taking part in this, aren’t you?

I only have to look at the response to This Site’s article yesterday to see the evidence of that.

I warned that people are “switching off – not just their TVs and radios, but their minds. They can’t face it. They want somebody else to come along and make it better.

“But nobody will. What these people are really doing is handing the planet over to people like Alok Sharma” who will allow the polluters to carry on polluting if they think they can make a farthing out of it.

I stated: “If you run away and hide from it because you’re afraid that bad things will happen to you in the short term, then just you remember – always – that you are making sure that bad things will happen to you in the long term.

“And that future is accelerating towards you at a terrifying pace.”

And I asked: “Are you really such a craven coward? If you do nothing, then you are contributing to it. You are supporting it. You are saying you want it.”

At the time of writing, that article has been read just 246 times. It is the least-read piece I have written this month.

And that’s because people like you simply don’t want to have to get their hands dirty, fighting to live in a clean world.

Well, as I implied yesterday: if you don’t do anything for it, you won’t get it – and that will be because you don’t want it.

If you do want to live in a clean world, you could start by writing to your MP, to Alok Sharma (as he is hosting the climate summit COP-26 in November) and possibly even to our daft prime minister Boris Johnson.

You could say that you have read the findings of the IPCC report and are horrified, that you don’t believe any businessperson will stop the pollution that is poisoning the planet – and therefore all of us – without sanctions.

And you could put forward the penalties I have proposed, above, as starting-points.

That is something you could do.

If you had any guts at all.

Source: The next fight with the right wing is for planetary survival

Have YOU donated to my crowdfunding appeal, raising funds to fight false libel claims by TV celebrities who should know better? These court cases cost a lot of money so every penny will help ensure that wealth doesn’t beat justice.

https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/mike-sivier-libel-fight/


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The Livingstone Presumption is now available
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HWG PrintHWG eBook

Health Warning: Government! is now available
in either print or eBook format here:

HWG PrintHWG eBook

The first collection, Strong Words and Hard Times,
is still available in either print or eBook format here:

SWAHTprint SWAHTeBook