Saturday, 8 June 2019

World Oceans Day should not be necessary

The UN's World Oceans Day really shouldn't be necessary - at least not in this context. Earth, sea and sky - our three ancient realms. Three of the four great 'elements' that define our existence polluted beyond recognition and to the point that they are making life rapidly extinct. So a day to remember and consider our oceans is most necessary.

But we must do more than just think. We must act.

Stop buying stuff in plastic. Say no to the clothes that pour non-biodegradable microfibres into our water when we wash them.

And it is wider than the direct impact of plastics.

Our seas are heating up so stop flying and start campaigning for better public transport. Walk places too. I have pledged not to fly again. Will you simply pledge not to fly in 2020?

Here in the richest part of the world, the top 10%, we are responsible for half of the world's emissions. The poorest half - yes half - of the world account for just 10% of CO2 emissions. If in the UK we live as though there are five planets and therefore need to reduce our impact by 80% (I suspect the figure is probably 90%) then we can still do that and still be in the top quartile of wealth.

Our lives are extravagant - we need to find a new way of living.








Friday, 7 June 2019

£1 trillion is a lot of cash but no future would be far more expensive

Not sure what I dislike most about Philip Hammond's statement that it will cost £1 trillion to become net zero carbon by 2050 - the fact that he questions its worth or that 2050 would be 20 years too late.

It is quite clear that Hammond needs a lesson in climate science. Just a basic one though. Just that we need to make radical changes right now in order for our children and grandchildren to survive. There is no waiting for 2050, no worrying about the cost, no questioning the facts. This needs to be done now. It must be our top priority.

The collapse of society is a very clear outcome should mankind not take the urgent steps rapidly to reduce our impact on the climate and on resources, and to reduce the other types of waste that we frivolously discard.

The collapse of society would wipe out GDP, costing a bit more than the £1 trillion that Hammond is worried about. We need a Green New Deal and we need it now.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/av/uk-politics-48555500/climate-change-target-a-very-big-commitment-says-hammond


Monday, 27 May 2019

Green Party result in Kent: Third place!


Back in 2013, I was on the Green Party Executive and seem to recall discussing whether getting over one million votes should be our target, just 6 years later we have got over 2 million in a brilliant result in this year's EU elections.

We have increased the number of Green MEPs from 3 to 7 and narrowly missed out on 2 more (second ones in SE and SW regions). It is worth pointing out that 18% in the SW is staggering! A huge congratulations to the seven and all those who campaigned.

While we topped the local polls in Brighton, Bristol and Norwich; Kent is a little further behind but not by too much...

Ashford: Third beating Labour and Tories
Swale: Third beating Labour and Tories
Folkestone: Third beating Labour and Tories but only 0.2 from beating Lib Dem to second
Tonbridge: Third beating Labour and Tories
Tunbridge Wells: Third beating Labour and Tories
Canterbury: Third beating Labour and Tories
Thanet: Third beating Labour and Tories
Maidstone: Fourth beating Labour (and only a whisker behind the Tories)Medway: Fifth
Gravesham: Fifth
Dartford: Fifth

It was good news for remain parties too, clearly demonstrating that the mood of the country has changed. This is the graphic from the BBC:

How pro-Brexit (34.9%) and anti-Brexit parties have done (40.4%)

Sunday, 26 May 2019

KCC refutes climate science

The science is clear: we have until 2030 to make a radical change to the way we live our lives in order for there to be a future for humanity.

That humanity, that's your children, their children and all future generations. Quite an important issue I think. Personally it means a lot to me, knowing that my daughter and any kids she has have a chance of survival. It obviously means nothing to the KCC councillors who have denied the science and are refusing to act to secure a future for our children.

They decided that there is no need to stop emitting carbon until 2050, a full 20 years after the scientists say we need to act. That is simply too late. Do they not understand basic English, the word 'emergency' has a specific meaning. Do they think they know better than the climate scientists? Maybe they will be arguing that the world is flat next?

These people must not be allowed to be in charge of the future.

Martin Whybrow, our Green Party County Councillor for Hythe proposed the original motion to KCC's full council on 23rd May. He issued this statement after Cllr Payne (Tory councillor for Tonbridge proposed the amendment that delayed taking action by 20 years to 2050): “How can KCC NOT agree a carbon neutral target of 2030 when so many councils across the country are doing so? No interest at all from the leader of the council, Paul Carter (who spent the ‘debate’ reading papers); claims of exaggerations from the Tories to scientists’ robust 20+ years research (Sean Holden, Tory, Cranbrook) and the claim of “nebulous, attention-seeking and silly” to setting a target date (Matthew Balfour, Tory, Malling East Rural).

“The dinosaurs hold sway for now but thank heavens for all of our youngsters across the globe who went on school strike again on Friday (including many here in Kent) and all of those, such as XR, who are taking the fight to the streets and demanding our leaders address the biggest threat faced by mankind and all of the species that share the wonderful, fragile planet with us.”

https://kent.public-i.tv/core/portal/webcast_interactive/419348
From 2:33:33



A few pictures from Extinction Rebellion who I was protesting with outside:

Image may contain: one or more people, people sitting, shoes, table and outdoor









Tuesday, 14 May 2019

Greens in power on Swale Borough Council

Well we have had worse months! I had wondered if there was going to be a rainbow alliance in Folkestone and Hythe but the numbers didn't work. But who'd a thought it would happen in Swale? Greens part of a ruling coalition in Kent? Looks like they are ready to upset some of the housing plans! Well done Tim and Alistair!

Add to this the news that yesterday's EU poll put the Greens ahead of the Conservatives and just four points behind Labour!



You know who to vote for next week!

Sunday, 12 May 2019

Green election successes in Kent

Wow, what a month! 15 new district councillor across Kent (see below) and some fantastic results here in Maidstone too. In North Ward, Steve Cheeseman received 25% of the votes and was just 136 votes from winning. In Detling and Thurnham, Jim Shalice also received 25% while in Marden and Yalding, Mick Summergill received 24%. With results like these we can easily gain our first seats next year.

Results from around Kent:

  • Folkestone and Hythe: 6 new Green Councillors – we are now the equal second biggest party on the council.
  • Tonbridge: 2 new Green Councillors – elected with over 80% of the vote in one of the highest turnouts in the country.
  • Thanet: 3 new Green Councillors – in one of the biggest ‘leave’ places.
  • Swale: 2 new Green Councillors – kicking out the leader of Swale Borough Council.
  • Ashford: 2 new Green Councillors – through solid local work, engaging with voters.
  • Plus many town and parish councillors across Kent.

The environment has never had so much prominence, thanks in a large way to the work of Extinction Rebellion and people like David Attenborough. It should have been the top issues in elections since elections were invented - what could be more important than ensuring that we have a world fit to live in?

Soon we will get a chance to vote in the Euros too. Let's make the Euros about the environment, let's elect even more Greens on 23rd May and while your at it, please join us!