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human activity and the destruction of the planet


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New Extinction Rebellion actions largely ignored by the BBC News

This week has been a long-planned Autumn series of demonstrations by XR across the country. Yet the BBC news has chosen to largely ignore the protests, focusing instead on yet more coverage of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The following link, I hope, will take you to photographic evidence of the demos:

https://show.pics.io/xr-uk-press-photo-selections/

Actions against HS2 have also been ignored. Yet many arrests of peaceful demonstrators have taken place.

At Lambeth Bridge we saw the most shocking scenes of this Rebellion so far. During a critical mass bike ride, a swarm of police vans rushed in and kettled over 200 peaceful protestors. The Met held rebels in the rain for hours, searched and arrested everyone (including bystanders, independent legal observers and welfare rebels) and confiscated hundreds of bikes.

The following photographs give an idea of the extent of the demonstrations.

Peaceful demonstration of cyclists
Demonstrators outside the House of Lords
Arrests in Cardiff
Lambeth Bridge, London

Since I first uploaded this post, there has been another BBC News broadcast. This featured Boris Johnson visiting one of the HS2 building sites and stating very strongly how good and important it is for our country to have the HS2 hi-speed rail link. Later in the broadcast there was a very short clip of some anti-HS2 campaigners demonstrating against HS2. This was hardly balanced recording. Nothing was shown of the destruction of ancient woodlands to make way for the rail line, nor the other devastation already occurring on the route, nor was there any mention of the 100s of protesters who were arrested for peacefully demonstrating against HS2. And the ultimate cost per taxpayer head for the hi-speed train was not mentioned. All this at a time when the economy needs to recover after the Covid-19 crisis.

One XR action which did receive a lot of coverage was their blockade of the printing companies who print most of the right wing press, including newspapers controlled by Rupert Murdoch. One of their posters read “5 Crooks Control our News”. This action meant that newspapers, like The Sun and the Daily Mail could not be issued on time.

This action incensed the current government, most of all the Home Secretary, who claimed angrily that XR were terrorists and that the action was preventing freedom of speech. Did she mean “freedom to tell lies”? The message about the media controlling our news (and printing lies, especially at election time) was ignored.


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Climate and Ecological Emergency Bill

Extinction Rebellion has worked together with other experts and working groups to put together a draft of a Bill, containing their three demands.  The plan is to put it to government as a Private Member’s Bill. They are currently contacting various MPs in order to get it introduced in Parliament.  The draft Bill is currently as follows:

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1GhiqQBB8e3SU710vb6GNn9sUELwVjIOR/view

Extinction Rebellion Universities group in UK calls for eco ...

CLIMATE AND ECOLOGICAL EMERGENCY BILL 

A BILL TO  

Require the Prime Minister to ensure that the UK achieves specified objectives regarding climate change, ecosystems and biodiversity; to give the Secretary of State a duty to draw up and implement a strategy to achieve those objectives; to establish a Citizens’ Assembly to work with the Secretary of State in drawing up that strategy; to give duties to the Committee on Climate Change regarding the objectives and the strategy; and for connected purposes. 

  1. Duty of the Prime Minister – climate change and biodiversity 

(1) It shall be the duty of the Prime Minister to ensure that the UK achieves the following objectives, 

namely— 

(a) reduces its greenhouse gas emissions, in accordance with the provisions of the UNFCCC and the 

Paris Agreement regarding— 

(i) common but differentiated responsibilities, and (ii) respective capabilities taking into account different national circumstances, 

to a level that would, in the opinion of the Committee on Climate Change, be consistent with keeping global average temperature increase to 1.5°C compared to pre-industrial levels; (b) restores and regenerates soils, biodiverse habitats and ecosystems and, wherever possible, 

expands these in area, for the purpose of optimising their carbon sink capacity and resilience to climate change and conserving biodiversity; (c) reduces its overall anthropogenic impact on the variety, abundance and health of both soil and biodiversity. (2) In this section— 

(a) “the UNFCCC” means the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change adopted 

on 9 May 1992; (b) “the Paris Agreement” is an agreement under the United Nations Framework Convention on 

Climate Change adopted on 12 December 2015; (c) “pre-industrial levels” is the mean temperature over the period 1850–1900; (d) “biodiverse habitats” are habitats that are abundant in living species; (e) “carbon sink capacity” is the ability of natural reservoirs includingwithout prejudice to the 

generalitywoodlands, wetlands, peatlands and soil to absorb more carbon than they emit; and (f) “anthropogenic impact” is the direct and indirect negative influences of human action on soils and biodiversity. 

  1. Duty of the Secretary of State 

(1) The Secretary of State must within 12 months of the passing of this Act publish a strategy (‘the strategy’ 

specifying the measures that will in their opinion but subject to section 4 of this Act achieve the objectives.

(2) For the purpose of achieving the objectives, the strategy must— 

(a) include all UK consumption- and production-related emissions, including— 

(i) those relating to imports and exports and arising from aviation, shipping and land-based transport, and (ii) any other consumption- and production-related emissions;

(b) only use natural climate solutions (NCS) as the CO2 removal measures for the purpose of achieving the objectives;

(c) ensure that any negative emissions technologies to increase the removal of CO2 from the atmosphere that are considered would be additional to the objectives, thus increasing its overall ambition, and are only used to— (i) compensate for warming arising from emissions that cannot be completely eliminated from agricultural and industrial systems, or (ii) rectify the UK’s historical contribution to global warming;

(d) ensure that negative emissions technologies are not used to compensate for CO2 emissions from the energy system; these emissions need to reach zero without contributions of the aforementioned negative emissions technologies;

(e) ensure that the variety, abundance and health of UK ecosystems, and the ecosystem services they generate, are enhanced through active restoration and minimising the adverse impacts of domestic consumption and production;

(f) ensure that all necessary steps are taken so that supply chains of imports and exports minimise adverse impacts on ecological systems, including inter alia soils and biodiverse habitats overseas, and implement conditions that protect their health and resilience;

(g) ensure that (a), (b), (c), (d), (e) and (f) are applied to every five-yearly carbon budget that the CCC recommends to the UK Government.

(3) In this section— 

“natural climate solutions (NCS)” includes but is not restricted to reforestation, sustainable land management and restoration of wetlands, peat bogs and coastal ecosystems.

(4) Before publishing the strategy, the Secretary of State must issue a call for tenders for an independent body to establish a Citizens’ Assembly called the Citizens’ Assembly on the Climate and Ecological Emergency (the ‘Citizens’ Assembly’) to work in cooperation with the Secretary of State and to recommend measures to be included in the strategy. 

  1. Functions of the Citizens’ Assembly 

(1) It shall be the duty of the Citizens’ Assembly to— 

(a) consider information provided by experts, and any other persons who have submitted evidence;

(b) deliberate and make recommendations on the measures needed for the United Kingdom to achieve the objectives;

(c) publish a report, or reports, on any decisions reached and the reasons for them, as soon as is reasonably practicable;

(d) advise the Secretary of State on measures to be included in the strategy pursuant to section 2(4);

(e) ensure that the measures adopted to achieve the objectives— 

(i) take into consideration the United Kingdom’s present and historical role in global emissions and comparative economic situation as indicated by the Paris Agreement;

(ii) do not disproportionately impact deprived communities;

(iii) do not disproportionately impact people with protected characteristics contained within section 4 of the Equality Act 2010; and

(iv) include adequate financial support and retraining for workers in greenhouse gas emission-intensive sectors and industries which are impacted upon by the proposed measures.

(2) In this section— 

“a deprived community” is a community with a high rating using government indices of deprivation. 

  1. Decisions by the Secretary of State 

(1) On receiving the recommendations from the Citizens’ Assembly, the Secretary of State must— 

(a) include in the strategy those recommendations that have the support of at least eighty percent of the Citizens’ Assembly that are not measures requiring— 

(i) the disbursement of public funds, or (ii) charges upon the people;

(b) consider and try to reach agreement with the Citizens’ Assembly regarding recommendations that have the support of at least eighty percent of the Citizens’ Assembly that are measures requiring— 

(i) the disbursement of public funds, or (ii) charges upon the people; (c) consider measures that have the support of more than two thirds of the Citizens’ Assembly but less than eighty percent.

(2) The Secretary of State must publish their decisions regarding recommendations by the Citizens’ Assembly and the reasons for them.

(3) The Secretary of State must implement the strategy to achieve the objectives. 

  1. Review of the strategy 

(1) If in the opinion of the Secretary of State or the Citizens’ Assembly the objectives will not be achieved by the strategy, the Secretary of State must review the strategy and revise it so that the objectives will be met.

(2) The Citizens’ Assembly may make recommendations regarding the revision of the strategy and in such a case section 4(1) and (2) shall apply.

(3) The Secretary of State must implement any revised strategy. 

  1. Duty of the Committee on Climate Change 

The following section shall be inserted into the Climate Change Act 2008: 

“33A It is the duty of the Committee on Climate Change to— 

(1) give the opinion specified in section 1 of the Climate and Ecological Emergency Act 2020;

(2) decide on a methodology for calculating the United Kingdom’s total CO2 consumption emissions

(3) develop its advice based upon the perspectives of the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and methodologies from The Biodiversity Metric 2.0 (4) decide on a methodology for calculating the health of ecosystems, including measures of species’ abundance, the quality and scope of biodiverse habitats and soil quality and contamination;

(5) set annual carbon budgets that supersede the existing carbon budgets and publish an annual report showing the progress towards meeting the objectives and implementing the recommendations; and

(6) base its advice only on a transparent scientific and mathematical interpretation of the objectives and explicitly communicated related value judgments. 

  1. Short title, Extent and Commencement 

(1) This Act may be cited as the Climate and Ecological Emergency Act 2020

(2) This Act extends to the whole of the UK provided that the Secretary of State shall secure the consent of the Welsh Assembly Government and the Scottish Parliament before taking any action in Wales and Scotland respectively on devolved matters.

(3) This Act shall, subject to subsection (2), come into force on the day it receives Royal Assent. 

The drafting of the CEE bill gratefully acknowledges the expert contributions and insights of 

Prof. Kevin Anderson 

Dr. James Dyke 

Dr. Charlie Gardner 

Prof. Dave Goulson 

Prof. Tim Jackson 

Dr. Joeri Rogelj 

Prof. Graham Smith 

Mr. Robert Whitfield 



Update 3rd September 2020:

The CEE Bill was successfully tabled today with the maximum number of 11 co-sponsors from across 7 political parties covering all 4 nations in the UK. On top of this, more than 10 MPs have already backed the Bill as well.

Sadly, the date for the next ‘reading’ of the Bill isn’t until March 12th, 2021 – far too far away. It’s not good enough.

We need to get as many MPs as possible to back the bill. Join rebels in Westminster and call or email your MP now.



4th September 2020:

From Extinction Rebellion:

Hello,

We’ve done it—the first stage of the CEE Bill campaign is complete!

On Wednesday, 2nd September, Caroline Lucas MP tabled the Climate and Ecological Emergency Bill in Parliament. As anyone watching on Parliament TV can tell you, bill presentations are quick—blink and you miss it! But make no mistake, this was a historic moment. 

Caroline Lucas has sent us this message of gratitude for all of us who helped pass this milestone:

Twelve MPs can be named on a private member’s bill when it’s introduced, and we managed to get cross-party support from six political parties. Here are the co-sponsors of the CEE Bill, who supported Caroline yesterday:

  • Alan Brown (Scottish National Party, Kilmarnock and Loudoun)
  • Stephen Farry (Alliance, North Down)
  • Claire Hanna (Social Democratic and Labour Party, Belfast South)
  • Wera Hobhouse (Liberal Democrat, Bath)
  • Ben Lake (Plaid Cymru, Ceredigion)
  • Clive Lewis (Labour, Norwich South)
  • Liz Saville Roberts (Plaid Cymru, Dwyfor Meirionnydd)
  • Tommy Sheppard (Scottish National Party, Edinburgh East) 
  • Alex Sobel (Labour/Co-operative, Leeds North West)
  • Zarah Sultana (Labour, Coventry South)
  • Nadia Whittome (Labour, Nottingham East)

But it doesn’t stop there—more and more MPs are also supporting the Bill. The momentum is growing. Has your MP stepped up yet?

  • Fleur Anderson (Labour, Putney)
  • Paula Barker (Labour, Wavertree)
  • Richard Burgon (Labour, Leeds East)
  • Ian Byrne (Labour, Liverpool West Derby)
  • Wendy Chamberlain (Lib Dem, North East Fife)
  • Daisy Cooper (Liberal Democrat, St. Albans)
  • Rosie Cooper (Labour, West Lancashire)
  • Rosie Duffield (Labour, Canterbury)
  • Lilian Greenwood (Labour, Nottingham South)
  • Kim Johnson (Labour, Liverpool Riverside)
  • Rebecca Long-Bailey (Labour, Salford and Eccles)
  • Kenny MacAskill (Scottish National Party, East Lothian)
  • John McNally (Scottish National Party, Falkirk)
  • Layla Moran (Liberal Democrat, Oxford West and Abingdon)
  • Brendan O’Hara (Scottish National Party, Argyll and Bute)
  • Bell Ribeiro-Addy (Labour, Streatham)
  • Jim Shannon (Democratic Unionist Party, Strangford)
  • Claudia Webbe (Labour, Leicester East)
  • Dr. Philippa Whitford (Scottish National Party, Central Ayrshire)
  • Mick Whitley (Labour, Birkenhead)
  • Hywel Williams (Plaid Cymru, Arfon)
  • Mohammad Yasin (Labour, Bedford)

Please show your love and send a ‘thank you’ by email, phone or social media (using #CEEbill) if you’re a constituent of any of these MPs. We need to let them know that we appreciate their backing!

We’ll keep you posted on the next stage of the campaign, but for now, it’s really important to keep getting the support of as many MPs as possible. 

So if you haven’t already, ask your MP to support the CEE Bill and—if they are—whether they’ll also add their name to the Early Day Motion 832 (which is one way to demonstrate their backing). For tips on tweets and letter writing, check out the campaign resources on our website. 



23rd September 2020

The CEE Bill now has its own website, which lists which MPs are supporting it (currently 50+)

https://www.ceebill.uk/bill

_____________________________________________________________________________


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Thousands Calling for a Just Recovery

Today, the following email was received from 350.org, a global climate movement.

“Last week, we reached out for help in telling some of the most powerful people in the world to spend coronavirus recovery money on people, not polluters.

Thousands of us took action. 350 supporters and volunteers across the globe tweeted, emailed, made face masks and even took to the streets for COVID-19 safe actions. From Brazil to Belgium we rose up together and made it impossible for politicians to look away. In Frankfurt, climate activists blockaded the European Central Bank in protest at their funding of polluters. In the heart of London, youth strikers projected demands for change onto the Treasury and the Bank of England.

We showed world leaders that we’re not stopping until we get the just recovery we asked for. We will keep taking action online and offline over the coming months to ensure that recovery money spent by governments and central banks goes towards building back better – rather than returning to a business-as-usual that wasn’t working.

So take a few moments out of your day to appreciate the power of this movement and strengthen your commitment to the fight for a #JustRecovery. Watch and share the inspiring wrap-up video from last week’s actions that happened around the world. 

https://act.350.org/go/205204?t=6&utm_medium=email&utm_source=actionkit&akid=126665%2E3178943%2EH-xYSS

Last week two summits took place, similar in that they were both gatherings of immensely powerful people making decisions regarding trillions of euros which would affect all of us and our post-coronavirus future. One was a gathering of European leaders and the other a meeting of finance ministers and central bankers from the world’s twenty richest countries.

What was the outcome of these meetings, you may ask? Did we get the Just Recovery we asked for? The short answer is: not yet. But we knew going in that a real just recovery wouldn’t be about any one meeting. It’s a struggle that will continue until we’ve won a better, brighter future for everyone.

Last week, together, we achieved something very special: we changed the conversation, and we showed world leaders the power of this growing movement for a just recovery. 

We will keep fighting, keep pushing, keep shouting until we get what this world needs and deserves. A recovery that prioritises workers over polluters, that puts the health of people over the profits of corporations and that builds solidarity and community across borders. Thank you for being part of this fight! “



 


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Residents of Cairns in Australia speak out for the future of the Great Barrier Reef

Many people across the world are calling for changes in the aftermath of the Covid-19 pandemic, to save the world from climate change.  In Australia, this is the case too.  A recent email from the AMCS (Australian Marine Conservation Society) included a short piece of video which has been posted on Facebook. In the video, people from Cairns in Northern Queensland, describe their grief at the damage being sustained to the Reef by global warming and they cry out for policy changes, to rescue it from further harm.  It is heart-breaking:

Cairns is a large town in Northern Queensland, probably the closest town to the Great Barrier Reef and the livelihood of many of its citizens is dependent on the tourism that the GBR attracts.  But, more than that, most of them have grown up experiencing the beauty of the Reef and don’t want to lose that, especially for their children. Some of them state that their children may never see it.

GBR

One woman says that millions of tourists come to the Great Barrier Reef every year saying “I’ve heard your reef is dying and I’ve come to see it before it’s dead.” She find this devastating.  “As if we’ve already given up.”

I lived in Mackay, to the south of Cairns, for a year, back in the 60s, and also stayed on Magnetic island, just off Townsville, for a while, as well as on Middle Percy Island, 70 miles south east of Mackay – all of these places along the Great Barrier Reef coast are very special.  So I can identify very strongly with the emotions shared by the people in the video above.  We cannot stand by and watch this amazing and beautiful reef die of the coral bleaching caused by the warmer oceans that surround it. The marine life that it sustains is also similarly iconic.

GBRmarinelife



Another recent posting describes how climate change and pesticides in the water can work together to destroy fish populations, especially reef fish:

https://theconversation.com/coral-reefs-climate-change-and-pesticides-could-conspire-to-crash-fish-populations-142689

The article in The Conversation starts:

“Australia barely had time to recover from record breaking fires at the start of 2020 before the Great Barrier Reef experienced its third mass coral bleaching event in the past five years. Only five of these have occurred since records began in the 1980s. High water temperatures and marine heatwaves, caused by climate change, are making coral bleaching an almost regular occurrence in some parts of the world.

Coral reefs are among the most vibrant ecosystems on the planet, but they are also very sensitive to stress. Meteorologists predict that 2020 is likely to be the hottest year on record, threatening yet more bleaching on reefs around the world. But it’s not just the coral itself that suffers.

Reef fishes exposed to high temperatures tend not to behave normally. Underwater noise and pollutants, such as agricultural pesticides, can have the same effect. Juvenile fish exposed to this kind of stress are less able to identify and avoid predators. But scientists aren’t sure exactly why this is.

In our new study, we found that a double whammy of higher water temperatures and pesticide exposure may be affecting the development of baby reef fish, with consequences for the entire ecosystem.”




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The impact of bushfires on coastal and marine environments

This is a report, published by the Australian Marine Conservation Society (AMCS).

Bushfires Impacts on our oceans report Australian Marine Conservation Society

It can be found at:

Bushfire-Report_February-2020_Final-full-for-web-1.pdf

Bascially, what the report outlines is that the full effects of the summer of disasters will take months to materialise. The report shed light on the dangers to guard against in the critical months ahead.

  • Sediment slugs harming habitats and wildlife: Nutrients, ash and debris released by bushfires can damage habitats and form into sediment slugs following heavy rains – which slowly work their way to our oceans, harming aquatic life along the way.
  • Contamination: Metals and other contaminants released by bushfires in sediment, smoke and ash can change the physiology and behaviours of marine animals and work their way into the food chain.
  • Algal blooms killing fish: Harmful algal blooms caused by nutrient enrichment can kill fish and contaminate oyster farms, forcing their closure;
  • Damage to protective vegetation: Debris, sediment and ash washed into seagrass meadows, mangrove forests and reefs could further burden these already pressured environments.

Critically, the research report has uncovered alarming gaps in the monitoring of waterways and a lack of infrastructure and resources for responding to the threats. Unless these gaps are addressed urgently, many species face an uncertain future in the face of intensifying bushfire seasons.

The report recommends:

  • Monitoring of waterways: a comprehensive and integrated monitoring program for coastal and marine environments, that builds understanding of bushfire impacts and informs responses.
  • Urgent rehabilitation funding: Increased support will be vital for programs targeting the rehabilitation of the most vulnerable catchments and restoration of damaged coastal environments.
  • Rapidly cut carbon emissions: leaders must deal with the root cause of intensifying bushfires – rising temperatures – including swift and effective action to cut carbon emissions and transition to renewable energy sources.


 


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Appeal Court rules that Heathrow airport expansion is now illegal

27th February 2020: an historic day!

This morning the Court of Appeal judged the government’s plans for Heathrow expansion to be illegal on climate change grounds. Heathrow is one of the biggest single sources of greenhouse gases in the UK. And airport expansion – at Heathrow or any other airport – simply cannot go ahead if we’re to prevent further climate breakdown.

The appeal court appreciated this and ruled that ignoring the Paris Agreement is illegal. Building a third runway does not comply with or support the UK’s targets to reduce emissions and move towards a sustainable future. The government will accept the court’s decision.

Today, this landmark victory confirms that ordinary people have the power to bring about change. The carbon economy’s days are numbered.

heathrowairport



7th May 2020:

A statement from Friends of the Earth states:

“Heathrow Airport Limited and developers Arora Holdings have just been given permission to appeal against the decision to stop them building a climate-wrecking third runway. Sadly this story isn’t over.

When we won our historic legal case in February we knew this might happen. Both companies quickly applied to appeal so we didn’t take anything for granted.

Our legal team has therefore been busy preparing for this moment. And the good news is that we’re confident that the Supreme Court will agree with us that it was illegal for the government to support a third runway without considering what this meant for meeting the Paris Agreement and the total climate impacts the development could have.”

So, it’s not over yet!



 


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Greta Thunberg and David Attenborough speak to each other

An interesting conversation between Greta and David was set up recently by the BBC and can be seen on youtube:

It appears to have been set up by the BBC, as Mishal Hussain was the interviewer in the process.  Another report stated that the BBC was somewhat embarrassed to send Mishal to Sweden by air, when Greta has stood out so firmly against air travel.



 


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Actions politicians and public could take to reduce UK carbon emissions

This a youtube presentation by Prof. Keith Barnham (Imperial College, London) to help campaigners to know which issues to raise during the 2019 General Election.

It focuses on renewable energy and whether non-renewables are needed as a back-up.  He concludes that solar power and Anaerobic Digestion (AD), of farm animal and crop waste and food waste, which can generate biomethane for electricity and and gas grids are perfectly adequate to provide back-up, so that non-renewables no longer need to be used or developed.

He suggests that a new government should adopt this strategy.



 


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UK Government “bans” fracking – or is this just an election ploy?

Environmental campaigners across the country are celebrating because of the announcement that fracking in the UK is to be banned. The Government decision was based on a report from the OGA, drawing attention to an increased risk of earthquakes.

fracking

Some are saying that it is not a ban but a “morotorium” and that there is nothing to stop the government from reintroducing subsidies for fracking companies, were they to win the December 12th election.  I personally believe that the Conservative party is trying to woo the environmentalists vote, by appearing to have a green agenda.  So, lets look at some of the evidence, much of it provided by members of Scientists for Global Responsibility (SGR).

First of all, what is the difference between the words ban and moratorium?  Ban means to prohibit completely, whereas a moratorium is a temporary prohibition of an activity. This is not clear on a first read on the Government website. It starts by saying it is to no longer support fracking but further down uses the word moratorium. So, there you have it. It is an election ploy or “an electoral greenwashing gambit”, as described by one SGR writer. Fracking protesters can stop rejoicing at least until after December 12th, when we know what kind of government is to be running the country.

SGR wrote: “The extent of the government’s greenwashing yesterday is becoming clearer…

As they announced the moratorium (but not complete ban) on fracking, they were also preparing an announcement on the go-ahead for a new coal mine in Cumbria. There has been a lot less media coverage of this issue than the fracking announcement – but at least the local BBC news picked up the story:

Woodhouse Colliery: First UK deep coal mine in decades to go ahead
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-cumbria-50274212

SGR has been working with the campaigners against this mine and the huge carbon emissions that it would lead to here:

The return of British coal?
https://www.sgr.org.uk/resources/return-british-coal

Another source (Climate Action Network West Midlands CANWM) has pointed out that the report, on which the Government based it’s decision, came from the Oil and Gas Authority, whose role is to regulate, influence and promote the UK oil and gas industry in order to maximise the economic recovery of the UK’s oil and gas resources“. (https://www.ogauthority.co.uk/about-us/what-we-do/).  The OGA have an official policy to Maximise Economic Recovery of UK gas and oil reserves (https://www.ogauthority.co.uk/regulatory-framework/mer-uk-strategy/ ).

The MER UK policy completely contradicts efforts to migrate to renewable energy.  In addition, UK Government invests billions in fossil fuels subsidies – see https://www.euractiv.com/section/energy/news/uk-revealed-as-eu-champion-of-fossil-fuel-subsidies/   Globally, banks have invested $1.9t in fossil fuels in three years since COP21 in Paris.  This site https://www.ran.org/bankingonclimatechange2019/#grades-panel  has a lot of detail about investment by several banks including HSBC in various aspects of fossil fuel industry – coal, tar sands, arctic exploration etc.

frackingsite



Another report in the “i” on 11th November 2019 suggests that the Prime Minister has made a U turn on the issue:

Boris Johnson accused of fracking U-turn as firms ‘could be allowed to drill for shale gas’ just days after Tories announced ban

Exclusive: The Government has slipped out a document which reveals ministers may allow more fracking in future”

The article, by Hugo Gye, includes the following:

“The Tories announced they would stop all fracking in England at the start of the general election campaign – but just three days later, they quietly issued a document which contradicts that promise, i can reveal.

Civil servants said that “future applications will be considered on their own merits” despite the supposed ban. And they also said there was “considerable merit” in loosening planning laws so local councils would no longer be able to block firms from drilling for shale gas.”

Further details can be found at:

https://inews.co.uk/news/politics/boris-johnson-fracking-ban-u-turn-shale-gas-general-election-921414



It all sounded a bit too good to be true!


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Extinction Rebellion’s October Actions: “the sun rises on a new wave of rebellion”

This has been copied from XR’s latest email:

“It’s happening. It can’t be ignored. It’s only growing stronger.

It’s a rebellion.

We’re back on the roads – with as much joy, fear, love and courage as ever. We’re shutting down cities – not because it’s fun (though it can be), but because it’s our last option for stopping this toxic system in its tracks.

Our world is dying. To save it, we’ll need everyone – wherever and whoever you are – to do your bit.

And though we’re still somewhat short of the shared, global consciousness we need, we’re getting ever closer.

This International Rebellion which began on Monday is so vast it’s almost impossible to take it all in. Thousands of people flood 60 cities across the globe, with over 700 brave rebels arrested as they stand up for their right to life, and that’s just the start.

It’s not just a question of quantity. With every season that passes, we grow more organised, more unified, more creative, more courageous.

Just look at the 11 vibrant sites held around the centre of London, the choir of Amsterdam rebels, the blood poured on the bull statue in Wall Street in New York, the ambition of our banner-hangers, the Red Brigade arriving in Tel Aviv and Istanbul, underwater protest art in Mexico, and the boats of every shape and size that we are so desperately trying to keep afloat.

We’re a movement unlike any other.

This newsletter team will do everything we can to keep up and to showcase the unreal brilliance of our young movement. We can only apologise in advance for not capturing every aspect of this glorious, unfathomably complex process that is our rebellion.

We hope that wherever this reaches you – whether you’re superglued to a road, camping out in the rain, deep in spreadsheets and planning, or at home drinking your coffee – you will be touched by what is going on right now all over the world.

We hope you understand that it’s for you, and for every human being alive and not yet alive.

You are not alone in this. And it’s not too late to join in.

If you’d like to help, please check out our guide and learn more about XR.

To connect to rebels in your local area, get in touch with your nearest XR group. If there’s no active group near you, you can start your own!

If you’d like to see previous newsletter issues, you can find them here.

As we enter this crucial phase in human history, our Rebellion will need money to make sure our message is heard. Anything you can give is appreciated.

London Blockades Westminster

7 OCT | London, UK

Over 275 rebels have been arrested on a momentous day which marks the beginning of XR’s October Rebellion in London. Early on Monday morning, rebels from all over the country mobilised and successfully took 11 main sites around Westminster in central London, including two key bridges.

Rebels drove a hearse into the ‘Burning Earth’ site in Trafalgar Square, parked it, and locked and glued themselves to the vehicle. The ‘undertaker’ in the drivers’ seat D-locked himself to the steering wheel by the neck.

Footage broadcast on ITV News shows police officers desperately trying to prevent more rebels gluing themselves underneath the vehicle, as well as a deeply moving moment where a father locked onto the underside of the hearse reveals why he is taking this drastic measure. In the back of the hearse, rebels had mounted a coffin painted with the words ‘OUR FUTURE’.

 

Meanwhile, a tower of scaffolding was positioned in the road, which rebels climbed and glued onto. They held this for most of the day, before being lifted off in orange sacks by police officers kitted out in climbing gear.

In an exciting turn of events, a rebel wedding was held in the middle of the blocked Westminster Bridge (a first for the bridge, as far as we know!) to the sound of XR cheers and a feisty brass band. Love was truly in the air.

Also seen on the bridge were yoga enthusiasts, a ceilidh with bagpipes, and, floating beneath the bridge, an XR boat headed for the Houses of Parliament.

Despite the efforts of peacefully protesting rebels in London today, pre-planned and persistent police confiscations have left blockades lacking infrastructure and amenities. However, officers failed to confiscate the rebel spirit, which lives on in furious love and determination.

Paris – All in the same boat!

7 OCT | 15:00 onwards | Place de Chatelet, Paris, France

XR France managed to block and occupy Paris’ most central and busiest intersection, near the Nôtre-Dame cathedral. Rebels, aware of the sensitivity of the site, kept the location secret until the last minute and attached themselves to flower planters to complicate police efforts to remove them.

Rebels who remember the pink boat in Oxford Circus will be pleased to hear that its blue brother has crossed the channel for this October and cast its anchor in Parisian waters.

As we are ‘all in the same boat’, its DJs and dancers are inviting passers-by to join this festive occupation in all of its creativity, and keep the troops energized and regenerated for a lasting rebellion.

Climate Camp Berlin

7 OCT | Berlin, Germany

 

Our uprising begins! From early morning, 1000 rebels blocked the “Big Star” roundabout surrounding Berlin’s Siegessäule. As the sun rose, peaceful rebels danced and sang.

Our ship, the Arche Rebella, has been put together once again in a new location.

Berlin rebellion takes to the air!

3000 rebels held Potsdamer Platz with the help of lots of potted plants and a Red Brigade – the site was buzzing. Rebels continued to hold the Platz for longer than expected, with some chaining themselves together.

Even as police threatened rebels with physical violence if they failed to clear the blockade, they were dancing, singing and sending out a strong signal about the climate crisis.

It was early evening before police were able to begin slowly clearing rebels. Two thousand rebels remained and the good mood continued as food was shared, even as police began confiscating our equipment.

Madrid – Dia Uno

7 OCT | Madrid, Spain

Madrid rebels had a dramatic first day of Rebellion! 300 rebels surrounded a pink boat to block a bridge and were greeted by an alarming police response that included twisting arms, pressing thumbs into rebels’ eyes and putting pressure under their jaws.

10 rebels were hospitalised and many others suffered minor injuries. There were 43 arrests that day in Madrid.

But their spirits were not broken. The rebels went onto cause further disruption and set up camp in front of Spain’s Ministry of Ecological Transition. Rebels dressed in red, blue and brown – representing forest fires, rising sea levels and desertification – stalked others dressed in animal costumes in a striking performance about mass extinction.

Read the full story here.

Amsterdam Rebels

7 OCT | Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Amsterdam rebelled against a ban imposed by the mayor and police and brought non-violent direct action to the heart of the city. In the early hours, eager rebels gathered to block off roads in front of the city’s famous museums.

In addition to beautiful paintings by Vermeer and Van Gogh, tourists viewed the modern decor of brave earth-protectors fighting for their democracy and freedom of speech. The site then toured around the Heineken Experience to make sure any tourists there didn’t miss out.

In a miscalculated response, the police blocked off the first protest site, playing into our rebels’ hands, who staged an impromptu die-in on the Dam square instead.

The protests ended in over 100 arrests with rebels responding to police aggression by collectively chanting ‘We are peaceful, what are you?

Four large city buses transported the arrestees away. Cries of peaceful resistance and tunes from the buses echoed far and wide through the capital’s narrow streets and over the canals.

The Bull of Wall Street

7 OCT | New York, USA

Around 90 New York rebels were arrested yesterday after they launched a wave of actions in the city’s famous financial district. Protesters poured fake blood over Wall Street’s iconic Bull statue, held a very bloody die-in outside the New York stock exchange, and then blocked a nearby road.

The die-in was attended by the stunning Red Brigade, and featured a New Orleans funeral band that got the hundreds of rebellious mourners dancing in the streets.

Tombstones mentioning hurricanes and fires made worse by the climate crisis were held aloft, along with a coffin with the words ‘Our future’ written on the side. Once the fun was over, rebels clean-up crews stepped in to mop the fake blood away.

Police set up a perimeter and arrested rebels in waves. Despite the high arrest count, the sunkissed rebellion base in nearby Washington Square park was buzzing.

Actions will be continuing here over the coming days, and are expected to spread to Chicago and Washington DC later in the week.

For more details on what the rebels of New York are up to, check out their daily updates.

A new chapter for XR Canada

7 OCT | Toronto, Canada

XR Toronto gathered at Playter Gardens for a day of Rebellion. After an early morning briefing, protesters took to the Bloor Viaduct with banners, signs, and megaphones, numbers bolstered by other groups and allies.

There, they cordoned off the bridge and nearby Danforth Avenue from rush-hour traffic, allowing the space to play host to a multitude of activities. In addition to activist speeches and performances, the group participated in singing, meditation and yoga sessions while other protestors chalked messages along the concrete.

As the morning wore on, police announced a request for dispersal, yet several rebels remained. This group sat or stood in front of large, red and yellow “Act Now” block letters while the rest of the protesters swelled to either side of Danforth Avenue with songs of peace and hope.

19 arrestees were eventually taken into police cars and driven off; the remaining group returned to Playter Gardens for camaraderie and regeneration.

Toronto’s action upon the Viaduct reached a wide audience of receptive hearts. Hard work is ahead but another river has undoubtedly been crossed. With actions from Halifax to Victoria, today marked a new chapter of XR’s fight for climate justice in Canada.

Aussie rebels bring the heat

7 OCT | Melbourne, Australia

The day began with a sacred ceremony on the steps of Parliament House, when rebels, still waking up, took gum leaves and received the welcome via smoke cleansing before moving back to the central campsite of Carlton Gardens.

Upwards of a thousand people came together at 16:00 for a march through the CBD (Central Business District), which was successfully disrupted from 16:00 – 19:00, in a colourful, energetic, peaceful, respectful action. Some carried a glass coffin, like a fish tank, filled with aquatic plants and rocks to illustrate concern for about the impact of climate change on oceans.

The plan was to march through the city creating swarms in key intersections as a taste of actions that will follow for the entire week. The police had a strong presence, including mounted officers. 11 rebels were arrested, sacrificing their liberty to draw attention to the climate emergency and the need to act.

XR Victoria acknowledges that Camp Carlton and the Spring Rebellion take place on the stolen land of the Boon Wurrung and Woiwurrung (Wurundjeri) peoples of the Kulin Nation. Sovereignty was never ceded.

Everyone puts their oar in to help block this intersection in Wellington, New Zealand. 45 were arrested on the first day

Excitingly, XR India and Sri Lanka held their first ever XR actions on the 6th – rebels acted with incredible heart and courage even amidst possible police interference. Meanwhile in New Zealand, rebels blocked streets with the iconic pink boat.

In Latin America, rebels turned out in Chile, Colombia, and Mexico to call for immediate action from their governments. Brazilian rebels held a die-in on Copacabana beach and XR Argentina held three different rebellious actions in Buenos Aires.

Europe truly outdid itself this time, with bold, creative actions happening all over, including Athens, Vienna, Rome, Istanbul, and Chisinau, Moldova (to name but a few).

Across the globe, rebels took to the streets with fiery love to call on everyone to act now to mitigate the climate and ecological crisis.

Blood runs over Italian rebels in front of Montecitorio Palace, Rome

Rebels in Los Cabos, Mexico, perform underwater in a stunning piece about modern life called ‘The vanity, the distraction, the blindness’

In Vienna, rebels turned out in their hundreds to peacefully disrupt the city. 70 rebels were arrested.

Argentine rebels proudly hung a banner off this lovely tower in Retiro, Buenos Aires

Sri Lankan rebels braved torrential rain to launch their first ever XR action

XR Content

 

Humans of XR

‘Hi, I’m Nathaniel. I will be turning one during the Rebellion. My mummy is an XR fundraiser and my daddy teaches social justice at University. My older sister went to the Youth Climate Strike, although she is a bit too young to understand the urgency of the situation.

I don’t understand any of these things because I’m a baby. You do.

I can’t act, because I can’t even walk yet. You can. I can’t speak up for the world, because I only know one word. You can.

Thank you

Thank you for reading. This rebellion has been magnificent so far – and it’s only Day 1!

Keep up the good work!”

If you have any questions or queries, please get in touch at xr-newsletter@protonmail.com.



It has been known for a long time that XR was planning a massive 2-week-long demonstration in October 2019.  Now it has started.

It would seem that some agencies in the UK are getting worried about this.

  • Facebook ads about the rebellion are being removed;
  • The police raided a storage facility in London being used to store equipment to support the rebellion – and removed it;
  • The media is, so far, not giving a high profile in the TV news to events in London;
  • a higher number of people are being arrested in London than were in the April action.

Are similar repressions happening elsewhere in the world?