Extinction Rebellion

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This topic contains 64 replies, has 7 voices, and was last updated by  Dave Chesham 4 weeks ago.

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  • #161954

    ALB
    Participant

    Maybe I’m wrong. Maybe the IPCC report is wrong. Maybe the planet can take even 4deg warming and we can all still carry on as (relatively) normal.

    I don’t think anyone is claiming that an increase in global warming of 4 degrees above pre-industrial levels (ie pre 1750)would mean we could all carry on as normal. It doesn’t seem a likely scenario anyway. Certainly the IPCC report is not suggesting that it is.

    I don’t think the IPCC is wrong or, rather, than lay persons like ourselves are in a position to say it is. Quite the opposite. Not being experts in the field we can only rely on reports like this which say what most experts in the various fields involved are agreed on. If we don’t do this we will just be quoting the conclusions of individual experts who happen to agree with our uniformed opinion.

    This being the case we ought to know what the IPPC report says. Its finding are summarised on pages 5-20 of the report here:

    ipcc.ch/pdf/special-reports/sr15/sr15_spm_final.pdf

    Here’s some extracts:

    Human activities are estimated to have caused approximately 1.0°C of global warming above pre-industrial levels, with a likely range of 0.8°C to 1.2°C. Global warming is likely to reach 1.5°C between 2030 and 2052 if it continues to increase at the current rate. (high confidence). (p. 6)

    “Warming from anthropogenic emissions from the pre-industrial period to the present will persist for centuries to millennia and will continue to cause further long-term changes in the climate system, such as sea level rise, with associated impacts (high confidence), but these emissions alone are unlikely to cause global warming of 1.5°C (medium confidence). (p. 7)”

    By 2100, global mean sea level rise is projected to be around 0.1 metre lower with global warming of 1.5°C compared to 2°C (medium confidence). Sea level will continue to rise well beyond 2100 (high confidence), and the magnitude and rate of this rise depend on future emission pathways. (p.9)

    On land, impacts on biodiversity and ecosystems, including species loss and extinction, are projected to be lower at 1.5°C of global warming compared to 2°C. Limiting global warming to 1.5°C compared to 2°C is projected to lower the impacts on terrestrial, freshwater and coastal ecosystems and to retain more of their services to humans (high confidence). (p. 10)”

    In model pathways with no or limited overshoot of 1.5°C, global net anthropogenic CO2 emissions decline by about 45% from 2010 levels by 2030 (40–60% interquartile range), reaching net zero around 2050 (2045–2055 interquartile range). For limiting global warming to below 2°C CO2 emissions are projected to decline by about 25% by 2030 in most pathways (10–30% interquartile range) and reach net zero around 2070 (2065–2080 interquartile range). (p.14)

    Estimates of the global emissions outcome of current nationally stated mitigation ambitions as submitted under the Paris Agreement would lead to global greenhouse gas emissions in 2030 of 52–58 GtCO2eq yr−1 (medium confidence). Pathways reflecting these ambitions would not limit global warming to 1.5°C, even if supplemented by very challenging increases in the scale and ambition of emissions reductions after 2030 (high confidence). Avoiding overshoot and reliance on future large-scale deployment of carbon dioxide removal (CDR) can only be achieved if global CO2 emissions start to decline well before 2030 (high confidence). (p. 21)

    Basically, it is stating the obvious (that things will be worse if by 2100 the rise is 2 degrees rather than 1.5 degrees, i.e given that these have already risen 1 degree since 1750, if there is a further rise of 1 degree rather than of 0.5 degrees) but its main message is that current stated policies (“pathways”) will not lead to the rise being limited to a further 0.5 degrees by then. To achieve this, global CO2 emissions will have to decline by around 40 percent before 2030, i.e within the next 12 years.

    #162014

    SussexSocialist
    Participant

    Exactly. So given that emissions are going up and neither the capitalist class or they’re political puppets seem remotely interested in tackling this, I’d say we are on track for catastrophic changes to everything. This then means, logically that this issue is more important than any other political, social or philosophical questions of our day.

    I believe we have the only ultimate solution, but we have to get that message out there……..

    #162353

    ALB
    Participant

    Although we can say that the capitalists and their political puppets don’t “seem remotely interested in tackling” CO2 emissions, we can’t say that are not doing anything about it, however feeble and hesitating. They are, if only in their long-term interest, e.g. not having to spend money in the future on sea defences, moving populations, coping with forest fires, etc.

    And it is not always a case of a government not wanting to do anything. It’s that economic constraints (profit considerations)prevent them for doing much. Capitalist corporations from the different capitalist states are competing against each other to sell their goods on world markets. And states with sources of fossil fuels are interested in continuing to sell them.

    So, if one state were to unilaterally take the necessary measures, which will involve extra energy costs for their capitalists, this would make them less competitive on world markets. So they are only going to take action if other states are too. Hence the various climate change conferences. At these conferences each state is trying not to disadvantage itself and to prevent other states getting an advantage over them. So what emerges is the lowest common denominator.

    This is why we can be certain that the IPCC recommended 45 percent reduction in CO2 emissions by 2030 compared with 2010 will not be reached so that, unless something else happens, the average global temperatures rise since pre-industrial times will not have been limited to 1.5 degrees by 2100.

    As you say, the only framework in which the world can rationally tackle this problem is the common ownership and democratic control of the Earth’s natural and industrial resources.

     

     

    #162530

    alanjjohnstone
    Participant

    Protests continue

    https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/nov/24/environmental-protesters-block-access-to-parliament-square-extinction-rebellion

    An estimated 1,000 more demonstrators, many clad in black clothing, massed on the green in Parliament Square for what organisers labelled a “memorial service” to mourn the loss of life on the planet.

    Many waved banners emblazoned with slogans including “System change, not climate change” and “Rebel for life” as they listened to speeches.

     

     

    #162565

    alanjjohnstone
    Participant
    #162592

    SussexSocialist
    Participant

    And they are getting bigger and they are spreading, not just London, not just UK. However, the more I read the responses online and the more reports I see becoming ever more urgent, the more I am thinking the game’s already up – like being 4-0 with ten minutes to play, its all but over.

    #162640

    ALB
    Participant

    Many waved banners emblazoned with slogans including “System change, not climate change”

    That’s a good slogan but what exactly do they mean by it? According to their website at https://rebellion.earth :

    We aim to promote a fundamental change of our political and economic system to one which maximises well-being and minimises harm.

    I’m sorry, but that’s far too vague. In fact, who would say they didn’t want that?

    Also on the site is their objective in this particular campaign of theirs (they organise campaigns on other subjects too):

    We are facing an unprecedented global emergency. The government has failed to protect us. To survive, it’s going to take everything we’ve got.

    1. The Government must tell the truth about the climate and wider ecological emergency, reverse inconsistent policies and work alongside the media to communicate with citizens.

    2. The Government must enact legally binding policy measures to reduce carbon emissions to net zero by 2025 and to reduce consumption levels.

    3. A national Citizen’s Assembly to oversee the changes, as part of creating a democracy fit for purpose.

    If you listen to the 50-minute talk explaining their campaign it appears that they really believe they can achieve this by the “non-violent sacrificial action” of a few hundred. I got the impression that some religious or spiritual views was what was motivating them.

    Demand 1 is for All-Day Climate Change instead of All-Day Brexit. They have achieved some publicity but nothing like that.

    As to 2, this is a demand addressed to the UK government. I think we can safely say that it is an impossible demand. If the UK did this unilaterally it would undermine the competitiveness of UK businesses and the consequent loss of markets and an economic turn-out. I am not sure what they mean by “reduce consumption levels”. Are they proposing that people consume less, i.e more austerity?

    Their stunts/sacrificial actions are achieving more publicity than marches, petitions, lobbying MPs or voting Green. At least for the time being, but I expect it will peter out with the only result being a few hundred people feeling “virtuous” as their spokesperson puts it.

    #162642

    SussexSocialist
    Participant

    The stated aim is vague as an endgame, but then you could argue the same about our “classless, moneyless, socialist society” with very few details. It’s a general agreeable statement as you point out and it does at least put an idea in people’s minds that the current system can’t do what’s required.

    I agree their demands are unrealistic, unlikely to be met and ultimately pointless BUT the first point is kind of valid in that it’s wrong, even for capitalist governments in a so called democracy to deliberately misinform or fail to take at least some steps to protect the populace and that needs to change.

    Surely as a revolutionary party we should be in agreement with this?

    I agree with you on your analysis however and I think the bulk of activists are drawn from Christians Against Climate Change.

    Like Zeitgeist, like Occupy and other movements they are doomed to failure but if they at least wake some of the population out of their x factor and eastenders slumbers then it is worth it and for us should be more fertile ground in which to propogate the ideas of socialism, which surely is the entire purpose of our Party?

    #162683

    alanjjohnstone
    Participant

    Yes, they are not as radical or revolutionary as they seem to think themselves. It was the same with Occupy, same with Reclaim the Streets and many more other expressions of discontent.

    They may genuinely believe they are different and got the answers but they don’t.

    There is no reason for us to debate this among ourselves – it is a taken.

    What is up for discussion is how we reach out to this dissident protest group, how we contact and interact and begin to influence them.

    They certainly won’t change their ideas unless they are questioned and challenged on them, in a comradely fraternally fashion, in a non-adversarial manner.

    That means talking and communicating and ensuring that they are hearing us and listening to us, as much as we are heeding their views on how to demonstrate and raise awareness.

    I already suggested a friendly forum discussion meeting with experienced environment speakers, GlenM and BrianG, if available.

    I’m not in London or the UK , i am not on Twitter or Facebook, but i do now blog on the environment. But that is effectively ineffectual, a mere whisper in the deafening web chatter.

    We require face-to-face meetings. We know from our history of outdoor speaking how important personal contact is in a successful way of attracting a deeper interest and most of all, gaining trust. Don’t think the Trots have not been on the fringes hoping for one of their “interventions” and i am sure the more political savvy among ER will be well aware of the threat and we should be careful we are not tarred with the same brush.

    I leave it to you on the scene to choose and decide what is to be done  – but one thing to be sure of – Don’t expect them to come looking for us because it ain’t going to happen.

    Don’t let this be another opportunity that we let go by without even attempting to build a relationship with a potential audience.

     

    #162972

    ALB
    Participant

    The stated aim is vague as an endgame, but then you could argue the same about our “classless, moneyless, socialist society” with very few details.

    No you couldn’t ! Our “system change” is quite clear. It’s a change from class and minority control to common ownership and democratic control of the means of wealth production, so permitting production directly to satisfy people’s needs instead of production for profit and capital accumulation. Of course this will achieve their aim of a system “which maximises well-being and minimises harm”. But that aim is so vague that even supporters of capitalism can, and in fact do, claim this for the profit system.

    I agree, though, that in raising the question of “system change” they are introducing an idea that we can expand on.

    #165892

    alanjjohnstone
    Participant

    Afed advises Extinction Rebellion on online security

    An Urgent Message for Everyone Joining the Extinction Rebellion

    #165961

    ALB
    Participant

    It also ends up by urging them to abandon being non-violent as this, supposedly, “protects the state”.

    Finally, if you’d like a longer analysis of how the state and media represses or co-opts protest movements, I highly recommend you pick up a copy of How Non Violence Protects The State.

    The Extinct activists might even consider that this means that the whole message might have come from an agent provocateur urging them to take violent action. (I’ve just been to see Mike Leigh’s film on Peterloo in which Oliver the Spy makes an appearance, in the film that is.) In any event, that there are such people around is a possibility that those who engage in illegal activity have to consider, and it means that they can’t trust everybody, especially as there will already be undercover police in Extinct. This is something the anarchist forgot to mention, though it is also part of anarchist experience.

    #166497

    alanjjohnstone
    Participant

    Thought i broaden the topic to protests in general

    School strike
    <p class=”story-body__introduction”>Thousands of Australian school students have urged greater action on climate change in protests across the country. The students skipped school on Friday to highlight what they say are inadequate climate policies by the Australian government. School Strike 4 Climate Action protests have been held in every state capital and 20 regional towns.</p>
    https://www.bbc.com/news/world-australia-46380418

    #167518

    alanjjohnstone
    Participant

    In Brussels urging governments to respect commitments on countering climate change as a United Nations conference on keeping global warming in check opened in Poland police said some 65,000 people participated in Sunday’s “Claim The Climate” demonstration. The organisers called for ambitious climate policies to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius in line with goals set by the Paris Agreement in 201

    http://news.trust.org/item/20181202174402-fu4e5/

    #167711

    alanjjohnstone
    Participant

    Why there will be few protests at COP24 .

    Earlier this year the Polish government adopted a bill that prevents activists, NGOs and the general public from holding spontaneous assemblies outside the talks. Demonstrators must notify the city authorities in advance or risk prosecution.

    The bill also gives police extra powers to put conference participants under enhanced surveillance without their knowledge. Essentially, the Polish authorities can treat COP24 as an opportunity to gather data on NGOs and strengthen their police powers.

    This comes in the context of an escalating crackdown on freedom of expression and peaceful assembly in Poland, characterized by a raft of legislation.

    http://news.trust.org/item/20181202214505-02f1v/

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