Environment

James Cleverly Tries to Claim William Wilberforce was Tory

The Tory chairman, James Cleverly, whose name is surely a contradiction in his case, has tried rewriting history. According to him, William Wilberforce, the great 18th – 19th century campaigner against the slave trade, was a Tory MP from Yorkshire.

Er, no. He wasn’t. As Mike has posted on his blog, Wilberforce was an independent. Mike quotes two Tweeters, who know far more history than Cleverly, who point out that the Tories largely hated him, and that the Conservative Party only came into being in 1834, a year after the Act banning the Slave Trade throughout the British Empire and Wilberforce himself had died in 1833. And Philip Lowe, one of the Tweeters, also points out that the Tories tried to break him as a politician and a man, just like they’re trying to do with Corbyn.

See: https://voxpoliticalonline.com/2019/08/05/new-tory-chairman-owned-over-slavery-howler/

This looks like another example of the Tories trying to appropriate anything progressive from an earlier era. They tried it a couple of years ago with the National Health Service, despite the fact that it was very definitely launched by Clement Attlee’s Labour government with Nye Bevan as the minister responsible for it. Then there was the ‘Red Tory’ movement launched by David Cameron and his mentor, Philip Blonde, which used the example of the great 19th century Conservative social reformers and radical socialists like the anarcho-communist thinker Peter Kropotkin, to try to position the Tories as more left-wing than Blair’s Labour. In opposition, Cameron had the Conservatives campaigning against hospital closures. Once in power, however, anything left-wing was very quickly dropped. Cameron went on and accelerated hospital closures and the privatisation of the NHS.

He also tried to present the Conservatives as being eco-friendly. ‘This will be the greenest government ever!’, he announced. And put a windmill on his roof as a symbol of his commitment to green policies and renewable energy. But once he got his foot in the door of No. 10, that all went for a Burton too. He and his government decided that they loved fracking and petrochemical industry, cut funding for renewable energy. And took that windmill off his roof.

And somehow I don’t think Cleverly’s attempt to claim Wilberforce for them is unrelated to the current furore about Tory racism. Cameron attempted to present the Tories as nicely anti-racist, severing links with the Monday Club and throwing out anyone who had links to the NF and BNP. Now that Brexit’s the dominant issue, racism and Fascism has come back with a vengeance. There have been revelations about the vitriolic racism and islamophobia in the Tory party, and particularly in online Twitter and Facebook groups for friends of Boris Johnson and Jacob Rees-Mogg. And people very definitely remember BoJob’s comments about Black Africans and ‘grinning picaninnies with water melon smiles’. So Cleverly is trying to sanitise their image by appropriating Wilberforce.

Don’t believe the lies. The Tories are racist and viciously islamophobic. Get them out!

Guerrilla Power hits Australia

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Tue, 06/08/2019 - 11:25am in

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Environment

The knowledge that subversive Revolutionary Guerrillas exist in Australia perturbs many of those at the highest levels of power in this nation. The Guerrillas hide in plain sight, going about their manifesto of demolishing established societal institutions with a quiet and determined resolve. I support their cause, and should they ever become an overt target…

The post Guerrilla Power hits Australia appeared first on The AIM Network.

The El Paso Shooter Embraced Eco-Fascism. We Can’t Let the Far Right Co-Opt the Environmental Struggle.

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Tue, 06/08/2019 - 6:20am in

A man places an American flag in the pile of flowers that has gathered a day after a mass shooting at a Walmart store in El Paso, Texas, U.S. August 4, 2019.

On Aug. 4, 2019, a man places an American flag on a makeshift memorial outside the Walmart store in El Paso, Texas, where a mass shooting occurred on the previous day.

Photo: Callaghan O'Hare/Reuters

The four-page manifesto believed to be written by suspected El Paso mass shooter Patrick Crusius abounds with Trumpian racist nationalism. “This attack is a response to the Hispanic invasion of Texas,” notes the text, published shortly before Saturday’s massacre. The manifesto, which decries “race-mixing,” states, “some people will blame the president or certain presidential candidates for the attack. This is not the case,” noting that the author’s convictions “predate Trump.” Commentators such as my colleague Mehdi Hasan are nonetheless right to place blame at the feet of President Donald Trump, whose putrid anti-immigrant rhetoric and policies have emboldened violent white supremacists.

Yet a number of motivations cited by the suspected attacker sit outside the typical remit of racist MAGA fearmongering. An entire paragraph of the manifesto is dedicated to environmental degradation and Malthusian claims about the need to “get rid of enough people” to protect ever dwindling resources. The author cites the Christchurch shooter’s lengthy manifesto, titled “The Great Replacement,” as an inspiration, reiterating the paranoid fears of demographic shift and white decline. The Christchurch shooter self-identified as an “eco-fascist,” writing, “there is no nationalism without environmentalism.”

Against the perilous climate change denialism typical of U.S. conservatives, environmental decimation is broadly seen as a liberal and left concern. But eco-fascism has seen a notable reemergence among far-right groups and festering corners online in the U.S. and Europe. While campaigning for the European elections, Marine Le Pen of France’s far-right National Rally party promised to make the “first ecological civilization” of a “Europe of nations,” claiming that “nomadic” people with “no homeland” do not care about the environment. Neo-Nazi Richard Spencer wrote in a 2017 manifesto, “We have the potential to become nature’s steward or its destroyer.”

It is beholden on those of us fighting for climate justice to ensure that not an inch is given to those who would use environmental degradation as grounds for racist nationalism.

It is beholden on those of us fighting for climate justice to ensure that not an inch is given to those who would use the fact of environmental degradation as grounds for racist nationalism and, as the El Paso and Christchurch shooters encouraged, genocide. This means maintaining a vigilance against not only the most explicit eco-fascists and their “blood and soil” sentiments, but also against arguments (which have emerged, too, in some parts of the so-called left) around population control and the threat of mass migration to resources both economic and environmental.

“The American lifestyle affords our citizens an incredible quality of life. However, our lifestyle is destroying the environment of our country,” the El Paso manifesto notes, adding, “Everything I have seen and heard in my short life has led me to believe that the average American isn’t willing to change their lifestyle, even if the changes only cause a slight inconvenience. … So the next logical step is to decrease the number of people in America using resources.” For the attacker, nonwhite immigrants are not the cause of resource depletion, but their demise en masse is the solution.

Eco-fascism is not new and finds its origins in Progressive-era linking of environmental preservation and eugenics. Eco-fascism’s founding father, Madison Grant, was a renowned preservationist, bestselling author, hideous racist, friend of Theodore Roosevelt, and an inspiration to Hitler. He was director of the American Eugenics Society and vice president of the Immigration Restriction League, while also credited as the creator of modern wildlife management. Claims of a people’s mythic connection to their land combined with bunk race science form the basis of eco-fascism, which can today call upon the very real threat of climate change to double down on its racist, nationalist agenda.

The so-called deep ecology movement, claiming to argue for the intrinsic value of all living things, insists that the flourishing of nonhuman life is impossible without decreasing the human population. Deep ecologists like David Foreman in the 1980s welcomed famine as a means of depopulation; his fellow eco-fascist contemporaries saw a similar boon in the AIDS crisis. Finnish deep ecologist writer Pentti Linkola deploys perverse “lifeboat ethics” to argue for eco-fascist measures, including an end to all immigration. “What to do when a ship carrying a hundred passengers suddenly capsizes and there is only one lifeboat?” Linkola wrote. “When the lifeboat is full, those who hate life will try to load it with more people and sink the lot. Those who love and respect life will take the ship’s axe and sever the extra hands that cling to the sides.” Yet such cheap metaphors for preservation through decreased population leave unsaid the profound white supremacist undergirding of all such eco-fascist positions. Marginalized, colonized, impoverished, and displaced populations are always the last on the lifeboat.

As I noted last month, according to new statistics from the Office of the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees, the population of people on Earth displaced by conflict or persecution reached 70.8 million in 2018 — more than double the number recorded in 2012. Disasters fueled by climate change were responsible for at least 18.8 million internal displacements in 2017, as well as bolstering cross-border migration, according to the Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre. In another recent report on climate change and poverty, the U.N. special rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights, Philip Alston, warned of a “climate apartheid” in which “even if current targets are met, tens of millions will be impoverished, leading to widespread displacement and hunger.”

Bold climate policies like the Green New Deal, and even bolder challenges to capitalist production in the name of climate justice, must include a commitment to the free movement of people, especially on the part of countries, like the U.S., that bear vast responsibility for global climate degradation. As I have argued, wealthy countries have both the space and the resources to take in many millions of immigrants, if wealth, resources, and land were justly distributed.

The generic environmentalist discourse — “save the planet” and so on — all too easily ignores that climate decimation will not happen to everyone at once. The eco-fascist openly supports the genocide of environmental degradation’s front-line victims. The politicians in the “global north” who refuse to open borders to refugees might decry the massacre in El Paso, but in the face of mass, climate-fueled migration, the consequences of closed-border policies will be more murderous than any number of eco-fascists with assault rifles.

The post The El Paso Shooter Embraced Eco-Fascism. We Can’t Let the Far Right Co-Opt the Environmental Struggle. appeared first on The Intercept.

Rethinking nuclear

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Mon, 05/08/2019 - 12:16pm in

Apparently, in order to placate Barnaby Joyce and others, there will be a Parliamentary inquiry into nuclear power. I was thinking of putting a boring submission restating all the reasons why nuclear power will never happen in Australia, but that seemed pretty pointless.

Given that the entire exercise is founded in fantasy, I’m thinking it would be better to suspend disbelief and ask what we need if nuclear power is to have a chance here. The answer is in two parts:

  • Repeal the existing ban on nuclear power
  • Impose a carbon price high enough to make new nuclear power cheaper than existing coal (and, ideally gas) fired power stations

My initial estimate, based on the Hinkley C contract in the UK (price of $A160/MWh) is that the required price is at least $100/tonne of CO2. Rough aritmetic follows: Black coal emits about 1 tonne/MWh, and costs around $40/MWh to generate, so it would be slightly cheaper in the short run. Similarly for brown coal, which has higher emissions, but is cheaper to run.. But at those prices, it would be uneconomic to do the repairs necessary to keep existing coal-fired plants in operation past, say, 2030.

If such a policy were adopted, perhaps to be phased in over a decade or so, the immediate impact would be a massive expansion of renewables and big incentives for energy efficiency. But, if the arguments of nuclear fans about the need for baseload energy turn out to be right, there would be some room for nuclear to enter the mix after about 2040.

Of course, nothing remotely like this will happen. It’s rather more likely that Barnaby and the committee will discover a working technology for cold fusion, based on harnessing unicorns.

Feeling Time in Space: How Architecture Is All About Time

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Mon, 05/08/2019 - 5:03am in

You think architecture is all about space? Read about how time is essential for understanding architecture and to build a home.

Michael Hudson: Global Warming and U.S. National Security Diplomacy

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Mon, 05/08/2019 - 1:55am in

The fatal combination of the national security state’s mentality and oil industry lobbying threatens to destroy the planet’s climate.

Why We Need Publicly Owned Energy for a Green New Deal

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Sat, 03/08/2019 - 6:13pm in

Moving to zero carbon output requires a decentralized, publicly-owned energy system.

Why Consumers Aren’t Buying Electric Cars

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Fri, 02/08/2019 - 2:08pm in

Press and affluenza enthusiasm for electric vehicles is ahead of mass consumer appetite.

Climate Equity: What Is It?

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Thu, 01/08/2019 - 11:55pm in

Why the AOC-Kamala Harris climate equity scheme fails as climate and economic policy.

How many politicians understand scientific research methods?

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Thu, 01/08/2019 - 9:30am in

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By RosemaryJ36   One aspect of education in Australia, which has always puzzled me, has been the concentration on passing English as one of the selected Year 12 exam subjects. Coming from England, where two branches of English – language and literature – were taught separately throughout the first five years of secondary school (and the…

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