31 Dec 2009

New Year Resolutions

1. Elect Caroline Lucas as Britain's first Green Party MP
The latest polls suggest Caroline can win but as the election draws near it will get tough, I have been down to Brighton to help. If enough people go down and help delivering leaflets and canvassing, she will win. Its very easy to help, election work will be going on pretty much all the time for now on. The Green Party office is in the Eco centre right next to the train station in Brighton. Click on the link and arrange to go and help at least once between now and the General Election

http://www.brightonhovegreens.org/localsites/bh/contact-us.html

If you are a UK citizen you can donate to her campaign here.

2. Support indigenous struggles for the environment.
The indigenous have been putting a tremendous fight to stop the rainforests and other ecosystems being trashed. In Latin American they are really well organised and putting lots of pressure on governments to go Green. Frankly they have been much more successful at fighting climate change and other environmental problems than Green Parties or environmental pressure groups. Sign up to Intercontinental Cry and act on the updates. If you read Spanish Aidesep the organisation of Amazon peoples is brilliant, please spread the word. My good friend Hugo Blanco published Lucha Indigena here. Survival International also do briliant work.

3. Dump the bad banks. Banks rule the world, privatisation has put politics in the hands of finance capitalist who think only of their bonuses. Drop your bank and get a mutual or coop account. They are certainly far from perfect and its a tiny gesture really but every little helps and why put your hard earned cash to the destruction of the planet and to financial chaos.

4. Get down to climate camp. Climate camp continue to inspire, they do serious work on climate change and have a no nonsense approach to the swindle known as carbon trading. Hook up with them and visit.

5. Adopt a sceptic. Only 18% of Daily Mail readers believe in human created climate change, madness, the Daily Mail seem keen to make sure none of us have a future. Have a look at the arguments of climate sceptics and challenge them. They don't add up but they do need to be challenged. Here is my handy guide to the sceptics 'arguments' which basically boil down to 'We want drive our SUVs so you can feck off' plus some ramblings about conspiracy involving Al Gore and communism.

Sign the petition to release climate prisoners

Please take a few moments to sign the petition to free these climate prisoners. Luca Tornatore is active with the Italian network, See You In Copenhagen.

Unfortunately Luca Tornatore, caught with other 85 comrades of our italian network during the police raid that crazy night (december 14th) in Christiania, is still in jail with the other people. He is one of the spokepersons of the italian SyinCOP network and he is a researcher as astrophysic in the University of Trieste . His legal situation is quite complicated and it is not going to be solved easly. We are waiting for preliminary hearing in the early days of the year, hopefully...
Anyway since December 14th we started a public campaign at different levels (from actions to official documents) to make pressure to danish institutions and to continue the struggle of Copenhagen, for climate justice, in our territories.
As already happened in many other countries (e.g. in Germany, UK, Spain, US) also in many italian cities like Trieste, Venezia, Napoli, Alessandria, (and many many others) there were organized solidarity actions as simbolic occupations, demos, manifestations, press conferences at the danish consulates and the campaign "Freedom for climate prisoners" will keep on till all the people will be released.


http://www.petizionionline.it/petizione/per-la-liberazione-di-luca-tornatore/437

Climate camp meeting in Brighton

just got this from the climate camp

Regional Gathering: 23rd-24th January in Brighton

We are a bunch of people who have met through climate camp. After our best
year yet - of action and camping and growing in numbers - we're fresh back
from the failed Copenhagen talks and we're mad!

If you too are utterly exasperated at the state of the world and utterly
determined to do something about it, then join us.

As local revolutionary Tom Paine once said: We have it in our power to
build the world anew.

We would add: "Yes, but it will need organising." So we're inviting all
interested parties from along the south coast to spend a weekend together
to discuss aims, plot tactics and address anything else that seems relevant.

Please contact us: southcoast@climatecamp.org.uk to tell us:
a) you're coming
b) what you want to plot and plan

Up for discussion:
What next after Copfailure? Where now and how?

On the cards:
Skill shares - camp craft and crafty actions
Hot topics and targets - Gatwick airport, Newhaven Incinerator, Lewes Road
Tesco
Study the form - Climate Rush, SaveVestas and Smash Edo
Hands on direct action training .... casing joints and how to
rush/occupy/smash the building

Accommodation and vegan meals provided.

Cracking party on Saturday night.

Location provided nearer the time.

Picket at the Egyptian Embassy today

Picket at the Egyptian Embassy

Thursday 31st December

1.00pm – 3.00pm

26 South Street, London, W1K 1DW, off Park Lane, Marble Arch/Hyde Park Corner Underground stations



Called by British Muslim Initiative and supported by PSC



--------------------------------------------------------------------------------



On Tuesday 29th December the letter below was delivered to the Egyptian Embassy.



Baroness Jenny Tonge, and MPs Jeremy Corbyn and Martin Linton were received in the Embassy and assured that the Gaza convoy would be allowed in to Gaza.



Your Excellency,

We are writing to urge your assistance to ensure that the people of Gaza receive the medical aid which British and European citizens have worked hard to provide for the Palestinian people suffering under Israeli siege in the Gaza Strip. Hundreds of people are stuck in Aqaba with 210 aid vehicles waiting for Egyptian permission to travel to Rafah and cross into Gaza.

It is one year since Israel launched its ‘Operation Cast Lead’, a horrific attack on the defenceless people of Gaza resulting in the deaths of 1,400 people, thousands of injured and the destruction of homes, workplaces, schools and hospitals. The ongoing illegal and inhuman blockade on the Gaza Strip is now in its third year. This blockade which denies spare parts and building materials as well as food and medicines to the people of Gaza amounts to collective punishment, an action which is prohibited under international law and constitutes a crime against humanity.



While governments have remained inactive in their response to the violations by Israel, people of conscience around the world have been moved to work tirelessly to support the people of Gaza. The Viva Palestina/Palestine Solidarity Campaign convoy has been travelling from Britain and through Europe since 6th December to deliver aid and solidarity on the anniversary of the attack on Gaza, an attack which constituted war crimes according to the UN Goldstone Report .

We understand that the Egyptian government is imposing conditions on the convoy of 210 aid vehicles which make it impossible for them to leave Aqaba to deliver the ambulances packed with medical aid and the aid trucks with food and educational materials.

We represent British organizations seeking a just solution for the people of Palestine and as such we support the work of Viva Palestina which is a UK registered charity that was formed earlier this year to provide humanitarian relief for the people of Gaza . The two previous convoys, which entered Gaza via Eqypt in March and February this year, successfully delivered hundreds of tonnes of desperately needed aid through the Rafah crossing.

Alas, the actions of the Egyptian government in preventing the delivery of this international aid appears to be supporting Israel’s blockade of Gaza.

We are also gravely concerned by reports of Egypt’s construction of a steel wall to seal off the besieged territory and close the tunnels which constitute the only means of livelihood and survival for the one and a half million Palestinians in Gaza.

We appeal to you to convey our demand to the Egyptian authorities that the convoy be allowed to travel immediately through Egypt and to the Rafah crossing to Gaza to show the Palestinian people there that they are not forgotten by people of conscience across the world.

Yours sincerely,



Dr Daud Abdullah, Deputy Secretary General of Muslim Council of Britain



Mr. Jeremy Corbyn MP



Lindsey German, Chair, Stop the War Coalition



Betty Hunter, General Secretary, Palestine Solidarity Campaign



Mr. Martin Linton MP



Dr Hafiz Al-Karmi, President of Palestinian Forum in Britain



Mohammad Kuzbar, British Muslim Initiative



Ismail Patel, Chairman of Friends of Al-Aqsa



Baroness Jenny Tonge

30 Dec 2009

Zionists arrest Mordechai Vanunu over Norwegian girlfriend


The Israeli authorities have arrested Mordechai Vanunu.

Remember he revealed that they had nuclear weapons and was entrapped and put in prison for doing so.

'"Cindy" paid for air tickets to Rome, said that her sister had a flat on the outskirts of the city, and suggested that they could have a holiday there. Vanunu believed her until the moment he entered the flat and was overpowered by two men. He was injected with a drug, smuggled on to a ship and taken back to Israel. At Mossad's headquarters, he was shown a copy of the Sunday Times story which had appeared on October 5 and told: "See the damage you have done."

Convicted of treason and espionage at a closed trial, Vanunu was jailed for 18 years. The first eleven and a half were spent in solitary confinement. There was fear for his mental health as he grew increasingly despairing. For the first part of his sentence, the light in his cell was kept on all the time.'


Released from jail he has been almost constantly harrassed and re-arrested time after time.

Looks like he was arrested for planning a date with a Norwegian women.

If you remember he was kidnapped back in the 1990s, entrapped and whisked off to an Israeli jail.

Protest and spread the word.

The trolls will be on a minute to tell us he is a member of Hamas.

AGW deniers does it take to change a light bulb?

Richard Lawson, I guess its his professional skill that does it, has a lot more patience with these tossers than I have, do look at his great series of article on climate sceptics.

I guess soon they will be trying to ban scientists from going on wikipedia, any way on to the good doctor.


Proof that climate change denial is not funny

How many AGW deniers does it take to change a light bulb?

None, because there is no proof that the lightbulb needs to be changed. It might be a power cut, or a wiring fault, and in any case those new commie low energy lightbulbs contain mercury and osmium and kryptonium and they cost a lot and what about the jobs in the tungsten filament industry and they are really expensive and the old ones warm up the room and anyway we should be free to waste our money if we want to and so on ad infinitum.

Why did the climate change denier cross the road?

Because he thought he could get across before the car got to him and anyway he didn't hear it coming and there aren't many cars on that road normally, and anyway he had private health insurance.

How do you tell if there is a climate change denier in your fridge?

Because you can hear him mumbling about how cold it is, which proves that man-made global warming is a huge fraud conspiracy on the part of Al Gore so that he can get rich.

Influential blogger says Caroline has 'head of steam'

On my massive 3 or 4% of the vote here in Windsor, I am not funnily enough an advocate of tactical voting. The Brighton politics blog has forensic interest in local politics with word of censure and praise for all parties. I don't always agree with the blog but I always read it as does anyone else with an interest in Brighton politics. So it was good to see this:


The Greens now have a head of steam which should allow them to have a clear run-in against Charlotte Vere, playing on the goodwill of Labour and Lib Dem supporters, to harness a substantial vote against the Tories. Labour supporters are very unlikely to vote Tory to keep the Greens out, some will, for honourable reasons, remain loyal to their party and to Nancy Platts. The Greens need to nurture the green/left/anti-Tory vote. It is likely that Caroline Lucas can now look forward to a substantial victory at the General Election.
If the situation was reversed, with Labour having a ten point lead over the Greens in Brighton Pavilion, it is not likely that two thirds of Green voters would consider voting Labour. That is both a strength and a weakness of the Greens – able to attract wider support, but ultimately not a party of the left (although New Labour has tried to ensure that it is not seen as being of the left).
This blog, having sat on the fence for so long, calls for unreserved tactical voting in Brighton Pavilion for the Green Party.

More here

Copenhagen like 'last scene from the Battle of Algiers'

I didn't make it to Copenhagen, I am a bit fixed on trying to get a couple of people elected into Westminister and I have been finishing two books and I occassionaly like to see my three children and partner...however a good friend was there organising events, this is his report back.


The implosion of the UNFCCC process has created a political vacuum, which the climate justice movement globally is trying to fill. Evo Morales has called for an international conference of social movement this spring.

To me, the high-point of the whole week of protests, had to be the People's Assembly. Despite being battered by lines of baton wielding Danish robo-cops and have our demo truck seized, together with the arrest our spokespersons. We still managed to pull off the assembly, with representatives of struggles from peasant, indigenous and workers movement (including Ian from the Vestas occupation) from both the North and South giving their testimony of what it means to fight for climate justice.

The Danish state won a Pyrrhic victory at the Bella Centre, they may have beaten us tactically, but their conduct has accelerated the birth of a new movement for climate justice. Those of us there were priviliged to witness its birth, however fitful and faltering the start. I am reminded of the last scene from the Battle of Algiers. French paratroopers, under general Massu, manage to crush the FLN, as we see the last guerilla die in a hail of gun fire. But the tactical defeat of the FLN far from demoralising the movement, inspires a popular rebellion of the Algerian people which brings about national liberation.

29 Dec 2009

Statement by Homosexual Students at Iran’s Universities

just found this, spread the word! From


Statement by Homosexual Students at Iran’s Universities

This year’s commemoration of December 7, significantly differs in nature from previous years. This December 7 is being shaped anew, not as necessitated by the calendar, but as necessitated by conditions that have set the stage for protest movements.

We cannot stop still or go backward. We cannot commemorate this event in a routine way. Just as we gave new political meaning to Qods Day, and appropriated November 3, so our preservation of December 7 as a commemoration which belongs to the student movement, denudes this day of its official title in order to make it an event once again. [3].

After five decades, the rise of a revolution, and the emergence of a people’s movement, December 7, the symbol of protest against a regime backed by the July 1953 coup, now confronts the June 12, 2009 coup [4] This year, the distinguishing factor is that the forces of the people are intertwined in the context of these [5] protests. Students are no longer starry-eyed in their socio-political struggle. Prior to the people’s protest against dictatorship and lawlessness under the Islamic Republic, students might have felt isolated in their opposition to dictatorship. Now, however, the student movement takes place in the context of a society which demands an end to dictatorship, and is untainted by superficiality and narrow-mindedness.

Due to the depth of social perception in the student body, and an extensive grasp of human rights and civil rights, student demands are now linked to women’s demands on the one hand and workers’ demands on the other. This dual link has been achieved not only on the basis of theoretical knowledge but also on the basis of practical experience.

On the other hand, the student movement includes the demands of homosexuals. These demands represent a transgression of deeply rooted cultural boundaries which impede social tolerance.

The presence of minorities within the student body, limits the possibility of monopolization. . . . Students who may have different names, are part of the people. Their multiple presence on a variety of fronts continues to shake the weak foundation of the regime and challenges its security. The student movement is not green throughout. It also includes other colors. However, the breadth of the instinctual drive for equality among the people of the Green Movement, has compelled other colors to accommodate to it. We hope that the social right to self-determination of a people who wish to live within the framework of human rights and not any type of ideological dictatorship, will be placed in the hands of the people themselves. The students will not monopolize December 7.

Similar to years prior to the June 12 election, students constitute the largest number of those murdered, arrested and tortured . . . December 7, 2009 is equated with December 7, 1953 in order to transcend it and move from protesting the coup to determining the fate of democracy in Iran. In order to create a society in which everyone is free to move safely in her/his direction, we need to be together. On December 7, let us comprehend that freedom for the majority can only exist when minorities are safe. Let us be together.

Homosexual Students at Iran’s Universities, publish their third statement on the occasion of a December 7 commemoration which might signify the last gasps of a coup-backed government.

Considering that a significant number of university students are also queers, and considering that the active part of the queer community in Iran consists of university students and university graduates, it is not too late to correct the intolerant and inappropriate drafts of the constitution, in order to guarantee that the perspectives of the representatives of the Green Movement do not fall short of the perspectives of the rank and file of the people’s movement. [6]
Another milestone achieved by this year’s December 7 commemoration was the student body’s deep comprehension of the concept of human rights. It is crucial to remind the readers that the student movement and the women’s movement have captivated a larger portion of Iranian society because these movements are more tolerant and think more deeply.

At a time when two human rights organizations in Iran —which consist of students— have been courageous and forthright in taking up the rights of minorities and especially sexual minorities who have been excluded from civil rights protection, the representatives of the Green Movement who are devising the outlines of the new constitution, avoid mentioning the rights of minorities. If we do not pay attention, the first opportunity for correcting the defects of the constitution will lead not to reform but to a future imprisoned by prejudice and exclusion.

On the eve of December 7, and at a time when the Green Movement of the people has come to signify fresh air for a repressed society, students who give their all to this movement, do so to make sure that the passion for life is not crushed under the boots of dictatorship.

Homosexual Students at Iran’s Universities who have not been promised any share of political power or fame, would like to send a message to the Green Movement in the spirit of solidarity and kinship. The demands of the people, rooted only in the necessity to abide by human rights and civil rights, are greater than all the demands which the leaders of the Green Movement utter in honor of the [7] revolution.

Mr. Karroubi and Mr. Mousavi, Mrs. Rahnavard, students and families, on this December 7, keep the Green Movement dynamic by making a statement about the human rights demands of all the people of Iran. The movement needs more than the blood of the youth to survive. The movement needs a timely declaration of its exact, explicit, and human rights-based demands, in order to defend your lives and your social rights. Let us all be together.

Homosexual Students at Iran’s Universities
For Freedom and Equality
December 6, 2009

The Limits of Our Politics

[col. writ. 12/20/09] (c) '09 Mumia Abu-Jamal


As millions come to grips with the claimed agreements emerging from the Copenhagen Conference on Climate Change, it's impossible to resist the suspicion that politics can provide no solution to the serious environmental and ecological problems facing the earth.

Despite the absurdity of shout shows which daily disparage global warming, it is a fact that sea ice in the Arctic is melting, as are Antarctica and Greenland ice sheets. This, coupled with melting glacial ice in places like the Himalayas, spells climate change that threatens disaster for millions of people in the region of Bangladesh, and the Indian state of West Bengal.

It means both flooding and drought, increased heat, more disease and the destruction of human habitat.

Politicians, speaking for their nation states, pledge a lessening of carbon emissions by 2020, thereby ignoring the view of many scientists that if all such emissions ceased today, the deleterious effects would be devastating.

Eleven years from now, very few of the politicians making today's agreement will be in office. As Bush showed, it's relatively easy to abrogate a treaty obligation -- just ignore it.

Politicians are overwhelmingly the hirelings of the corporate class; they often do their bidding, as it is usually them -- and only them -- who can afford them!

When the Tuvalu Islands, low lying atolls in the South west Pacific, go underwater; when rivers burst their banks in Bangladesh; when drought threatens millions in India and Africa, will we look back at Copenhagen and think, 'well done?'

I think not.

--(c) '09 maj

[Source: Foster, John Bellamy, "The Vulnerable Planet Fifteen Years Later, " Monthly Review {vol. 61:no. 7}, (Dec. 2009), pp.17-19.]
============

Green Party councillor under house arrest

*Norwich councillor in Gaza house arrest from http://www.eveningnews24.co.uk/content/News/story.aspx?brand=ENOnline&category=News&tBrand=enonline&tCategory=news&itemid=NOED28%20Dec%202009%2015%3A06%3A36%3A670

*
*A Norwich councillor has been placed under house arrest in Egypt after
trying to reach the Gaza Strip to deliver art materials to people
traumatised by the conflict in the territory.

Peter Offord, Green county councillor for Thorpe Hamlet, set off last
week to join the Gaza Freedom March, a 1,000-strong international
delegation calling for the borders to be re-opened to let in
humanitarian aid and mark the first anniversary of a conflict with
Israel which saw more than 1,400 people killed.

The 62-year-old managed to reach the Egyptian city of el-Arish, about
40km away from the Gaza Strip, but at 12pm on Sunday he was among around
30 activists who were detained in their hotel.

Road blocks have also been set up around the town, with the Egyptian
security forces preventing taxis carrying people who appear to be
European, from leaving, with two protesters having been stopped and
detained by police.

Mr Offord, a qualified art therapist, who hoped to visit the newly set
up Palestine Trauma Centre in Gaza and donate art materials, said: “We
are pretty much under house arrest. We can leave the apartments so long
as we don't take our luggage with us, but the minute we pick up our
bags, they stop us from leaving.

“The internet connection at the hotel has either gone down or been cut
off and there are plain-clothed police at the front and back of the hotel.

“My main aim is getting the art materials to the trauma centre, so I am
trying to make contact with the Egyptian Foreign Minister to see if,
even if I can't go there, it would be possible for someone else to take
the materials to them.”

On New Year's Eve the group hopes to walk from Gaza City to the Erez
border crossing to meet a delegation from the Israeli side comprising of
Palestinians and Jews who are also calling on the Israeli government to
open the border crossing.

But Mr Offord said the group was becoming increasingly frustrated and
that such as meeting was looking unlikely to happen unless the Egyptian
security forces relented.

He said: “We are frustrated, sad and angry. From the outset we made
clear this was a peaceful protest, but as soon as we arrived they
enforced a law saying it was unlawful to gather in groups of six or
more, so the main protest was banned.

“We are looking at ways we might still be able to get there, but people
are becoming demoralised.”

Mr Offord said the trip had still fulfilled its objective to raise
awareness of the situation in Gaza and help victims of the conflict.

“It is vital that Gaza and Palestine are not forgotten by the rest of
the world,” he said. “It highlights the need for both sides to come to a
peaceful resolution.”

ICM poll suggests Caroline Lucas will win in Brighton Pavilon

Just had these polling details, however while this is very good news, elections are won on the ground, please join me and go down to Brighton and help with canvassing. East Berkshire Green Party members are going down on 30th January. If you want to help elect Caroline, go to the Eco Centre, ring on the buzzer and volunteer.

Greens take a 10 point lead over Labour and an 8 point lead over the Conservatives in their target constituency of Brighton Pavilion - ICM Research telephone opinion poll.

Headline results

1. The Greens have the greatest support with 35% of the constituency’s voters followed by the Conservatives on 27%, Labour on 25% and LibDems on 11%.1

2. Almost two thirds (63%) of Labour and Lib Dem voters in the sample said that they would be likely to switch their vote to the Greens if that party was best placed to stop a Conservative win. 37% said they were very likely and 26% said they were quite likely to switch their vote in that situation.2

______________

Green candidate Caroline Lucas has a significant lead over the other parties’ candidates in Brighton Pavilion constituency, according to the first publicly released standard-size constituency opinion poll of local voters.

If repeated at the general election with a similar turn out, the result would see the Greens winning their first parliamentary seat, taking the constituency from Labour with a majority of almost 3,500 over the Conservatives.3

The telephone poll of 533 voters adjusted to match the local electorate’s profile and undertaken by ICM Research’s Government and Social Unit between 16 – 21 December 2009, suggests the Greens enjoy a 10 point lead over Labour and an 8 point lead over the Conservatives in the constituency.1

Paul Steedman, National General Election Campaign Director for the Green Party, said, “Besides pointing to the prospect of electing the country’s first Green Party MP, this opinion poll supports what we have been hearing from voters when we’ve talked to them on the door steps.

“We only need a 7% swing from Labour to Greens to win the seat. This opinion poll suggests we are on target to achieve this.

“It gives tactical voters a clear message - only a vote for the Green Party can stop the Conservatives in Brighton Pavilion.

“The ICM poll shows that Labour are trailing in third place – behind the Greens by 10 points and the Conservatives by 2 points. The Tories are still behind the Greens by 8 points.

“Remember, this was a Labour seat in 2005. The significant shift demonstrates that where voters have the chance to see Greens in action, where they get elected and as local councillors and work hard for residents, as we do here in Brighton or in other parts of the country such as Lewisham and Norwich, they like what they get.

“The poll also suggests that almost two thirds of Labour and Lib Dem voters would be likely to back the Greens if we were in a position to stop a Tory win in this constituency. This isn’t surprising news to us either – we know the voters of Brighton to be as savvy as you’ll find anywhere in the country.

“Caroline has already shown her dedication to the people of Brighton as their representative in the European Parliament for over ten years. She will bring all her experience to stand up for them in Westminster.”

Candidate Caroline Lucas said, “Brighton is a special place and its voters are impatient for a fresh, independent voice to represent them in Westminster. I believe I am offering them that.

“Taken with the other indicators such as the bookies making the Greens favourites, this poll should help to reassure wavering Labour and Lib Dem supporters that a Green vote in Brighton Pavilion is the best way to stop the Tories.

“If elected, I promise to honour the trust that voters have placed in me and provide Brighton with the fresh, independent voice its people want and deserve.”

28 Dec 2009

Fuck neutral?

The Optimum Population Trust is working to introduce population trading. We can produce more environmental damage but buy a credit.

The credit pays people in Madagascar to have fewer children. Neat, I don't think.

Ian Angus takes up the story

There are ways of 'fighting' climate change that are going to lead to a lot of oppression, you don't have to be a conspiracy crank to be worried

And you might want to listen to the new OPT song, being downloaded by the thousand, listen here for free.

Optimum Population Song

Optimum Population Trust song getting 1,000s of downloads, Malthus rocks scary http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fb00g1wU3oU&feature=related

Just reading some scary stuff on the oil drum about cutting the population by 99%.....bad news!

I think shopping a bit less might be a better idea than genocide.

Good news on Natalie Portman and Gaza convoy

Well apparently reports that Natalie Portman has fallen off an abyss and plunged to her death while filming a Jane Austen Zombie movie in New Zealand are greatly exaggerated.

And the other good news is the Viva Palestina convey will make it to Gaza, a lot of good Green Party activists on board, I salute you!




Organisers of Viva Palestina aid convoy, which is trying to reach the Gaza Strip, have now agreed to go via Syria en route to Egypt.

The agreement came after a Turkish mediator reached a deal with the Egyptian consul in Jordan’s Red Sea port of Aqaba.

The convoy will now head to the Syrian port of Latakia to sail from there to the Egyptian port of El Arish, and then to Gaza.


The Viva Palestina convoy, which has been stranded in Aqaba for the past five days, is led by George Galloway, a British MP.

More here

Amazing 'Climate change deniers versus consensus' visual























just found this beautiful visual (and the cartoon above)

anyway they will all be on a minute telling me what a beautiful thing it is to drink more oil. I do think the climate scientists need to be doing more visuals and going to wikipedia more often.

Do have a look http://www.informationisbeautiful.net/visualizations/climate-change-deniers-vs-the-consensus/, nice to print off and put on your wall.

Reason, Faith and Revolution

I am not a believer but some of the best people fighting for socialism and ecology are! This is from a review of Terry Eagleton's new book challenging some critics of religion:

Eagleton, a confessed non-believer, who does not spare organised religion responsibility for its crimes in this book, nonetheless outlines at length what he believes would be a positive, emancipatory theology. This can be derived directly from the Gospels, which after all form an account of Jesus’ struggle against organised religion. Jesus appears in Eagleton’s account as almost a guerrilla fighter, contemptuous of the wealthy, the powerful and the hypocritical. Instead of acting as a respectable middle-class vicar, he challenges the authorities and preaches the overthrow of existing social relations. He consorts openly with the lowest elements of Palestinian society – lepers, money-lenders, prostitutes and the heretical sect of Samaritans. In contrast to many centuries of Christian puritanism, Jesus is so relaxed about sexual morality that he says virtually nothing about it.

More here

27 Dec 2009

For free and fair elections in Iran

As violence continues in Iran, its important to spread the word

Most Iranians concur that their vote has not been truthfully accounted for. All across the country, the people have come out and held peaceful rallies to protest at electoral violations that amount to a drastic violation of their right to shape their future. Sadly, the government of the Islamic republic has faced off these peaceful and civil protests harshly, and several innocent people, including students in the nation’s universities have been barbarically assaulted by the state police. Numerous political and civil activists have been imprisoned without due process and, and at the same time, communication networks have been widely disrupted and severe restrictions have been placed on the activities of reporters and international observers.

We, intellectuals, political activists, and defenders of democratic rights and liberties beseech you to heed the widespread protests of the Iranian people and to take immediate and urgent action by:

1) Forming an international truth-finding commission to examine the electoral process, vote counting and the fraudulent manipulation of the people’s vote in Iran

2) Pressuring the government in Iran to annul fraudulent election results and hold democratic, competitive and fair elections under the auspices of the UN

3) Pressuring the government of the Islamic republic to release all those detained in the course of recent protests

4) Pressuring the government of the Islamic republic to free the media that have been banned in recent days and to recognise and respect the right of the people to free expression of ideas and the nonviolent protesting the results of the recent elections

5) Pressuring the government of the Islamic republic to stop its harsh and barbaric treatment of the people of Iran

6) Refuse to recognise Ahmadinejad’s illegitimate government that has staged an electoral coup, and curtailing any and all forms of co-operation with it from all nations and international organisations

More here

Green bloggers reunited


Just been updating my list of Green bloggers.

What to put in? I mean this from United Diversity on Pirate economics is a must, but will United keep blogging, sadly posting seem a bit sparse. How far do you go, there are plenty of blogs which seem like personal diaries, although I am engrossed by Earthen Witches problems with lime rendering.

I have included lots of local Green Party blogs including my own local party site, East Berkshire which seems to be absent from greenfeed, total politics and other lists of Greens.

Hackney Green Allotment is pretty interesting but I wonder whether they will ever update.

There are some unexpected gems, I am by no means an evangelical christian but the Green Christian is and has some interesting posts.


I have been glad to find Debra Storr's blog, a lot of my work is campaigning with indigenous people whose land is being stolen by corporations, the closest to this in the UK is in Aberdeenshire where Donald Trump is trying to build a giant golf course that will lead to people being evicted and nature despolied.

Debra was a Lib dem councillor and is now a Green Party member and is putting up a tremendous battle against the goliath who seems to have the Scottish establishment in the palm of his hand.

Debra notes on here 'National disgrace, scoundrel and extremist' blog 'To celebrate my formal acceptance into the Scottish Green Party, despite their being warned that, according to the Trump Organisation, I am a national disgrace, scoundrel and extremist, I have decided to rename this blog - and share a view of those famously beautiful dunes.'.....yes if you are a sincere green this is what you will be called!

Do sign the petition and support Tripping up Trump too.

I have also included a list of ecosocialist bloggers and I am going to rejig all the super Greens like Nandor Tanczos and Caroline Lucas blogs as well.

Do mail me with suggestions for other green blogs, so far I have mainly listed UK green and ecosocialist bloggers, do click on some at random, more fun than the TV!

Egyptian Security Forces Detain Gaza Freedom Marchers in el-Arish and shut down Gaza Memorial in Cairo

Egyptian Security Forces Detain Gaza Freedom Marchers in

el-Arish and shut down Gaza Memorial in Cairo

What: Egyptian security forces detain internationals in el-Arish, break up memorial actions in Cairo

When: Sunday, December 27, noon: the Egyptian security forces detained a group of 30 internationals in their hotel in el-Arish and another group of 8 at the bus station. They also broke up a memorial action commemorating the Cast Lead massacre at the Kasr al Nil Bridge

At noon on 27 December, Egyptian security forces detained a group of 30 activists in their hotel in el-Arish as they prepared to leave for Gaza, placing them under house arrest. The delegates, all part of the Gaza Freedom March of 1,300 people, were Spanish, French, British, American, and Japanese. The Egyptian security forces eventually yielded, letting most of the marchers leave the hotel, but did not permit them to leave the town. When two younger delegates, a French and Japanese woman, attempted to leave el-Arish, the Egyptian authorities stopped their taxi and unloaded their luggage.

Another group of eight people, including citizens from American, British, Spanish, Japanese and Greece, were detained at the bus station of Al Arish in the afternoon of December 27. As of 3:30 PM, they were still being held.

Simultaneously, Egyptian security police broke up a commemoration of the Israeli invasion of Gaza organized by the Gaza Freedom March at Kasr al Nil Bridge, one of the main bridges connecting Zamalek Island, in the middle of the Nile, to Cairo. As a nonviolent way of commemorating the more than 1300 Palestinians killed in the Israeli assault on Gaza that began a year ago on December 27, 2008, Gaza Freedom Marchers tied hundreds of strings with notes, poems, art and the names of those killed to the bridge.

“We’re saddened that the Egyptian authorities have blocked our participants’ freedom of movement and interfered with a peaceful commemoration of the dead,” said Medea Benjamin of CODEPINK, one of the March’s organizers.

Benjamin added that the Gaza Freedom March participants are continuing to urge the Egyptian government to allow them to proceed to Gaza. They visited the Arab League asking for support, various foreign embassies and the Presidential Palance to deliver an appeal to President Mubarak. They are calling their supporters around the world to contact Egyptian embassies and urge them to free the marchers and allow them to proceed to Gaza.

####

The Cake of War...day one of the war on Gaza in 2008 a year on

The Cake of War

07:30

Once upon a time, it was 27th of December 2008.this date might be a normal date for people but it means a lot to me and many others. I dressed up and went to the Islamic University of Gaza (IUG) where I work. I opened my car window to smell the fresh air while driving. Woow, it is an amazing shiny day. Although it is December but the weather looks gorgeous!



07:55

During my drive, I was thinking of today and remembering what my wife was telling me in the morning, it is my birthday today! She was planning to prepare a cake and buy soft drink and snacks for this day.



08:10

I reached my office and started to do the routine work before I get engaged in my hard work of writing grant proposals.



09:00

Viva Viva Palestine..Long live Palestine…We are the guards of homeland..Heey Heyy We are the guards..I heard this voice far away but coming closer. I went to the window of my office which is front of Aljawazat Police Compound. I could see police trainees jogging out the road and chanting national anthems and songs. They were training to get enrolled into Police. I was very happy to see them in their dark blue uniform with their hair cut. They were the fresh new guards of Palestine. The fresh guards who will never complete their mission…later I realized this fact!

I said to myself what a wonderful day! The sun, the encouraging chants to protect the homeland, and my birthday. Then I went back to my work where I got engaged deeply in my work



10:50

I was at the Fuel station in front of Shifa Hospital in Gaza. I went to fill my car’s fuel tank in order to get equipped for any upcoming events in Gaza especially after the truce has ended and the security tension was escalating.



11:00

I was passing in front of Aljawazat buildings and smiled when I saw the police who were training now going back to Aljawazat.



11:10

I reached my office and started working again. I smiled when I remembered the happiness of my wife for my birthday. She must be happy to prepare a tasty cake for me. Woow, I’m going to eat a lot of sweets!



11:30

Booms, another Booms…I felt my office was oscillating, the walls were shaking, and windows resisted breaking hardly. I hurried to the window to check what was happening when I saw a white smoke escalating from Aljawazat building. It is an attack on Aljawazat…I said to myself. I shut down the pc and took my jacket and left the office quickly, while the walls were still shaking strongly and I could hear people scream. I saw colleagues and students running out our building at IUG, and at every attack some of them lie down on the ground and then complete evacuating the building.



11:35

I reached the Campus and saw the smoke getting bigger and its color changing between white smoke of destructed buildings and black smoke of rocket blasts… IUG through microphones asked students, employees, and instructors to evacuate IUG soon because no one could expect the next blast. I tried tens, hundreds or more times to call my wife and family but all lines were busy due to high volume of calls at the moment. We were familiar with this busy network at such a time. I was trying to call because my wife and my mother get crazy at such times for fear of bad news. My mother had hard experience when I was injured by a rocket in 2003 while I was shopping for my wedding!



11:40

I drove my car and could barely find a path between people escaping under the shadow of bombs and rockets around us. I was saying to myself, the big problem is that I don’t know what is happening. I met a colleague who lives near our house and took him with me in the car because it was hard to find a taxi at this time. I was trying to call my wife but no way. I saw another colleague running with his wife out of IUG. I asked them to get in my car. I had to change the way I’m going home because all streets were full of people escaping. Finally, I could talk to my mother and I told her I’m fine. I was worried about my wife, who must be visiting a doctor, and I was thinking to bring her by car but I do not know where she was.



11:55

I reached our house and ran into to watch the news to know what was happening. I live in the same house with my parents. They live in the first floor and I live on the third one.

I was shocked to see this amount of blood and torn bodies on TV. What a massacre I’m watching! I could also at the meantime talk to my wife. She was crying and said she is coming home now. I was relieved at that moment a little bit.



12:15

My wife came back and her face was telling! Telling a lot about the horror she lived. She visited a doctor near Aljawazat Building. She said when the explosions started she was screaming and she fainted when people said IUG was targeted!

They were terrible moments, and could see tears on her face. I went down to my parents flat with my wife to watch TV altogether as such moments gather Palestinian families on TV.

I felt tears on my face and saw tears of my mother and wife. My two brothers were also shocked. The number of martyrs at Aljawazat reached more than 200 and number of injured people increased more than 500. I saw legs, hands, fingers all around the scene of the massacre. Although it was not my first time to see such terrific scenes and I saw torn bodies in reality after assassinations in Gaza but this time was more difficult because of the high number of casualties.

I was crying silently thinking of those torn bodies. I saw them training happily in the morning and now I’m seeing them dead torn parts which hardly could be identified by their parents and beloved ones.

We were calling our friends and relatives who work at Police stations and government buildings after we realized it was war and more than 60 warplanes attacked more than 100 targets within the first minute of the war.



20:00

The night came with its horror. This is what my mother says always at such attack times. We got rid of the shock and the reality came into our faces. We are facing a war, with all what it means “a war”.

My wife said she will prepare a cake. I smiled a pale smile and asked “for what?” she replied “for your birthday”.! I was amazed that I totally forgot my birthday. She remembered and insisted to make the cake. I refused but she was keen to do. We took the cake and started to eat with my parents very sadly. We felt as if we are eating the cake of the war!



By:

Moheeb Abu Alqumboz

Gaza – Palestine

27.12.2009

10:30 a.m

Why I am sceptical


I do however think we need to be sceptical about the policies to deal with climate change, cap and trade doesn't reduce CO2 but does make a lot of cash for a financial elite.

Effective policies are needed instead, sadly they don't seem to be on the agenda.

I saw this comment on a Guardian story about Jude Sarong and Jesse Ventura putting the sceptic case(!), the comment (not their dumb documentary) is worth thinking about:


'There are two different issues at stake here:

1) Is man made global warming a hoax?

2) Is there a plan to use the issue of climate change to shift money from the poor to the rich, through speculation on carbon trading and increased taxation, and furthermore to make people accept far reaching totalitarian laws?

In all the debate I've read so far these two issues get mixed up far too often. A lot of global warming deniers/skeptics (including the makers of the above TV show) are using the second issue as evidence for the first. But that does not stand up. Both issues need to be proven separately, on their own terms.

Personally I have yet to see any substantial evidence proving that man made global warming is a hoax. I still place my trust in the large majority of scientists, even though I find it very worrying that the fact that dissenting climate scientists are losing their jobs may hinder them from carrying out their research in a free and unbiased manner.

My belief in man made global warming however does not stop me from believing that issue 2, the vast financial and political abuse that will stem from climate change, is not only possible but also very likely.'

http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/blog/2009/dec/21/climate-scepticism-jesse-ventura

Climate change solution involves 'good living'

Well there are plenty of 'libertarians' who all seem to coincide in the view that climate change is a global religion, interesting that freedom of thought seems to involve some very well paid people telling you want to think! More on that later.
Just got this from LINKS, there is an ecosocialist solution and no its nothing to do with Al Gore!


By *Ron Ridenour*


At the press conference, and on various other occasions during the three
days of his attendance, Morales posed the problem and the solution to it
thus: "The rich countries seek to divide the rest of us ... by offering
crumbs of money. Mother Earth can’t be preserved with money alone.
Europe’s food almost entirely depends upon petrol. What happens when
there is no petrol? This dependency on fossil fuel is a threat to
humanity, so we have to change the structures of food. It is a
structural problem of two forms of life: one way of living is the way of
over-consumption and waste, the way of luxury, of egoism and
individualism-capitalism. The other way is vivir bien — living well —
food enough for all and living in harmony with others and our Mother
Earth, in solidarity and complementarily."

At the final press conference -- for which I was one of two media
consultants during this two weeks, along with Nick Buxton -- for the
ALBA countries, Bolivia, Cuba, Ecuador, Nicaragua and Venezuela
attended. Cuba's vice-president Esteben Lazo said that socialism offers
greater protection for the Earth than does capitalism:

/Before our revolution, capitalism had nearly depleted all our
forests. We have focused on replanting and now 20% of the land is
covered by forests. We also educate our school children about
ecology, and about the ALBA network. We are founded on principles of
solidarity, of human rights and nature’s rights./

Full article at http://links.org.au/node/1433

Links' full Copenhagen coverage at
http://links.org.au/taxonomy/term/433

Subscribe free to Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal at
http://www.feedblitz.com/f/?Sub=343373

You can also follow Links on Twitter at http://twitter.com/LinksSocialism

24 Dec 2009

COPENHAGEN – WE WILL NOT DIE QUIETLY

Just got this from Jonathan Neale, cheers amigo, an witness report from Copenhagen, I would add that the indigenous activist, climate camp and the best of the Latin American leaders show the way....any way signing off now for Xmass.


COPENHAGEN – WE WILL NOT DIE QUIETLY

A great wrong has been done in Copenhagen, and a new global movement has been born.
The first half of this report is about the wrong, and the second half about the new movement.

We Had No Idea

The agreement that has come out of the UN climate talks is worse than any of the 35,000 activists and experts who went to Copenhagen expected.
None of us saw this coming. Cynics like me expected a failure to agree and a postponement to next year's talks. We had no idea.
Instead, what happened was this. Barack Obama flew in on the last day – Friday. He gave a short rude speech that promised nothing. Then he met with Premier Wen of China for 55 minutes. Then the two of them met with Lula of Brazil, Singh of India and Zuma of South Africa.
Those five men agreed the 'Copenhagen Accord'. The White House issued it to the press with no further agreement from anyone. Obama then flew home.
The UN Climate Conference finished at three the next morning. The chair said they 'noted' the Accord and banged down the gavel.

The Copenhagen Accord

The Accord is two and one half pages long. Previously the Kyoto agreement had agreed reductions targets for rich countries. In the Accord every country will choose its own targets, whatever they feel like, and tell the UN by 31 January.
We had expected further negotiations in Mexico City next December. Most countries still expect that. But the Accord says the first review of the targets will be in 2015.
There is no enforcement or legally binding targets in the Accord. There are no 'politically' binding targets. Nothing.
We expected a failure to agree, and continued negotiations. This is not a failure. This is a quick, brutal coordinated destruction of any international agreement to cut emissions. It is a success for those who want to prevent action.

The Killers

All the hype in the media, and among most activists, had been that the Copenhagen meeting would be a contest between the rich countries and the Global South: Asia, Africa and Latin America. Many had hoped against hope that Obama would be the saviour on the last day.
In fact the leaders of destruction were the rulers of the US, China, India, Brazil, and South Africa. Lula, the leader of the great strikes under the dictatorship in Brazil. Zuma, the freedom fighter, the choice of the left and the unions in South Africa. Obama.
As Saturday unfolded, I spoke with one environmental expert after another. They all knew. The former leader of a British environmental NGO, a moderate man, showed me the Accord, tears in his eyes, saying, 'Why did they bother? Two years, tens of thousands of people, all for this, this, this,' - the paper shakes in his hands – 'this piece of shit?'

Why?

How did this happen?
After all, the governments did start out two years ago looking for a flawed, weak agreement. We were going to criticise them, and they were going to feel satisfied.
What has changed in those two years is the scale of the global economic crisis. Capitalism is competition. But the economic crisis means that each bit is in increasingly desperate competition with each other bit. National alliances of corporations – American capital, Indian capital, German capital, Chinese capital, Japanese capital – compete with each other now, with very little margin for success. The capitalists, and their politicians, do not think they can afford the cost to their bit of capital of doing anything about climate change.
Two years ago they thought they could make small moves. Now they don't.
So over the last year all the major governments in North America, Europe and the Global South have been moving away from doing anything.

The Five

Look at the five countries that wrote and signed the accord all by themselves: the US, China, India, Brazil and South Africa. Between them they have just under half the world's population, just under half the world's CO2 emissions, just over a third of the world economy in dollar terms, and over half of the world's industrial workers.
These are coal producers. Coal is the worst fossil fuel, because it is almost all carbon. China, the US and India are the three biggest coal producers in the world. South Africa is fifth.
Brazil has major oil reserves and is destroying the Amazon forest.
All these countries will find it harder, and more expensive, to cut emissions than the industrial powers of the European Union. That is why they sabotaged hope. Copenhagen is the triumph of Big Coal.
But the European leaders were not prepared to fight them. Brown and Milliband crawl to Washington by reflex. For Merkl of Germany and Sarkozy of France it's different. Their governments have stood up to the US before. Here they did not.
No one attacked Obama in public. No one publicly refused to sign the deal. No one walked out of the conference and stayed out.
Sometimes this is because their leaders were personally bought or threatened by the rich countries. But it is also because the corporations and banks in France and Germany are afraid of the cost of doing anything about climate change.

The Consequences

I went to many of the workshops and talks at the NGO run alternative Climate Forum in Copenhagen. Reports from scientists, and from activists in country after country, made clear that the consequences of climate change are here, now.
Scientists from the great universities of the world came, together, to tell us that the prospects were much worse than the UN report had predicted back in 2007.
A delegate from Ghana spoke in one meeting, and I asked a question about the effects of climate change in Northern Ghana. I knew the rains have failed there for the last four years.
'You want to know about the effects of climate change in the north, do you?' he said. He was angry. 'You want to know how many people died this year of climate change in the last place I visited in the North? 261. They took me and showed me where they did the operations in the hospital, and while they were doing them the electricity went off. They showed me where after the birth they had no water to wash the baby or the mother.'
'They are leaving the North.' He was angry at me, at the babbling ineffectual meeting, at the lack of rage in Copenhagen. 'We have nothing for them in the South. They are coming to you.'
The rulers of the world have betrayed those suffering now – the people of Bangladesh, Sudan, Kenya, Chad, Ghana, Afghanistan, Louisiana, Mississippi, Tuvalu the Maldives, and many more. They have betrayed the future of Africa, Asia, and the great coastal cities like New York, Amsterdam, London, Shanghai, Calcutta – and Copenhagen. They have betrayed you, and me. And my children. They have betrayed not just the polar bears and the frogs but the future of every living thing on the planet.
The second half of this report is about the new global movement to stop them.

THE NEW GLOBAL MOVEMENT

Copenhagen saw the birth of a new global movement.
The first reason was the demonstration on Saturday. The official police estimate was that there were 100,000 marchers.
The march was long, loud, cold, bouncy, and energetic, about half Danes and half foreigners. I moved up and down the line, and everywhere people were chanting. This time the slogans were about climate, not some other issue, and they sounded and felt organic, rising up from the movement.
Every type of person was there. I marched with the Belgian unions, who kneeled and banged their green hard hats on the road and then rose and ran shouting, again and again. With the Swedish communists and their red flags. With the British campaign and our greenhouse, chanting, 'Leave the Oil in the Soil, Leave the Coal in the Hole.' The Danish WWF chanted that with us, and then taught us 'Wa, Wa, Wa, PANDA!'
People were happy. No one had expected 100,000. For the activists gathered from around the world, this was the largest climate demonstration they had ever seen, by far.
From then on we knew a new global movement was possible.

Climate Justice Now

The second reason for the new movement was the coming together of Climate Justice Now and Climate Justice Action.
People came to Copenhagen from all over the world as part of 'NGO' charities and campaigns. 25,000 of them had passes for the Bella Centre where the governments were meeting. This was part of a long term policy of coopting NGOs.
This time, the more radical NGOs were loosely organised in a Climate Justice Now network, including Friends of the Earth International, Via Campesina (the peasants), Jubilee South (Christian debt campaigners), Focus on the Global South, Attac France, and individuals from many more NGOs.
But radicalism spread well beyond them inside the Bella Centre By the second day, African delegates were demonstrating in the halls, chanting 'We Will Not Die Quietly'. There were regular small outbursts, and security began interrogating and banning people.

Climate Justice Action

Outside Climate Justice Action worked in concert with Climate Justice Now. CJ Action were the direct action people – the largest group was Climate Camp from Britain.
Their big demo was planned for the last Wednesday. CJ Action would try to march up to and through the police lines at the Bella Centre CJ Now would lead a walkout from inside the Bella Centre
The authorities inside, probably controlled by the Americans, were increasingly angry and worried about the resistance. The Saturday demo had been very large. Demonstrations inside were unprecedented.
Moreover, the American government knew they were going to put the boot in when Obama came. So they started closing down.
From Saturday on the Danish police were arresting large groups and holding them without charge for 12 hours, about 2,000 in all. They also arrested, charged and refused to bail the main leaders of DJ Action.
With the joint demo looming, the UN announced that the NGOs would have to give up 80% of their passes for the last four days. Almost all the US trade union delegates, for instance, were locked out.
The night before the CJ demo inside and action outside, Friends of the Earth International met and decided not to join the demo. The next morning they arrived at the Centre to discover that all their delegates had been banned from the Centre The same happened to Tkk, Tkk, Tkk – a coalition including Greenpeace, Oxfam and WWF.

Solidarity

On Wednesday two hundred people demonstrated inside. If the UN had not cut out most delegates, it would have been two thousand.
Outside two thousand marched towards police lines. The numbers were small because it was nine in the morning on a working day and people were understandably afraid of the police.
There were ten rows of police, pepper gas in the face, beatings, and no chance of getting through.
It was disorganised, chaotic, and frightening. But it was an enormous success. The world saw police brutality, outraged delegates, and a serious and brave resistance.

Now in Britain

After that most CJ Now and CJ Action activists talked of building a united global movement in each country. By Saturday, with the scale of the betrayal slowly sinking in, we met and planned how to do that.
Unity between those two forces will draw in much wider numbers of people. There was general agreement on this too. People had seen that the Saturday march was fifty times bigger than the direct action. They know we will need an enormous, serious and militant movement to even begin to move the world leaders.
I am sure that there will be meetings in most towns in Britain during January to begin building this new alliance. In some places, that will be many organisations coming together formally. In others, it will be smaller networks meeting informally.
If you want to be part of that process, get on the phone and start finding people.
There are two forces we have to mobilise beyond the obvious. One is the 100,000 who came on the London march on December 5. The leadership of that march was shamefully congratulatory of Brown and Milliband. That must never happen again.
But there were enormous numbers on their first march. The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, for instance, brought 4,000 people on coaches. Do not forget to call your local bird watchers.
The other force is unions, because that is how to mobilise workers, the majority of society.
Unions were largely absent from the London demo and Climate Justice Now. But they were the stewards on the great Copenhagen demo of 100,000.
Our best chance now of building a mass movement that can do something about climate change is the fight for One Million Climate Jobs. Remember, every CWU and PCS branch has already been sent a copy of the pamphlet. Don't forget to ring the branch secretaries.
Some people will be hopeless after Copenhagen. Some NGO leaders will be whipped into line. But many will be enraged, and moved to action.
For the first time, it is possible to build a global movement, and a movement in your town.
This is only the beginning. It will be a long fight. The rulers of the world have made clear it is no longer about polar bears, no longer fluffy, no longer nice. Everyone involved will be have to work with new people, in different ways, well outside their comfort zone.
This is now a struggle, between the activists and the rulers of the world. We must make it a struggle between the people and the rulers.
It is about the poor, and the Global South. But don't kid yourself. It is also about Greece, Australia, New Orleans, Mississippi, London, Liverpool, Amsterdam, Copenhagen, and many more.
North and South we will make the rulers of the world hear the cry of Copenhagen:
We will not die quietly.

Jonathan Neale

Victory: Egypt allows Viva Palestina to enter Gaza

Good to get this and nice to see Green Party members like Medea and Ziyaad involved


Government of Egypt changes policy to allow humanitarian group Viva Palestina to enter Gaza December 27, 2009

December 23, 2009

Contact:
In Cairo: Ann Wright 019 508 1493 microann@yahoo.com
In the US: Medea Benjamin 415-235-6517 medea@globalexchange.org
In Gaza: Haider Eid 970 599 441 766 haidareid@yahoo.com
In Europe (Portugal): Ziyaad Lunat +351938349206 z.lunat@googlemail.com


Gaza Freedom March congratulates the Government of Egypt on its change of policy to allow international missions into Gaza during December with the decision to allow the Viva Palestina convoy to go into Gaza on December 27, 2009.

Organizers of Gaza Freedom March were told on December 20, 2009 by Ministry of Foreign Affairs officials that no international missions would be allowed to enter Gaza during December, including the Gaza Freedom March, because of serious security conditions at the border.

Today, December 23, Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesperson told Gaza Freedom March organizers said that the decision had been made to alter its policy because of the “humanitarian assistance” nature of Viva Palestina.

Since the Gaza Freedom March is also bringing in humanitarian assistance items valued at tens of thousands of dollars and the border is now considered safe, Gaza Freedom March will make a formal request to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on December 24, that that Government of Egypt reconsider the request of the Gaza Freedom March for entry of its 1360 delegates from 42 countries into Gaza through the Rafah crossing on December 27.

Marchers and their friends have been flooding Egyptian embassies throughout the world with calls and emails. Embassies throughout Europe, the United States and Canada have told callers that they have been flooded with telephone calls from persons asking that the Gaza Freedom March be allowed into Gaza. Members of the Canadian, German, Swiss, French, Greek and Filipino Parliaments have written letters, as well as the Irish Minister of Defense, asking the Egyptian government to allow the march to proceed.

The Gaza Freedom March has families of three generations, doctors, lawyers, diplomats, 100 students, an interfaith group that includes rabbis, priests and imams, a women’s delegation, a Jewish contingent, a veterans group and Palestinians born overseas who have never seen their families in Gaza.

We have large delegations from the U.S., France, Italy, the United Kingdom, Canada, Belgium, Spain, Germany, Greece, Australia, South Africa, the Netherlands and Japan. We also have delegations from Sweden, Turkey, India, Ireland, Switzerland, Jordan, Morocco, Denmark, Lebanon, Austria, Luxembourg, Norway, Portugal, Tunisia, Algeria, Philippines, South Korea, Bahrain, Bosnia, Israel, New Zealand, Slovenia, Saudi Arabia, Bulgaria, Cameroon, Indonesia, Libya, Mexico, Mauritius, Romania and Serbia.


For more information see www.gazafreedommarch.org , especially Questions and Answers section, or contact:

In Cairo Ann Wright microann@yahoo.com
In the US: Medea Benjamin medea@globalexchange.org
In Gaza: Haider Eid haidareid@yahoo.com
In Europe (Portugal): Ziyaad Lunat z.lunat@googlemail.com

Son of no2eu to be called ' 'Trades Union & Socialist Coalition'

Apparently!

You can't proclaim a new party a couple of months before a General Election and hope to have any impact.

But this seems to be what the Socialist Party, Bob Crow and the CPB(?) seem to be doing.

I think, obviously, that the left should support the Green Party and strong left candidates outside the Green Party with a chance of victory.

'Trades Union & Socialist Coalition' is likely to pick up at best a few thousand votes here and there.

Instead I think they should put their energy into supporting Dave Nellist who might do a little better and to support Caroline Lucas, Salma Yaqoob and Dai Davies.

N02EU had a fairly limited impact in the European Elections, I don't think this will have a bigger impact, its about building up support over a number of years in constituencies through community campaigning.

Proclaiming a party national will not cut it, I suspect.

While left analysis is vital, I largely despair of left strategy in the UK. Very different in Latin America, may be the Brit left should see if they can learn anything from Morales, Chavez and co.

Wealth Care

Wealth Care
[col. writ. 12/17/09] (c) 09 Mumia Abu-Jamal

As Congress wrestles over the parameters of a health care bill, amidst maddened catcalls of 'death panels' and 'socialism!', I am reminded of the experience of John Black, an old trade unionist, revolutionary activist and journalist.

Black, a fervent supporter of the Cuban Revolution, joined the Venceremos Brigades, an annual trek of foreigners to the island, who assisted in harvesting the sugar crop and other agricultural work.

Although he was in his mid-to-high seventies at the time, Black did his part, until the searing tropical heat, or perhaps the work (or both) took its toll.

Black was taken to a nearby hospital, and received what he called "excellent treatment." As he was leaving, he reached for his wallet, and began pulling out some bucks. The doctor looked at him quizzically -- and then told him to put his money away.

"We treated you because you were sick, Senor," the doctor explained, "Not for the money."

These words blew Black away, and this experience with socialist medicine moved him deeply.

What is even more remarkable is that Cuba was doing this during its 'Special Period:, a time of economic chaos when its biggest trading partner, the Soviet Union, stopped bartering things for things (as in oil for sugar, for example) and began demanding cold cash for trade.

As of 2006, Cuba had a Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of $45 billion dollars--about the same as the Congo, or the Sultanate of Oman ($44.1bn).

The GDP measures the market value of goods and services purchased within a nation over a given period of time -- usually a year.

Do you want to know what the U.S. GDP was for 2007?

Over 13 trillion dollars. 13 trillion.

Guess which country provides free medical care?

The richest nation in earth's history can't agree on how to insure that its citizens get good health care, balking over the economic interests of insurance and pharmaceutical companies.

One of the poorest nations on earth (Cuba) not only provides free, universal health care, but it provides well-trained, humanistic doctors to developing and poor countries all over the world (in fact, there are more Cuban doctors helping people overseas, than there are from the UN's World Health Organization (WHO)

We need to stop rapping about so-called Health Care: and call it what it is: Wealth Care.

Copenhagen and the environmental credit crunch

Copenhagen and the environmental credit crunch
As the debacle at the United Nations Climate Change Conference proved, there is no solution to the growing environmental crisis unless we tackle global inequality, consumerism and the capitalist market.

The Copenhagen conference, which aimed to provide a global agreement for dealing with climate change, has been widely recognised as a failure. While a bloc of developing countries wanted to see a tough agreement with strong limits on emissions and aid for poorer countries to reduce carbon output, this was too much for the wealthier nations. The USA essentially sabotaged the prospect of a strong and just plan for climate change.

Rather than an agreement and a plan for action, the conference ended with a weak non binding statement- more a press release than a set of agreed policy objectives.

As Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez remarked in his analysis of the conference:

"An accord was not possible in Copenhagen due to the lack of political will of the rich countries: the powerful of this world, the hyper-developed, they do not want to change their patterns of production and consumption which are as senseless as suicide. “The world can go to hell if it dares to threaten my privilege and my lifestyle”, is what they appear to be saying with their conduct: that is the hard truth that they do not want to hear from those who act under the historical and categorical imperative to change course.

"Copenhagen is not the end, I repeat, but a beginning: the doors have been opened for a universal debate on how to save the planet, life on the planet. The battle continues."
The conference was both corporate and chaotic. 'Hopenhagen' logos sponsored by soft drinks companies littered the city. The Independent journalist Johan Hari noted:

Every delegate to the Copenhagen summit is being greeted by the sight of a vast fake planet dominating the city's central square. This swirling globe is covered with corporate logos – the Coke brand is stamped over Africa, while Carlsberg appears to own Asia, and McDonald's announces "I'm loving it!" in great red letters above. "Welcome to Hopenhagen!" it cries. It is kept in the sky by endless blasts of hot air.
Southern delegates walked out at several points, activists on the streets were brutalised and some are likely to be in prison in Denmark over the Christmas holiday. The representatives of the NGO Friends of the Earth were thrown out of the conference for a time. The Danish government introduced new legislation that made it easy to arrest protesters.

In a sense, Copenhagen was dead before it even began. The planet has become so emeshed in market-based economics that climate change is being tackled at a global level mainly via carbon trading. The targets set at an international meetings, of which Copenhagen is the latest, for reducing CO2 emissions are to be achieved almost exclusively by market mechanisms. Sir Nicholas Stern may have described climate change as the greatest market failure in the history of humanity, but the notion of using the market to deal with climate change is absurd. Despite decades of meetings, protocols and agreements, the international framework has failed to reduce CO2 emissions at all.


More here

23 Dec 2009

Early Christmas present from Clare Solomon

Just spotted this from Clare Solomon, do spread the word, the revolution will be SOASised!

ALL welcome. And a happy bah humbug to you all (this bit is from me, Clare!)

Chris Knight, Hillel Ticktin and William Dixon debate:
THE (IM)POSSIBILITY OF REVOLUTION

Thursday 21 January, 7.15pm, Room B102, Brunei Gallery,
SOAS, University of London, Thornaugh St. WC1 (Russell Sq. tube).

At the next election millions will vote for pro-capitalist political parties that offer little except cutbacks and austerity. Despite economic crisis, climate chaos and disastrous wars, people see no alternative to capitalism - and revolution seems, at best, an impossible dream.

Yet all three speakers at this debate believe this situation cannot last indefinitely. Their differing interpretations of anthropology, economics and history each show that a 21st Century global revolution is a real possibility - not just a dream.

Could they be right? Come and join the debate.

Chris Knight is an anthropology lecturer, sacked for his involvement in the G20 anti-capitalist protests, and author of Blood Relations, Menstruation and the Origins of Culture.

Hillel Ticktin is editor of Critique, a Journal of Socialist Theory.

William Dixon is a Mute magazine contributor.



Check the Critique and Radical Anthropology Group websites in 2010 for further meetings in London.

Please publicise widely, thanks.

'Climategate'

The evidence that climate change is not occurring, according to the sceptics, rests on three stolen emails.

I wonder what damning evidence the 10,000 other emails stolen shows.

I think this is pretty thin evidence of a climate conspiracy, there is a good account of the whole episode on wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Climatic_Research_Unit_e-mail_hacking_incident but the sceptics argue that this is part of the conspiracy, wiki is totally transparent and there is a discussion of those who disagree with the entry here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Talk:Climatic_Research_Unit_e-mail_hacking_incident but this in turn will be dismissed as part of the conspiracy. And so on.

Conspiracies do exist but so does the principle of Occam's razor

I have not had much in the way of intelligent response to my article on sceptics. I think its fair to say that it is impossible to construct complete models for climate and that negative feedback mechanisms may be more important than positive. Even so given the risks of climate change and the horrifying problem of acidifying oceans, this is not an argument for inaction. I would also agree that carbon trading is a con and Al Gore is no guide to realistic action.

Climate sceptics are unwilling, though, to state bluntly that CO2 levels don't influence the climate and are not prepared to examine their own approach.

Its very much a matter of searching through an ocean of evidence that suggests climate change is occuring for a little fish that can be misnamed as fraudulent.

I suspect oil addiction is the source of this madness, oil is polluting and running out, although I guess these people will be on to say that it is pure and grows at the bottom of caves.

If you think there is anything in the sceptics case, look at my article and look at their responses and then decide.

I guess they will be on in a minute calling me a fascist.


Locura!

sunday 27th demo for Gaza

http://www.palestinecampaign.org/Index9b.asp?m_id=1&l1_id=3&l2_id=62&Content_ID=976

One year since the Beginning of the Attacks on Gaza
Join the Vigil Outside the Israeli Embassy
End the Siege on Gaza
Sunday 27 December 2009
3pm
High Street Kensington, W8, London (High St Kensington Underground)
Called by Palestine Solidarity Campaign, British Muslim Initiative, Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, Stop the War Coalition
Supported by: Amos Trust, Communication Workers Union, Fire
Brigades Union, Friends of Al Aqsa, Friends of Lebanon, Greater London
UNISON, The Green Party, ICAHD UK, IJAN – the International Jewish
Anti-Zionist Network, Jewish Socialists' Group, Labour Friends of
Palestine and the Middle East, Palestinian Return Centre, The Peace
Cycle, Public and Commercial Services Union, Thompsons Solicitors.
*************
VIGILS AROUND THE UK
Liverpool 27 December 2-4pm
Sheffield 27 December 4-5pm
Wolverhampton 29 December 4:30pm
Leicester PSC is holding a vigil for Gaza in the centre of Leicester on December 28th. between 2 and 3pm
Brighton PSC Gaza vigil in Brighton on 27th December

UCU Goldsmiths meeting on 'serious threat to campus' rights

My branch of the UCU does some good work, here is a notice about the campaign meeting to oppose points based migration rules, its all about biometric cards and big brother, all this stuff is going to get worse, if you Goldsmiths based please support the meeting on the 13th Jan





Hello,

my name is Kirsten and I'm the administrator for the Goldsmiths branch of
University College Union (UCU). In collaboration with the Students' Union
at Goldsmiths, we're campaigning against the Points Based System for
Immigration.

The new 'points based' immigration rules represent a serious threat to
campus democracy and freedom of speech. They require non-EU students and
staff to have biometric ID cards, involve demands on the financial
background of applicants and mean that staff are obliged to report
students to the UK Border Agency when they have not attended regularly. We
feel these rules are unwarranted, undemocratic and unfair and should be
stopped.

More information on our campaign is at this link:
http://homepages.gold.ac.uk/ucu/pbsicampaign.html

We're organising a meeting on Wednesday, the 13th of January at 5PM, in
RHB 142 (in the main building) at Goldsmiths, Lewisham Way, New Cross SE14
6NW (closest stations: New Cross, New Cross Gate, Deptford Bridge). It
would be great if you could make it.

Also, we feel that in order for the campaign to be successful, it will be
necessary to build broad grassroots opposition to the new immigration
rules. We're trying to contact migration rights, anti-racist and civil
liberties activists in the hope that we can work together. Please forward
to your contacts.

thanks and all the best
Kirsten

Kirsten Forkert
GUCU Administrator
GUCU Office
Goldsmiths College
32 Lewisham Way
London, SE14 6NW
020 7919 7474
http://homepages.gold.ac.uk/ucu/
http://twitter.com/GoldsmithsUCU

22 Dec 2009

Which bar do you climate crash in?

just had this which is a nice comment from Jonty below, thanks amigo.....also this is a nice clear guide to the climate debate in the form of a good looking graphic http://www.informationisbeautiful.net/visualizations/climate-change-deniers-vs-the-consensus/

Derek, thanks for this interesting post. I think your metaphor is apt. But I would say that we are everyone one of us who lives a Western lifestyle the alcoholics - though each of us is at different stages of accepting our addiction.

Some of us are fighting it by attempting low carbon lifestyles. Others of us want to fight it but sometimes the weight of what is 'normal' in everyday life going on around us is just too hard to resist and we relapse. And most of us are still denying that we even have a problem.

Like all alcoholics we stand little chance of recovery until we are forced to confront our problem - which for most of us means hitting rock bottom. By which I mean the shocking first-hand experience of severe climate impacts.

It would maybe be more apt to say that the vocal sceptics who command so much media attention are the lobbyists who persuade us to part with our money at the bar by promoting the corporate interests of the alcohol industry. They are attractive to us because they permit us to carry on the drinking that we enjoy so much.

And all the drinking holes that we habitually frequent to indulge our addiction are the momentum of consumer society in which it is easy to be persuaded by like-minded drinking buddies that our damaging habit is perfectly normal and acceptable.

I've also used the same metaphor (from personal experience) here:
http://jontybarrett.wordpress.com/2009/12/12/ways-of-seeing-part-two/

Joel Kovel founder of Ecosocialist net speaks at London Green Party meeting

Joel Kovel will be speaking on the situation in the United States post-Copenhagen and on his book, The Enemy of Nature: The End of Capitalism or The End of the World? at an open London Federation of Green Parties discussion meeting at 7.30pm on Monday 25th January at the Lucas Arms, Grays Inn Road (three minutes walk from Kings Cross Tube Station).

Joel is an academic and leading member of the Green Party of the United States who has been active in the peace and anti nuclear movements since the Vietnam War. He was part in the Pastors for Peace Friendshipment which broke the US blockade of Cuba in 1994, was Green Party candidate for Senator from
New York and ran for the Party's Presidential nomination in 2000. Although originally a psychiatrist and psychotherapist, since 1980 Joel has academic, teaching and researching in the fields of politics and communication, but last year was witch-hunted from his post of Distinguished Professor at Bard College as a result the publication of his book, Overcoming Zionism: Creating a Single Democratic State in Israel-Palestine.

This will be a fascinating meeting and a good introduction to the width of current green politics. Bring your friends as well as your fellow members!


Just had this from Joseph, Joel encouraged me to start building an ecosocialist network in the UK, thus eventually Green Left was born and his work with Michael Lowy has seen the Fourth International embrace ecosocialism.

All around good and inspiring guy!

Compensation from Danes for climate arrests

just had this from schnews

It is very common for activists to get compensation from the police
in Denmark. If you are arrested and released without charge you can
apply and you can automatically receive compensation (and quite
quickly, unlike in Britain).

This does not apply for the preventative arrests they have been
using, but if you think you have been unfairly treated you still stand
a fair chance of receiving compensation.

Contact: Copenhagen Legal Support:
Retshjælpen Rusk, Baggesensgade 6, basement -
Nørrebro. Phone: 0045 28255320
E-mail: retshjaelprusk@hotmail.com

Greens pull out of Barking to defeat BNP Nick Griffin

The London Federation of Green Parties is going to stand down in Barking to help defeat Nick Griffin. This was decided at a meeting yesterday

Nick the nasty is a product of Margaret Hodge the dreadful New labour Mp for Barking but rather the stodge than the Nazi?
Working class hatred of new labour has fuelled the BNP, so a green alternative to New Labour is needed.

However the Green Party is not in a position to mount a challenge in Barking.

Be great it Hodge stood down, she is so unpopular she could single handly give us Britain's first BNP MP.

Just had this from Green Left:

“Green Left welcomes the decision of the London Federation of Green Parties to call for no Green Party candidate to stand in the forthcoming general election for the constituency of Barking, in order to maximise the anti-Fascist vote. We regard this as a decision in favour of all progressive groups campaigning against the BNP in Barking and we pledge our full support for all efforts to defeat Nick Griffin and the BNP there. Despite wishing to provide voters with a progressive alternative, under the circumstances we consider it the best strategic decision not to stand a candidate in this election. We call on all voters in Barking to vote against the politics of hate and the BNP”

Joseph Healy has written more extensively here

21 Dec 2009

Caroline Lucas needs to debate!

lets face the bland boring leaders all believe in nuclear weapons, war in Afghanistan, free markets and cuts.....Caroline needs a place in the debate, just had this from John Reardon, thanks amigo.

'My blog is at http://johnbreardon.blogspot.com I'm our PPC here in Carlisle and we have a rapidly growing local party. We had twenty people out on the streets delivering our target ward newsletter last week! ' says John





Dear all,

The BBC News website announced today that plans for a series of three televised leaders' debates in the run up to the next general election are now in the process of being agreed. This is the most advanced that such proposals have become after many years of getting nowhere, and it's increasingly likely that the debates will happen in some form.

More on the BBC website here at:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/8425280.stm

For the sake of democracy the Greens must be included in these debates and our case for inclusion is overwhelming.

Please can I ask that you do three things to lobby for Caroline's inclusion?

1. Join my Facebook group at http://www.facebook.com/home.php?ref=home#/group.php?gid=209956541091 (group name is Include the Greens in the general election televised leaders' debate).

2. Inform the BBC that as the national public service broadcaster they have a duty to ensure Caroline's inclusion. Go to https://www.bbc.co.uk/complaints/forms/ and click on "send a comment/tell you my views".

Alternatively you can telephone the BBC on 03700 100 222 or write to them at:

BBC Complaints
PO Box 1922
Glasgow
G2 3WT

3. Encourage everyone you know to do the same. If you have a blog please publicise this issue.

Best wishes,

John Reardon
Carlisle and Eden Green Party

Beyond ecological imperialism

The row over climate change isn't just a battle between rich and poor, it illustrates the futility of obsession with economic growth

good stuff have a look here

Military Families against the war protest today

I will be at Downing St tonight with the military families and with other members from Green Left and the banner. Let’s not forget the fact that the war continues and that more families will continue to suffer in 2010.

Joseph Healy


Why we're asking for your support on Monday 21 December
Military Families Against the War go to Downing Street on Monday 21 December 2009 at 5.00pm, when they will deliver the Bring the Troops Home petition and demand to see Gordon Brown
By Joan Humphries, grandmother of Private Kevin Elliott, who was killed Afghanistan in 2009
and Graham Knight, father of Sergeant Ben Knight, who was killed in 2006
26 November 2009

"Christmas is always a time of reflection for people who have suffered loss. But we don't have to suffer alone, and we don't have to suffer in silence. Instead, we want to remind the Government of the sacrifices our loved ones have made, and continue to make.
We will be travelling to 10 Downing Street on Monday, December 21, to demand to see Gordon Brown and present him with a petition signed by tens of thousands of people who are calling for the troops to be brought home.
We have suffered terrible personal loss in this war in Afghanistan and we don't want any more families to go through the same pain.
Everyone knows now this is a pointless war, deeply unpopular in Britain and Afghanistan. The most recent poll shows 71 percent of people in Britain want troops home within a year.
Young lives are being sacrificed so that politicians can save face.
Britain is supporting the US just to keep up the so-called special relationship. Meanwhile the death toll is mounting. It is high time the troops came home.
We will hold a vigil at Downing Street for those who have been killed in Afghanistan and in Iraq. We will be joined by other families who have lost loved ones or whose loved ones are still in Afghanistan. We have also invited former soldiers.
Please join us at Downing Street on Monday December 21 at 5pm and help make sure the Prime Minister listens."
Joan Humphries
Graham Knight
Military Families Against the War...

'Climate sceptics are like alcoholics' says Dr Wall




















There is a moment in Malcolm Lowry's novel Under The Volcano that reminds me of climate change sceptics.

Doomed alcoholic Geoffrey Firmin is on a journey towards death but he insists to his estranged wife Yvonne and brother that he can drink a beer or two because beer isn't really alcohol.

For an alcoholic any excuse will do - even one as weak as the notion that alcohol isn't really alcoholic.

For climate sceptics any excuse is enough to keep on the oil they are addicted to.

The sceptics, like all addicts, resort to the lamest arguments to deny that there might be a problem.

For the right, climate denial is increasingly a matter of faith. Listening to scientists could be an indication of dangerous socialist inclinations.

Tory David Cameron likes to be seen cycling, albeit with the chauffeur carrying his bags, but climate denial is increasingly dominant in the Conservative Party.

Thatcher's former chancellor Lord Lawson is perhaps the best-known sceptic, but many of the most prominent Tory bloggers, such as Iain Dale, also reject the science of global warming.

I suspect that climate scepticism is virtually a membership requirement for UKIP. For the far-right, suspicion of scientists is nearly as popular as suspicion of Europeans and migrants.

Yet the facts of climate change are in essence very simple.

C02 in the atmosphere traps heat and leads to warming, temperatures are rising and this correlates with the highest CO2 for thousands of years. Thousands of peer-reviewed papers from scientists have established this link.

The arguments posed by the sceptics often lack logic.

David Bellamy, who seems to be an estranged BBC nature correspondent but at least has a scientific background, argues that CO2 is vital to life and is not a pollutant.

And? Water is vital to life and is not a pollutant but in large enough quantities it leads to drowning. CO2 in the atmosphere likewise alters the weather.

I once listened to Tory rightwinger Lord Monckton argue that the climate in the past had changed, suggesting that this refuted the role of "man-made" global warming. It is true that temperatures in the past have changed and a range of factors have been responsible, but saying that there are other causes of climate change does not refute the role of CO2.

The creation of huge stores of fossil fuel in the form of coal and oil has made our planet habitable for animal life.

Millions of years of geological activity have taken CO2 from the atmosphere, making the atmosphere breathable for mammals and temperate.

Yet in a matter of decades we are burning fossils that have taken millions of years to be laid down. This has potentially catastrophic results.

The sceptics have been funded by the multibillion-dollar coal and oil companies. Indeed scientists have been under huge pressure to deny the reality of climate change, particularly in the US during the Bush years.

It is important to follow the money trail, but listening to their arguments to see if they hold true is far more valuable when testing the relevance of climate sceptics.

A close examination of the sceptics' argument is extremely instructive. It reveals not a theory backed by evidence, let alone peer-reviewed papers, but a set of paradoxical claims.

Any argument will apparently do. And the sceptics seem to disagree with each other more than with the scientific mainstream.

Professor Stefan Rahmstorf, from the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, notes that sceptics can be divided into at least three different and largely contradictory species.

Trend sceptics deny that temperatures are rising. They argue that climate data is collected in cities where human activity artificially raises temperatures, climate change is an artefact of flawed data collection. However weather balloons are just one control that prove this to be false.

The fast-disappearing trend sceptics argue when presented with data that the scientists concerned are part of a conspiracy and lie.

Then there are attribution sceptics, who argue that warming is occurring but isn't caused by emissions. Sunspots are a favourite theory, while Piers Corbyn, the meteorologist brother of left Labour MP Jeremy, has a magnetic theory of climate change.

But such theories are contradicted by scientific data which provides both a model of the greenhouse effect and solid data showing that CO2 is rising with temperatures.

Last are the impact sceptics, who don't deny rising temperatures or reject the link with C02 emissions but say that warmer temperatures are beneficial.

The published statements of the sceptics are full of spin and internal contradiction. It is instructive to reflect that sceptics stole 10 years of emails from climate researchers at the University of East Anglia and dug out one or two suspect statements about tree-ring data.

Scientists are imperfect and science, especially the science of climate change, is uncertain. Science is rarely immune from social influences, but scientific revolutions are propelled by data and the construction of testable alternatives. The sceptics are certainly not using the data to construct an alternative theory.

They are killing us with their words and slowing effective action on climate change. Now they are moving on to a new argument - that it is too late to act and humanity should do nothing.

Ending the oil addiction requires that we introduce a green new deal to create clean energy and to take sensible steps to create an economy that works with rather than against nature.

Sadly the current framework of global climate policy does not provide an alternative. Its model based on carbon trading has so far failed to cut emissions.

The most destructive effect of the climate sceptics has been to throw a huge cloud of dust over the science of climate change. This has distracted us from the real debate that is required - how to replace the current global framework with policies that actually work to reduce emissions.

In Lowry's cult masterpiece, the alcoholic Firmin ends up quite literally in the abyss. The oil-addicted sceptics are taking humanity in the same direction.

Derek Wall is a former principal speaker of the Green Party.

More here