Tag Archives: climate

Green Party hits out at welfare cuts

From the Green Party via the BBC

The Greens say recent welfare cuts in the UK will lead to a rise in people needing these emergency food supplies.

Green Party of England and Wales“What we want to do is to ensure that welfare benefit payments meet people’s basic needs. We’re here in the sixth richest country in the world and what we’re seeing is more demand for places like this every week.

“We’ve got the bedroom tax, council tax benefit cuts, cuts in the Disability Living Allowance. We believe we should have a minimum wage and we should have sufficient benefits and that should be paid for by making sure that rich people and multinationals pay their taxes” she said.

Despite a lot of people wondering how long the Green Party could last, it has just celebrated its 40th anniversary, shaking off its tree hugging, eco-warrior image. “We have the same basic principles – a fair society in which everyone has sufficient, within the limits of our one planet” says Ms Bennett.

These days you’re more likely to hear about the fight for a living wage than saving the rain forests. Even so, will people struggling to make ends meet automatically think of the Green Party offering them a practical alternative?

Ms Bennett does not believe the party is a luxury for easier economic times and denies they are struggling to make their voices heard.

Wind power

She’s a strong advocate of wind power, which she believes will help bring down the cost of energy, despite news that bills will rise to pay for greener electricity.

Ms Bennett claims renewable power is vital for the future: “we need that renewable energy”, she says.

“We have choices, we do need to replace some of our power plants. What we’d like to promote is community owned energy where turbines are owned by people living there and profits flow down to the community.”

She also criticised incinerator plans in the county: “they’re a 20th century idea that shouldn’t continue into the 21st century. We should be concentrating on reducing waste instead of locking yourself into decades long contracts with incinerators.”

Norfolk has more Green county councillors than anywhere else in the country and they are keen to improve on that.

“We are hoping the east will elect a Green MEP at the European elections next year”, she says. “We got 15% in the last general election in Norwich, we want to build on that.”

Tough times put the Greens under pressure and the protest vote appears to moving elsewhere, so these elections will be a significant test for this party that has seen consistent growth for more than a decade in the eastern counties.

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Daily Headline – 26/02/13

China’s environmental impact

China pollution flagA study on Chinese soil pollution by Chinas leading environmental watchdog will not be released by the ministry of environmental protection in its entirety.

The ministry of environmental protection said that is would not release all the data due to security reasons. Surely a cover for the horrific scale of environmental damage going on in China.

China’s official data already exposes huge environmental damage with the groundwater of two thirds of cities marked as severely polluted and two-fifths of rivers are tainted.

Beijing

Last month air pollution in China’s capital Beijing reached hazardous to human health levels as confirmed both by China and the World Health Organisation (WHO).

Environmental awareness is rapidly increasing in China and hopefully the latest development will add pressure on the government to do something about it.

Daily Headline – 15/02/13

Anti-climate change funded by billionaires

Donors Trust ScumOnce again big business and and the rich (led by the American right-wing) are trying to distort the reality of climate change.

Between 2002 and 2010 $120m has moved from conservative billionaires to over 100 anti-climate thinktanks with the aim of discrediting climate change science.

If climate change is indeed part of a natural ebb and flow then why does it need to be discredited? If it is wrong then the science will come to the fore and show that it is not happening or is not caused by human pollution.

I would suggest that by funding so much against this that it works to add to the ever mounting evidence that climate change is a reality and that human behaviour is making the situation worse.

If these billionaires can successfully discredit climate change then they will be able to effect government policy which in turn will help their respective businesses, either by increasing profits or by avoiding massive losses when people turn away from them.

This ‘donation’ is more like a financial investment in their short-sighted views.

Daily Headline – 04/02/13

UK; The cost of nuclear power

British radiation flagThe financial cost of cleaning up and sorting out the Sellafield nuclear reprocessing site in Cumbria, England has risen to £67.5bn.

In April 2005 radioactive waste leaked out from a cracked pipe into a sump chamber, there has been no environmental damage as a result of this leak.

A recent report by The Public Accounts Committee has said that deadlines to clean up the mess have been missed leaving decommissioning projects massively over budget.

This is currently costing the UK (tax payer) £1.5bn a year.

Such examples will give environmentalists plenty of ammunition in their call to abandon nuclear energy and pursue real investment in renewables.

For more on this click here.

Millions in melting glacier danger

By Leon J Williams

Fresh water could be in short supply or non-existent as glaciers in the Andes mountain range continue to disappear.

The BBC reports:

The glaciers, which provide fresh water for tens of millions in South America, are retreating at their fastest rate in the past 300 years.

The study included data on about half of all Andean glaciers and blamed the melting on an average temperature rise of 0.7C from 1950-1994.

Is this the result of man-made pollution or part of a natural long-term trend?

Either way one thing is for sure, the effects of this will have a massive impact on millions of people and something must be done to curtail the consequences.

Co2

Countries around the world are clearly not doing enough to reduce Carbon Dioxide emissions with the US polluting 17.67 tons per capita (one of the worlds highest) and China polluting a total of 7.7 million tons (the worlds highest).

Global Co2 emissions fell from 2008-2009 by 0.3% will this pathetic rate of improvement prove to be too little too late?