Tag Archives: Carbon emission(s)

An Open Letter to the People Who Are Trying to Kill Us

Riya Dani, a 20-something homebody with a million ideas and a thousand things planned on her to-do list.

Please try to see past the ugly words by the young woman Riya Dani when reading this open letter. It is an open cry that testifies to the despair of young people about the reality that many government leaders do not want to see. The composer of the open letter wants to bring her cry for discussions of Society, Environment and Science

It is more than necessary that the call to action is spreading all over the world!

Since it is already a quarter past midnight, it is understandable that some people are losing their faith in the leaders and want to stamp their feet hard in order to get a more hopeful result in time.

Let us all stand up and raise our voices!

Riya Dani

The world grappling with the ruinous results of Climate Change, everyone is talking about adopting sustainable strategies, but,

Are we doing enough?

We had high expectations from COP26 – they met, some slept.

All they did was preach the same words we have been screaming for years!

It’s Doomsday! We need to change” “To preserve our future! We need to Change” “Rise above the politics! We need to Change!

They pledged and promised and pleaded with people to change.

All these talks of change paint a very optimistic picture but,

Are we doing enough?

The trash that we produce keeps mounting, much like your promises.

The coal isn’t going anywhere, and the emissions being released keep breaking records.

The heat is breaking records, the fires are breaking records, the rains and floods and droughts are breaking records.

So, are we doing enough?

We shift to metal straws and…

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The Climate Crisis: It’s Not Just Consumers’ Faults

Much too often consumers forget that they have to bear the responsibility for our ecosystem. We still see too many people participating in the waste culture of packaging, plastics and not ecological produced goods, contributing to a too big ecological footprint.

We cannot just stand by and watch. It is time not only to make our voices heard but also to take action.

Regularly, the customers are reminded that this world expects them to spend their money on as many goods as possible. Soon we are having Black Friday again and commercials are luring the public again to get them to buy goods they do not necessarily need now.

We crossed the line of decency. We all are consuming much more than we really need and often we do forget the impact on our environment. As consumers, we are often as guilty as the producers, helping to pollute our earth. We too often forget that we are equal partners in this downward spiral of humanity.

Today the current culture of seeking materialistic pleasures or satisfaction makes many to enrich themselves not willing to see who is behind the making of those goods and at what cost for humanity and nature, as long as it is the cheapest for them.

For many it seems that this want for more keeps growing but not satisfying them. More than once we can see that wild chase of things people do not really need and sometimes even do not want. This wants and seeking only seems to create an emptiness in their lives, which they hope to fill by buying something new, in the hope to feel better.

We need more meaningful consumer engagement, with more reliable information and support provided for the choices we make.The governments should guide their citizens towards ‘greener consumption’. But to reach the targets set forward in Paris and Glasgow, the governments shall need help from manufacturers and retailers.

Supermarkets, online clothes retailers and other global companies should also be blamed for all the plastic waste which is polluting land and water. We’re encountering too much wrapping stuff unnecessarily in single-use plastic. We also often hear that we should avoid such plastic wrappings, but often we have no choice in the supermarkets. We’re told to buy loose fruit and veg, but it seems that the government is not putting the same pressure on supermarkets to sell loose fruit and veg.

Let us not forget:

Within this ‘money makes the world go round’ paradigm, though, advertising slogans are true indicators of how much we are being brainwashed into supporting the economy, at the cost of our autonomy, the developing world and the actual planet. {Programmed to spend}

 

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Preceding

The natural beauties of life

2016 look at food

A Snippet of Advice on Cultural Analysis

Less for more

Less… is still enough

Summermonths and consumerism

Material wealth, Submission and Heaven on earth

The Proper Place of Excess

Looking for the consummation of presents

One can buy a lot in the supermarket, but not hope

The Culture of Excesses- Losing Humanity

Recrafting our World

Time to be strengthened, thankful and to be prepared

Are you doing Thanksgiving

Beginning of a festival of lights

To the Freeworlders

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Additional reading

  1. Ecological economics in the stomach #2 Resources
  2. Classes of people and Cronyism
  3. Welfare state and Poverty in Flanders #9 Consumption
  4. Greenpeace demands scale up of ecological farming
  5. Green Claims in Europe
  6. Time to consider how to care for our common home
  7. Fast-rising energy prices attract China to capitalise on them
  8. After a virus pandemic an energy disease
  9. Coming to Thanksgiving day 2020
  10. The time of year we remember our many blessings
  11. Dangerous climate change is already with us
  12. Each of the small voices important
  13. Young people at COP26 have to “Stay angry”
  14. Charities demand radicalism in face of officials’ delay

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Related

  1. Consumers need and want more help to go green 
  2. mental health and consumerism plus some answers;
  3. To save, or not to save: that is the question.
  4. Taxing Hight
  5. Is decluttering an answer to consumerism or a bullet wound to capitalism?
  6. How to Shop Black Friday Like a Minimalist
  7. Consumerism
  8. Everything That I Need, I Already Have
  9. I am not eco (but I want to do better)
  10. Accumulation.
  11. ‘Zero crashes, zero congestion, zero emissions’ – the perennial myths of autonomous vehicles
  12. We Need to Talk About Our Demand Chain Crisis
  13. Customer Service or Not
  14. How social media is changing Indian consumer behaviours
  15. There isn’t even a clear ‘least worst’ option
  16. That’s How They Get You: On the Tag
  17. B.L.M. and the Consumer Conundrum
  18. Influencers in the Wild; An exploration of Influencer Marketing
  19. The Culture of Excesses- Losing Humanity
  20. Programmed to spend
  21. alienation
  22. 11.11 sales are a symptom of the greater disease of mindless consumerism
  23. Consumer Rights and Responsibilities
  24. Free From Modern Capitalism
  25. The problem with overpopulation
  26. How to Have a more Sustainable Christmas

freckles and thoughts

This has always bothered me, but I just read another article on BBC which is telling consumers how to reduce their CO2 emissions by a “fraction” and it’s honestly the last [plastic] straw.

Consumers are told to “stop watching TV in HD”; a Channel 4 documentary told us that our social media “addiction” is “killing the planet”; and Coca-Cola is telling us to “please recycle”.

Yes, consumers and individuals should be doing everything that they can to reduce CO2 emissions, energy consumption, food, water and plastic waste and save the planet. But, I’m honestly getting frustrated that so much of the blame and responsibility for the climate crisis seems to be put on us.

Bill McKibben: This Climate Strike Is Part of the ...

Consumers are blamed for how much single-use plastic we bin; but, why aren’t supermarkets, online clothes retailers and other global companies blamed for wrapping stuff unnecessarily in single-use plastic?

We’re told to buy loose fruit and…

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Half Time

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Preceding

Time for world to ‘grow up’ and tackle climate change, says Boris Johnson

A cry in the dark by scientists and medics

Us and climate change – We can do much more than we think

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Find also to read:

  1. Stepping forward with public commitments for Making different sectors carbon neutral by 2050
  2. EU well placed to protect and enhance citizens’ living standards while pursuing an ambitious transition to an environmentally sustainable economy
  3. 2019 was #1 a Year of Raising fire and voices
  4. 2020 in view #2 The 45th president of the U.S.A. not willing to go
  5. Cop26 presidency run from within the UK Cabinet Office
  6. Are you serious?
  7. The world is still on course for climate catastrophe
  8. Rome gathering before heading to Glasgow
  9. UK’s path to net zero set out in landmark strategy
  10. World leaders gathering in the Scottish city of Glasgow for the UN climate conference
  11. Dangerous climate change is already with us
  12. Activists rally at U.N. climate talks

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Related

  1. COP OUT
  2. Huge 4,000kg iceberg shipped to Glasgow to melt outside COP26
  3. Borrell Mission: EU urges Brazil to keep environmental commitments
  4. Tackling climate change – even regulators have roles to play
  5. Forests can’t handle all the net-zero emissions plans. Companies and countries expect nature to offset too much ‘carbon’
  6. Voting this Week – November 5, ’21
  7. thousands of young people march through the streets of Glasgow to call on leaders to action
  8. cop26, GLAS-NO
  9. COP26: Issues beyond global warming
  10. Greta Thunberg blasts COP26 and slams world leaders at Glasgow youth climate strike
  11. C C C C C – Climate – Covid – Commitments – Cash – Controls
  12. Climate change and fancy hospitals
  13. “Planet is fine, people are fucked”
  14. Mnangagwa claims even under sanctions ‘we are progressing well’
  15. Climate crisis, Cop26 and the wealthy. The screaming hypocrisy of the rich.
  16. Vegan Meat Boss Hits Out At COP26 For ‘Irresponsibly’ Serving Beef
  17. The pandemic barely dented the huge rise in carbon emissions since 1990

COP26 an activist's viewpoint

It’s hard to believe it, but COP26 is already nearly halfway through. So, what has actually happened? If you’re an avid absorber of the news, you’re likely to already know everything I’m about to mention, so feel free to skip this post (and feel a bit smug. It’s the weekend – put your feet up 😊)

The general consensus coming from inside the Blue Zone is cautious optimism; this is how the mainstream media seem to be reporting it. Some of my colleagues also, who perhaps have experience of previous COPs and weren’t expecting much progress to begin with, are treating positively anything that can reasonably be taken that way. Although, comments have been made about the inside of the COP being very much a place of status quo and business as usual rather than any attempt at system change.

The mood on the streets is less gracious, especially among…

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State capitalism and climate emergency

A continued look at {Why capitalism massively intensified the climate crisis, and why only collective action can solve it}

Continuation of

Capitalism and relevance to climate change

Capitalism and The environmental record of the communist world

In his article “Why capitalism massively intensified the climate crisis, and why only collective action can solve it” Gezwin Stanley confirms that the climate emergency couldn’t have happened without fossil fuel driven industrialisation. But there is more:

human technology plus the very human inclination towards short termism tends to result in environmental degradation. It isn’t just capitalism that caused the climate crisis. But it is clear that capitalism, or rather the different varieties of capitalism, meaning any system where the few both control and benefit from the engines of wealth creation, the very same productive forces that can damage the environment, while also being best able to use their position to shield themselves against any environmental side effects, did and will dramatically exacerbate environmental damage. And, comparing state capitalism with private capitalism, it isn’t markets or consumerism that appeared to make the difference: the West had those in abundance, but the Communist world did not, and the outcomes were similar: critical environmental crises. The implication is that mass-scale industrial technology, combined with the control of that economy by a few who are compelled to strive for growth at all costs and to disregard, even deliberately hide, all externalities, is sufficient to cause environmental collapse, even if consumerism and insufficiently democratically regulated markets really don’t help. {Why capitalism massively intensified the climate crisis, and why only collective action can solve it}

We must remember that important pressures contributing to current and future ecological collapse include habitat loss, habitat degradation, and habitat fragmentation, monocultures, overgrazing, overexploitation of ecosystems by humans, human industrial growth and overpopulation. The Soviet Union sinned against the respectful use of the earth by the practice of growing the same crop each year on a given acreage. The Soviet government found out, to its shame, that their large-scale plan of mass production or to produce huge quantities of cereals, vegetables and fruit, impoverished the country and did not produce good harvests. This because nonlegume crops usually exhaust the nitrogen in the soil, with a resulting reduction in yields. When they wanted to make the fertility level of the soil higher, they introduced fertilisers that poisoned the soil. The idea of greater flexibility in planning the system to meet year to year changes in the need for various crops, failed dramatically with food shortages and starvation as a result.

That environmental damage will be even more extreme if the masters of the economy, under private or state capitalism, are actively competing with each other whether for profit or to hit targets mandated by some dictator’s latest five year plan. {Why capitalism massively intensified the climate crisis, and why only collective action can solve it}

writes Gezwin Stanley, admitting that

 the vital experiment, of a technologically advanced society that combines political and economic democracy, hasn’t as yet really been tried, perhaps because it is so offensive to the powerful and power-hungry.

Would such a society be able to better balance environmental and economic concerns? It certainly seems likely in theory, but in practice all we have to go on are smaller scale examples, often embattled and created despite huge challenges, such as the Zapatistas in Mexico or Rojava in Kurdistan. While environmentalism is a core thread of the ideology of both these movements (see for example: “What the Zapatistas can teach us about the climate crisis” or “Rojava is trying to build a green society”), how that would play out in the long term, in more stable conditions and at scale, has still to be determined. Though social democracy may be precarious, because the super-rich often buy politicians, parties and media influence, the historically more thorough-going social democracies may offer a clue as to what would be possible environmentally if economic control was more democratic, with (again according to the World Bank figures here: https://data.worldbank.org/indicator/EN.ATM.CO2E.PC) per capita carbon dioxide emissions in 2018 for Denmark being 5.8 tonnes, for Norway 7.0 tonnes and for Sweden 3.5 tonnes, compared to the USA at 15.2 tonnes, though the Nordic countries are at a similar level of technological advancement and average prosperity and overall have a colder climate. The same figure for the Russian Federation is 11.2 tonnes per capita and for considerably poorer China 7.4 tonnes. It may also be worth contrasting how Scandinavia confronted the problem of acid rain from the 1970s with how the former Soviet Union attempted to “bury” its multiple environmental crises. {Why capitalism massively intensified the climate crisis, and why only collective action can solve it}

For him, it is no wonder that the state-capitalist communist countries of the past or the present were the cause of environmental calamities.

There have been more human generated greenhouse gas emissions since 1990 than in the rest of history (see this excerpt from “The Uninhabitable Earth”, published in 2019). Nor should we ever forget the whole corporate funded global disinformation campaign of climate change denial , and now “greenwashing”. For example, Exxon knew of climate change in 1981, but it funded climate change denial for 27 more years. None of this is surprising as the richest have an incentive to care least about climate change, because they can most easily escape its effects, from basing themselves in less affected countries, through being able to afford air conditioning, coastal defences and other protections to participating in the growing market for elite bunkers and safe havens (see “‘Billionaire bunkers’ that could shelter the superrich during an apocalypse”).

COP15 Logo.svgIf the economies of at least the most technologically advanced and richest nations had been run along lines of distributed economic power, of economic democracy as described here: https://gezwinstanley.wordpress.com/what-is-economic-justice-and-how-can-we-create-it/ , then there would most likely still have been a climate crisis. We are not angels. But without hugely powerful billionaires willing to conspire to deny climate change, and able to rig the political debate in many countries such as the USA, we would have acted a decade or two, possibly three, sooner. For example, the climate change deniers’ “Climategate” conspiracy in 2009 sabotaged the Copenhagen COP15 Conference and alone may have set back progress a decade, while none of the conspirators or those enlisted to help with the subsequent public relations have ever been brought to book. All that lost time could prove to have been crucial.

To resolve this conflict of interest we need to place everyone in control of the things they need to live and make a living. Then no one can disproportionately reap the economic benefits while disproportionately avoiding the environmental costs. That ensures everyone has an incentive to co-operate to create environmental regulations, pricing, taxes and subsidies, that avoid collective catastrophe, because no one can rig the deadly serious economic “game” of balancing economic output against environmental costs by largely reaping the economic benefits while passing most of the environmental impact onto someone else. {Why capitalism massively intensified the climate crisis, and why only collective action can solve it}

 

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Related

  1. The Tale of Truth and Lie
  2. What is said by the People Who don’t care About The Planet
  3. Debunking rightwing myths: Qanon
  4. The Melting Iceberg and other Problems Caused by Climate Change
  5. PM can’t see the emissions truth for the trees
  6. Now Can We Believe in Climate Change?
  7. Thought for Today: Climate Science Denial
  8. Advertising and Climate Breakdown are interlinked
  9. Net-zero emissions is a great goal for companies to set — but really hard to reach. Here’s why
  10. Eat it
  11. Its not about sustainable plastic- but the system embedded around the product
  12. What is Greenwashing and how to avoid falling victim to it
  13. Gaslight, Gatekeep, Greenwash!
  14. Let’s talk about ‘Greenwashing’
  15. Greenwashing | Fashion Industry’s Dirty Little Secret
  16. Greenwashing and the UK Electric Vehicle Industry
  17. Aussie companies jumping on ESG reporting wave cautioned against “greenwashing”
  18. Is Singapore Truly Sustainable?: Greenwashing in the ‘City in a Garden

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Capitalism and relevance to climate change

Gezwin Stanley (if that is the name of the writer of the WordPress site gezwinstanley) does a small attempt to hold back the dark and summon the dawn, and seems to tackle some interesting points,though sometimes wanders off too far and presents too long articles, which better would have been divided in chapters or sub-articles.

For us today his article “Why capitalism massively intensified the climate crisis, and why only collective action can solve it.” receives our interest and has some points we find interesting to share.

He looks at the relevance to climate change which is (according to him) likely already obvious. He writes:

Insane as it may be, even if collectively it threatens the extinction of human civilisation, singly, as individuals, organisations, businesses and countries, it might make sense for each not to worry too much about climate change. {Why capitalism massively intensified the climate crisis, and why only collective action can solve it}

Such an attitude of ignoring what is happening in nature does not show much compassion for other living beings in nature. He then poses some questions, as:

Why, for example, pay for a more expensive carbon-neutral energy supply when a fossil fuel one is cheaper?
Why not let others make the sacrifice, allowing us to be richer? {Why capitalism massively intensified the climate crisis, and why only collective action can solve it}

For him

It is therefore clear that the “sinks” for our carbon emissions, the atmosphere and the oceans, are really just another “commons” liable to “tragedy”, and that we are all trapped in a giant “prisoner’s dilemma” but one where, if we take the selfish course, we end up not with a custodial sentence, but a sentence of death. {Why capitalism massively intensified the climate crisis, and why only collective action can solve it}

He continues:

This is why addressing the issue cannot be left to individual action. Action cannot be entirely voluntary, because then the selfish will just try and freeload on the altruistic. Collective action is essential, from subjecting entities that don’t change their ways to peer pressure or “socialised sanctions” such as boycotts, through public measures such as regulations, carbon pricing and green subsidies, to directly taking control of key industries in order to force rapid decarbonisation. {Why capitalism massively intensified the climate crisis, and why only collective action can solve it}

We can agree with the fact that:

Coordinated efforts are needed all the way up to the global level: carbon dioxide is no respecter of borders. Individual actions alone won’t work, and the extremity of the emergency means that only the more rigorous measures towards the end of the preceding list are likely to be effective enough quickly enough to avoid catastrophe. {Why capitalism massively intensified the climate crisis, and why only collective action can solve it}

He looks at the tonnes per capita of carbon dioxide emissions and notes:

The 2020 Oxfam “Confronting Carbon Inequality” report estimates that “from 1990 to 2015, a critical period in which annual emissions grew 60% and cumulative emissions doubled… the richest 10% of the world’s population (c.630 million people) were responsible for 52% of the cumulative carbon emissions – depleting the global carbon budget by nearly a third (31%) in those 25 years alone,” while “the richest 1% (c.63 million people) alone were responsible for 15% of cumulative emissions, and 9% of the carbon budget – twice as much as the poorest half of the world’s population.” {Why capitalism massively intensified the climate crisis, and why only collective action can solve it}

And remarks:

This shades into another discussion. If greenhouse gas emissions are associated with inequality, especially when the rich get even richer, because wealth begets wealth, and then end up consuming more and more, and if capitalism exacerbates inequality, and ruthlessly strives for economic growth, to what extent is capitalism itself responsible for climate change? Or is the crisis just an inevitable consequence of human technological development, coupled with easily accessible, energy-rich fossil fuels and an understandable desire for a better life, especially during the prolonged period when the full import of greenhouse gas emissions was unknown, and with a large helping of human short termism added into the mix to make matters even worse? {Why capitalism massively intensified the climate crisis, and why only collective action can solve it}

That question brings us to another chapter, facing capitalism versus communism and Marxism.

Continue reading:  Capitalism and The environmental record of the communist world

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  1. Review: “The Red Feds: Revolutionary Industrial Unionism and the New Zealand Federation of Labour, 1908-1914” – Erik Olssen
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  11. Nova Scotia bill sets climate change targets, aims to end coal fired power by 2030

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Flash Floods Are Proof That Climate Disaster Is Already Here

To remember:

Mary Dhonau is one of the leading flood risk experts in the UK, and says we all need to be concerned about the proliferation of so-called “super basements” in areas like Kensington and Chelsea.

“There are a lot of celebrities in those areas – Simon Cowell, Kate Garraway, Brian May – and they were all flooded,”

“A lot of them have these super basements, and when you stop and think of the earth that has been excavated to accommodate all these projects, that’s earth that would have absorbed water had it still been there.”

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We will almost certainly not avoid climate emergency now. As the Met Office puts it:

“Even if we were to stop all emissions today, we would not prevent some changes. However, the sooner we cut emissions, the smaller the changes will be.”

There is no longer time to stop the process; that ship has well and truly sailed. But there is still time to mitigate the worst of its damage.

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Perhaps the question of ‘what can we do?’ is not the right one to ask after all; a self-lacerating response engendered by a society that has gaslit us into believing that it’s our plastic straws that are to blame – rather than, you know, the 71 percent of all carbon emissions that come from just 100 companies.

“The onus is on the government to reduce emissions,”

Juliet Kinsman adds.

“That’s why they exist, to protect every member of society. We all have to think what we can do more, of course, but essentially this is on the government, private sector, and manufacturing to think of solutions.”

Matthew Neale

Credit: Twitter/Justin Tallis/AFP via Getty Images

On the evening of the 12th of July, bookseller Lynn Gaspard received a text from her mother, concerned that their west London bookshop would flood yet again. “We were really worried,” she says over the phone, “but thinking, ‘What can we do?”

It’s a desperate question that has reverberated around the world, perhaps this month more than ever. The floods that have swept across the southeast of England in July caused significant property damage, leading to evacuations in London – on the 12th of July and, remarkably, again on Sunday – and the cancellation of Standon Calling festival.

But they are not yet comparable to the devastation in Germany and Belgium, where over 180 people were killed in flash floods, nor the horrific scenes of submerged homes in India or flooded subway train carriages in China. In the UK, many are praying that it…

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