Tag: Climate change

The publication of the hellish Hothouse Earth report during a global heatwave has woken many up to the stark reality of climate change. But few have woken up to the political reality we face.

Last autumn I wrote this for somebody perplexed by the term ‘Deep Green’, and why many members of the Green Party felt anxious about its direction. I thought I’d publish my take here for others thinking the same question.

While the Green Party’s electoral success in 40 years has been presentable, our impact on the national political debate has been profound. In considering what influence we can wield and which elections we can win in the era of Corbyn we need to avoid factional delusions.

Ten years ago, it was low energy light bulbs that we used to deflect our responsibility for climate change. Now it’s more often the rich and big business. But fault is hard to ascribe, and can stop us facing some hard truths. David MacKay, in his seminal book Sustainable Energy Without the Hot Air, punctured the light bulb mantra that “every little helps” and posited the more realistic mantra: “if everyone does a little, we’ll achieve only a little.” Changing your light bulbs and turning your TV off at the plug might reduce your emissions by 1%. If everybody does this, it doesn’t add up to a lot. We’d reduce our collective emissions by 1%. Meanwhile, these would-be eco warriors fly to Spain for a holiday. These excuses are still prevalent today. In recent weeks, Guardian readers have worried about plastic use – bags, bottles and packaging. It’s an important…

What would you do with the money if you saved £1,100 on your energy bill? That question led me on a journey that completely changed the way I approached climate change policy.

I’m putting myself forward to be the Green Party’s candidate for the Mayor of London in 2016, and to be a candidate for the London Assembly list. I’m standing because… Greens can give London hope – that we can reclaim our homes from oligarchs and speculators, hope that we can take serious action on climate change, and hope that politicians can co-operate with communities and social movements instead of ignoring or trampling over them. I can persuade London that Green politicians working with grassroots campaigns provide the only hope of solving our housing crisis. We are the only party with the policies to tackle the vested interests of speculators, developers and landlords. I am standing as an experienced spokesperson with policy expertise, as a candidate who knows City Hall and so can hit the ground running, and as a community activist rooted in local campaigns on housing, the living wage, air pollution…

One of my favourite subjects at school was geography. I remember learning about acid rain, the hole in the ozone layer, and global warming. It wasn’t until I got involved as a Greenpeace activist that it struck me: why hadn’t we sorted the third one out, yet?

At the Green Party autumn conference, I attended an early morning panel discussion on population. I wrote about this in a recent blog post, describing the debate between a representative from Population Matters and Sebastian Power from the Green Party. I also mentioned that Sebastian offered during the debate to send references for his claims to anyone who was interested in what he said. Now that he has sent these around, I wanted to write a third (and hopefully final) blog entry on the population debate. Having followed up his references, I felt I had to write this because so many people in the conference audience and more widely will have heard his arguments and heard his claim that he based them on solid, scientific references. He also made the same arguments in an article for the internal magazine, Green World, and I have heard the same arguments from several other party members.…