Sunday, 29 December 2019

2019 – The Year in Blog Posts


Below are the most popular posts on this blog, as judged by unique page views, by month, for 2019. The blog is closing now until late January.

Happy New Year to all our readers.

January

I am Not a Criminal – The Air Polluters are the Criminals

In Milton Keynes, on Friday 25 January, I was one of 24 Greenpeace activists found guilty of ‘aggravated trespass’. All those (myself included) without any previous criminal convictions, were given 12-month conditional discharges, with damages and court costs of £105 each. Those who had got previous convictions were, in addition, fined £200 each. More

February      


The tenacious refusal of the world’s business and political leaders to heed the warnings of climate scientists about global warming raises the stark possibility that it may already be too late. The tipping point beyond which concerted preventive action becomes impracticable is just 12 years away, according to the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. More

March


In April of 1649 a group of radicals, some veterans of the recent English civil wars, occupied a bit of common grass on a plot known as St. George’s Hill in Surrey and they began to grow vegetables. These radicals called themselves “True Levellers” to distinguish themselves from another, more moderate political faction, but everybody else called them “Diggers” in reference to both a scriptural passage as well as their literal activity on the hill. More

April


Some point to the Green New Deal introduced by Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Edward Markey as the answer. Apparently it has been rendered DOA as far as Congress is concerned, via a "stunt vote" by Mitch McConnell in the Senate. But the impact of U.S. economic and military actions around the world make it clear that more than a "new deal" is needed, that decolonization and demilitarization are central to overcoming global climate injustice. More

May


The present economical and ecological crisis are part of a more general historical conjoncture: we are confronted with a crisis of the present model of civilization, the Western modern capitalist/industrial civilization, based on unlimited expansion and accumulation of capital, on the “commodification of everything” (Immanuel Wallerstein), on the ruthless exploitation of labour and nature, on brutal individualism and competition, and on the massive destruction of the environment. More

June


If any further evidence were needed of the direction of the contemporary Tory party, a YouGov survey of party members published last week has provided it. Sixty-three per cent of members said they would be prepared to accept Scottish independence to get Brexit, while 59 per cent said the same about a united Ireland. Just 29 and 28 per cent were opposed, respectively. More

July

UK Right Wing Think-Tank Aims to Discredit the Extinction Rebellion

Policy Exchange, the right wing British think-tank published a report this week entitled ‘Extremist Rebellion – A Review of Ideology and Tactics’. Written by Richard Walton, a former Head of the Metropolitan Police Counter Terrorism Command, and Tom Wilson, a Senior Research Fellow in the Security and Extremism Unit at Policy Exchange, the report looks into the Extinction Rebellion campaign, which began in the UK, but has now spread around the world. More

August

Climate Change is Class War

Contemporary capitalism presents a direct threat to the survival of most of the world’s species: climate change. The global capitalist economy is anchored in fossil fuels. Burning these fuels releases warming gasses into the atmosphere where they accumulate over time, raising the earth’s temperature. The rising temperatures have significant effects. For example, melting glaciers and polar ice caps lead to rising sea levels. Changes in air and ocean temperatures impact weather patterns, which leads to droughts in some places and floods in others. More

September

Marx’s lessons for today’s climate rebels

Imagine you came across a 150-year-old message in a bottle that predicted the world would face a catastrophic crisis as a result of profit-driven capitalism.

Imagine that prediction also explained why capitalism — sustained for generations through the exploitation of nature and human labour — would push aside all moral, rational and scientific objections in the blind pursuit of profit.

And imagine that prediction said it would come to a point where the majority of people would have to choose between capitalism or a new democratic, rational and socially just system capable of maintaining a sustainable relationship with Earth. More

October

Capitalism Made This Mess, and This Mess Will Ruin Capitalism

You and I have the unfortunate honor of facing down a crisis the likes of which our species has never before seen. Rapid climate change of our own making is transforming every bit of ocean and land, imperiling organisms clear across the tree of life. It’s killing people by way of stronger storms and hotter heat waves and unchecked pollution. More

November

Green Party Members Dismayed with Lib Dem Election Pact

The decision by the leadership of the Green party to enter into the Unite to Remain electoral pact with Plaid Cymru and the Liberal Democrats (Lib Dems) has been greeted with dismay by the party’s membership and supporters. Under the pact, the Greens have agreed to stand down in 43 constituencies, mainly to the benefit of the Lib Dems. The Greens will get a free run in 10 constituencies, but are unlikely to gain any seats at the election. More

December

Weaponising alleged antisemitism in the Green Party

Since 2016 a systematic campaign has been weaponizing alleged antisemitism in order to protect the racist Israeli regime from criticism, especially from the global campaign of Boycott Divestment and Sanctions (BDS).  This has been conflated with antisemitism through the so-called ‘IHRA definition of antisemitism’, which serves a racist agenda.  The Green Party leadership has colluded with this agenda in several ways – by concealing official support for the BDS campaign, promoting the IHRA definition within the Green Party and abusing its disciplinary procedure to retaliate against a prominent critic.   A pro-Palestine re-orientation will depend on members holding the leadership accountable for its collusion and pushing it instead to promote BDS as anti-racist. More

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