My response to the CSR:

A FAIRER GREENER SOCIETY: NOT SAVAGE CUTS

  

We are about to witness the biggest spending review that this country has seen for a generation, with all of us being told to tighten our belts. No stone seems to be left unturned, as the coalition government seeks to balance the books that the bankers’ irresponsibility has unbalanced: today the Armed forces and the BBC (http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2010/oct/20/spending-review-cuts-bbc ), tomorrow the rest of us: everyone is braced for the next round of cuts. The greatest long-term threat to the country, and to our planet, is environmental destruction, including of course manmade climate change, but this has been consistently ignored. The government is actually cutting its ecological spending, giving the lie to its one-time (and now utterly laughable) claim of aiming to be the greenest government ever: (http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2010/oct/18/green-campaigners-comprehensive-spending-review )

 

Ordinary folk are being made to pay for the crisis which the bankers have brought upon us. This is plain wrong, Meanwhile, the biggest long-term problem this country, and this planet, face is dangerous climate change, and yet this seems to have been forgotten about.

 

500,000 jobs are going to be cut today including about 50,000 in the East of England. Is that really what our region needs at this moment in time, more people being thrown onto jobless queues? Rather than cutting services, jobs should be created by investing in renewable energy, insulating homes, and bringing redundant housing back into use. This government is cutting services that many rely on, cutting the budget for social housing, and forcing those who are disabled into jobs, while at the same time looking to renew Trident, which will not bring lasting jobs.

Scrapping Trident alone could save 100 billion pounds, and investment in renewable energy could produce jobs to replace those that will be lost due to this wrong-headed comprehensive spending review. The Green party will continues to fight these cuts across the villages, towns and cities of this Region, and will promote instead a fair society for all, including our children and their children. This is a time for green jobs, not for savage cuts.

Become a (Green?!) Councillor, here in the East of England!

 

A campaign has just been launched to encourage more East of England people to consider becoming a local councillor. Quite right too!

 Check it out: 

Website : http://beacouncillor.eelga.gov.uk/

Blog : http://beacllreast.wordpress.com

Facebook:http://www.facebook.com/pages/Be-a-Councillor-East/162224970460003

Twitter: https://twitter.com/BeACllrEast

  We in the Green Party are contributing by holding an event on Nov. 6 for anyone interested in becoming a Green Councillor here in the East. If you would like to take part, please get in touch with me ‘offblog’.

 

A point about language – Don’t say ‘environment’.

It is important at every opportunity to speak of 'ecology' and
'ecosystems' rather than 'the environment'. The latter is too easily
assimilable to neoclassical economics, to 'us vs them' thinking about
nature, etc. .
The future is ecosystems and their restoration (or bust).

Rupert Read
Green Party Councillor, Norwich.
http://rupertread.net
[If you have an urgent email for me while I am away from a regular computer, you may wish to try contacting me instead on rupertread+mob AT gmail.com]

WHY NOT FOLLOW ME ON TWITTER?: twitter.com/GreenRupertRead

We are eating into our ‘natural capital’ – report

What is crucial in this [below] is the link between economy and
ecosystem. This is where the GP's position is distinctive: Our Party
believes in one planet living! Other Parties presumably think that in a
moment or two we'll be off mining in space etc – pure fantasy…
__________________________________________________________________
WWF has launched the 2010 edition of the Living Planet Report
http://nl.panda.org/inxmail?i4710vmfk0e0bdiubqbwqx3a528.

The report is published every 2 years and is considered to be the
world's
leading, science-based analysis about the impact of human activity on
the
health of our planet. This is a big deal for us and we wanted to share
it
with you, our supporter, straight away.

It's key finding: humanity's demands exceed our planet's capacity to
sustain us. That is, we ask for more than what we have.

Why does this happen?

How can we change this and guarantee a healthy future for human kind?

You'll find some answers below:

== Learn ==
– How does the loss of species diversity affect you and me?
http://nl.panda.org/inxmail?i4710vknk0e0bdiubqbk2d3a528

– Learn more about how key species populations have faired since 1970.
http://nl.panda.org/inxmail?i4710vkrk0e0bdiubq03gv3a528

– Why do temperate species do better than tropical species?
http://nl.panda.org/inxmail?i4710vkvk0e0bdiubq0lpe3a528

– Who comes of worse? Terrestrial or Freshwater animals?
http://nl.panda.org/inxmail?i4710vkzk0e0bdiubqb3vx3a528

– Which countries makes the most demands on our planet, and which the
least? http://nl.panda.org/inxmail?i4710vk5k0e0bdiubqbl4g3a528

– How is this related to what we earn?
http://nl.panda.org/inxmail?i4710vlbk0e0bdiubq0ye23a528

– And how "developed" we are?
http://nl.panda.org/inxmail?i4710vlfk0e0bdiubq0inl3a528

== Explore ==

— Find your country and see how it compares to other countries.
http://nl.panda.org/inxmail?i4710vljk0e0bdiubqbyxy3a528

— See what makes up the biggest components of our footprints.
http://nl.panda.org/inxmail?i4710vlnk0e0bdiubqbi6j3a528

— Watch how the index for species populations move and change over
time.
http://nl.panda.org/inxmail?i4710vlrk0e0bdiubq0zc73a528

Download the Living Planet Report here
http://nl.panda.org/inxmail/d.pdf?i4710v7jjqe0bdiubq0c2e3a528

Rupert Read
Green Party Councillor, Norwich.
http://rupertread.net
[If you have an urgent email for me while I am away from a regular computer, you may wish to try contacting me instead on rupertread+mob AT gmail.com]

WHY NOT FOLLOW ME ON TWITTER?: twitter.com/GreenRupertRead

Good decision, Neil McGregor

Quite right, for the 100th object in R4’s series to be a solar light and charger (with, as I understand it, a mobile phone also that can be charged up from the solar charger?).
Solar is the future. If we are to have a future: solar is absolutely key. So this takes us from history to the future.
Good decision…

Scientists Call for Axe to Fall on Nuclear Weapons Research

 Nice to have some good news, for a change!:
 
Scientists Call for Axe to Fall on Nuclear Weapons Research

Press Release: Wednesday 13 October 2010.

36 science professors have today written to the Prime Minister calling on
him to protect core scientific research by cutting investment in
developing new nuclear weapons.

The scientists, who include ex-Royal Society head, Sir Michael Atiyah and
Nobel Prize winner, Sir Harold Kroto, highlight how £2bn a year, over 25%
of the government’s total scientific research and development budget, is
currently spent by the Ministry of Defence (1).

Their objections focus on government funding of a multi-billion pound
research programme at the Atomic Weapons Establishment at Aldermaston,
aimed at developing new nuclear warheads. This year this science programme
received an additional £1bn of government funding, and this level of
‘additional investment’ is set to continue until 2013 (2).

These funds have enabled Aldermaston to buy 3 new supercomputers in the
last year, the latest reportedly the most powerful in the UK, at
undisclosed cost to the taxpayer (3). They are also set to fund a
controversial new hydrodynamics facility that will conduct experiments on
materials used to build nuclear warheads – again at undisclosed cost (4).

These developments are going ahead despite serious questions existing
about the future of the UK’s nuclear weapons programme and a recent pledge
by Obama that the US will not develop new nuclear warheads (5).

Dr Stuart Parkinson, Executive Director of Scientists for Global
Responsibility who co-ordinated the letter said, "It’s completely
irrational to cut scientific research into medical and environmental
problems whilst pouring billions of pounds of research money into
facilities for designing new nuclear warheads."

He continued, "The Cold War is over. The major security threats we will
face in the coming years have their roots in problems like climate change
and resource shortages. These are the areas where more of our research
should be focussed, and yet the UK currently devotes 20 times more
research funding to military projects than to renewable energy. If cuts
have to come, it’s clear to us that Aldermaston is where the axe should
fall."

ENDS

EDITOR’S NOTES:

For a copy of letter and full signatory list, visit http://www.sgr.org.uk/

To organise interviews contact Stuart Parkinson at SGR on 07941 953640

REFERENCES:

1) UK Defence Statistics 2010. Table 1.8.
http://www.dasa.mod.uk/modintranet/UKDS/UKDS2010/c1/table108.php

2) In 2009 Quentin Davies announced that investment at Aldermaston would
increase to £1bn a year up to the end of March 2013  http://bit.ly/d7Tl0C
(Column 136WS)

3) In May 2010 AWE bought two new supercomputers known as ‘Willow’
http://bit.ly/crgT7w . Then in August 2010 AWE bought ‘Blackthorn’
reputedly the UK’s largest supercomputer –
http://tridentreplacement.net/node/1972

4) AWE has also just received planning permission to build a controversial
hydrodynamics facility known as Hydrus – again at undisclosed cost.
http://www.nuclearinfo.org/view/nuclear+sites/AWE+Aldermaston/a2096

5) New Nuclear Posture Review Briefing by the US Joint Chiefs of Staff.
http://www.jcs.mil/speech.aspx?id=1355

 

Rupert Read
Green Party Councillor, Norwich.
http://rupertread.net
[If you have an urgent email for me while I am away from a regular computer, you may wish to try contacting me instead on rupertread+mob AT gmail.com]
WHY NOT FOLLOW ME ON TWITTER?: twitter.com/GreenRupertRead

The real crisis

Consumer confidence and people’s confidence in their own financial futures has fallen to a new low. Bad news for the govt. And rightly so. But: let’s not forget that there are bigger issues at stake. Pessimism about one’s FINANCIAL future does not equate to pessimism about one’s future full-stop. Speaking for myself, I am neither pessimistic nor optimistic about my own financial future; but I am pessimistic about my future, if we don’t change the direction of our society soon. By the time I am old, there will be food shortages and possibly even warlordism, unless we manage as a species to rein in dangerous climate change, fast.
 There are much more serious threats out there than low financial consumer confidence. And it is time we got these things into comparative perspective. We badly need to think longer-term than we are used to doing.
 The cuts, economic downturn etc. will in retrospect seem small beer, compared to the vast ecological crisis that we are as a species brewing up for ourselves – unless we go Green fast.

Greens select local candidate to spearhead crucial by-election campaign

In the last two days, I’ve helped in Witham (Essex) in the Council byelection there, and in Kentish Town (London) with the byelection campaign there. I’ll be going down to help in Bury (Suffolk) in early November. But if you can go before then, Greens, then please do!:

                                                                                                            

 

The Greens have selected local resident Pippa Judd to stand as the candidate for the Suffolk County Council by-election caused by the recent resignation of County Councillor, Paul Farmer. The election will be held on Thursday 11 November.

 

Pippa lives with Ray and their baby daughter, Iona in the heart of Tower Division; on Victoria Street. Pippa is now based at home having previously been a manager of a counselling service for families. She has also worked in the NHS and for the charity, Age Concern.

 

Commenting on her selection, Pippa said:

” Like all mothers my daughter’s future is vitally important to me. Standing as a Green candidate gives me the opportunity to play my part in creating that future for all of us.

 

It is not just about paying off the financial debt we leave for our children but the social and environmental debt too. For a secure future it’s important that everyone has access to good and reliable services such as social care, health and education – and if elected to the County Council I would commit myself to working hard towards this”.

 

This Thursday (14th October) at 11.30am Pippa plans to meet with parents, and their children, to discuss the plans by Suffolk County Council to outsource all of its services to listen to their views. The meeting will take place at Bury St Edmunds Library café area. Current Green Councillor for the Tower division, Mark Ereira-Guyer, will accompany her.

 

Mark added: “Having won one of the seats last year for the Greens, we will be all working very hard as a team to get Pippa elected. The council urgently needs younger people, especially women, coming forward with new ideas and fresh perspectives – Pippa is leading the way”.

 

Notes:

 

·         In the Suffolk County Council elections of June 2009 here in the Tower Division the Conservative and Green topped the poll. Two councillors were elected to represent the 16,000 people living in the area.  Paul Farmer, the Conservative has stood aside for health reasons and this has resulted in the by-election on Thursday 11 November.

 

·         Last year’s result was as follows:

 

Conservative 2042

Green 1924

Independent 1846

Labour 645

Liberal Democrats 641

 

·         The Greens key election theme is centred on the plans for outsourcing services by the County Council, as shown by the main story to feature in election communications:

 

What are they doing to our County

Council ? If it moves, outsource it?

 

Libraries, old peoples homes, school crossing attendants – and any other Suffolk county council service you can name. These are planned for being outsourced in the next three years.

 

Suffolk County Council is planning a strategy, which says ‘if it moves, outsource it’. The idea is that they become a ‘virtual authority’ employing only a few hundred people to monitor the contracts that will have been let to a mixture of private and voluntary sector providers. But does the Conservative-controlled Council have a mandate for this monumental and full-scale change? This is your chance to tell them.

 

This by election is the biggest electoral test in the UK since the General election in May. It provides over 16,000 people in Bury St Edmunds with a unique opportunity to give the Council leadership here in Suffolk their verdict on its outsourcing proposals.

 

The timetable for implementation is too tight, the risks too great and we need to get it right, whilst dealing effectively with the deficit in public finances.

 

Greens believe that the proposals to outsource ALL council services to charities, teams of volunteers and the private sector need active public support to work.

 

• Understanding to replace public incomprehension

• A new level of public “ownership” of our county council

• Public service ethos to balance private interests

 

This is Suffolk’s last chance to rein in a runaway dash towards becoming a completely outsourced ‘virtual council’.

 

Global Banking – GlobaliSation or GlobaliZation

I recommend this meeting; It seems very fitting, that it is on the same day as government cuts are being announced.  Andrew is a confident and easy speaker, so it should be a good meeting.  A chance to have a thorough discussion of a vital topic!:

A talk by Andrew Rising (of Cromer Farm Shop, Cromer) titled –

“Global Banking – GlobaliSation or GlobaliZation? or How Wall Street Killed Main Street” 

At the Community Centre, Garden Street, Cromer 

on Wednesday, 20 October, 2010 at 7.30 p.m.

The title of this talk refers to the way in which the banking system, and governments, are geared to the corporization of the world, rather than a straightforward globalisation of trade. It echoes the older expression “Wall Street Killed Main Street”, i.e. the High Street.

Andrew Rising is well known in Cromer for supporting local producers in his Cromer Farm Shop. However his earlier career was in global banking. He saw the crisis coming and is well placed to explain the inevitable impacts of global banking to the rest of us – especially on the very day, 20th October, when cuts to public spending are being announced by the government!

The meeting has been organised by the North Norfolk Green Party, but people of all parties or none are welcome. 
http://northnorfolk.greenparty.org.uk