Great news: Norfolk incinerator project finally on the edge of being scrapped

This news [see below] is vindication for the people of Norfolk – both in the Costessey/Norwich area and in the Kings Lynn area – who have fought for a decade against this absurd incinerator project, supported the whole while by the Green Party. Our congratulations to the Green Party’s Michael De Whalley, co-founder of the anti-incinerator campaign KLWin, and to all who have fought by his side. The news is however political disaster for the Conservatives and for George Nobbs, Labour Leader of Norfolk Couty Council, who have unwisely backed this calamitiously-bad incinerator project: calamitous from a financial point of view, and also of course, if it had gone ahead, from an environmental point of view.
We now need to look to a future in which Norfolk recycles and reduces its waste, rather than feeding monstrous burners.

http://www.edp24.co.uk/news/politics/major_twist_in_king_s_lynn_incinerator_saga_as_officers_recommend_controversial_project_is_scrapped_1_3511492

MITIGATING MANMADE CLIMATE CHANGE MUST BE AT HEART OF ENERGY POLICY

Human-influenced climate change will spiral out of control, worsening poverty, inequality and conflict, unless we put renewables and energy conservation at the heart of energy policy.

That was the warning today from Rupert Read, Green Party lead candidate in the east at the European elections, after scientists published the latest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report today (March 31st).

However, Dr Read said:

“We should see this report not as a document of doom but as a challenge we can rise to with the right thinking.

Of course we need to tackle high domestic energy prices and excessive profits for suppliers, but we should reorganise the sector, increasing public funding for domestic energy-saving devices and community renewable energy generation and keeping fossil fuels in the ground. This is certainly a wake-up call against fracking.”

The new report warns that no-one will be immune from the effects of climate change, but the poorest around the world will be disproportionately affected by food shortages, heatwaves, flooding and other weather-related disasters, unless Governments act to reduce carbon and other emissions now.

 The report makes stark reading,” said Dr Read “Many of us were aware of the effects of climate change in other countries, but this winter’s weather has brought the issue home to the East Anglian coast.

 The EU will really need to play a leadership role in championing the targets proposed by the Greens to reduce emissions by at least 60% by 2030 – probably much more – and to set targets for adopting energy conservation and renewable energy generation measures.

“I promise to be a strong voice for the environment in the European Parliament after the election in May to help that happen.”

Poll: Greens on course for MEP seat in the East

Summary of large COMRes Poll from 15/16th March 2014:

Euro Election voting intention in the Eastern Region (among those who expressed a voting intention and said they would definitely vote):

Labour 14%
UKIP 44%
Conservative 21%
Lib Dem 7%
Green 12%
Other 2%

If this result occurs on May 22, then exactly what I have been saying will happen, in terms of seats switching: UKIP will gain at the expense of the Conservatives, and the Green Party will gain at the expense of the LibDems. Labour, weak in the East outside a few old urban strongholds, will remain static in terms of MEP-numbers.

[http://www.comres.co.uk/polls/IoS_SM_Political_Poll_16th_March_2014_%281%29.pdf p.36, for details.]

Encouraging news! Do share it.

GREEN PHILOSOPHY IN ACTION

RUPERT READ, BEHIND THE HEADLINES

THE PHILOSOPHER AND POLITICIAN
RUPERT READ WILL BE TALKING ABOUT WHAT MOTIVATES HIS WORK IN THE GREEN
PARTY AT AN EVENT IN CAMBRIDGE ON TUESDAY.

“Green Philosophy in
Action” is the title of a talk he’ll give at a meeting organised by
Impington and Histon Climate Change Action.

Dr Read, who is lead
candidate for the Greens in the east of England at the European
elections in May, is also Reader in Philosophy at the University of East
Anglia and the author of nine books on political and environmental
philosophy.

He is especially interested in issues around responsible
living, consumerism and economics and has argued in his book “Philosophy
for Life” that philosophy is not a body of doctrine but may be used as a
kind of therapy allowing us to improve our perspective on the world and
our place in it.

On Tuesday, he’ll be offering some radical ideas and
suggestions on how to respond to the threat of global warming and
questioning the continuing use by government of GDP growth as a given in
economic success. He advocates a fundamental shift away from
business-as-usual “growthism” with its attendant pollution and use of
resources which has us living as though we have three planets to use
instead of one.

MEMBERS OF THE MEDIA ARE INVITED TO MEET RUPERT READ
AND JOIN THE AUDIENCE IN THE STABLE ROOM, ST. ANDREW’S CHURCH, HISTON,
CB24 9EP, AT 1930 ON TUESDAY MARCH 25TH.

ENERGY REVOLUTION NEEDED IN BUDGET SAYS PORRITT

Greens offer vision of energy future

 

 One of Britain’s best known environment campaigners, Sir Jonathon Porritt, will be in the east of England today, Budget Day (Wednesday March 19th), calling for budget measures to address the long term cost-of-living crisis caused by the “end of oil”.

 

He’ll be in Norwich and Gt Yarmouth to launch a new report by Rupert Read, lead candidate for the Green Party in the east of England at the Euro elections in May, calling for an “energy revolution” in the region encompassing tidal, wave, wind and solar power plus energy waste-reduction to replace outdated fossil fuels and nuclear.

 

The Green Party says that only an invest-to-save programme such as this can address the cost-of-living crisis which will otherwise arise from the end of the age of cheap oil.

 

Sir Jonathon, who has served as both Director of Friends of the Earth and as Chair of the government’s Sustainable Development Commission, has remained a Green Party member throughout his career. He said:

 

“The destabilisation of the world’s climate systems – which we had another taste of in Britain with the widespread flooding earlier this year – urgently requires us to rethink how we provide ourselves with the energy we need for our homes, transport, and industry.

At the same time, the research and development of renewable energy technologies, such as solar, wind, and wave power, has now borne fruit to such an extent that costs are coming down and renewables are rapidly becoming competitive with fossil fuels – without of course the enormous costs which fossil fuels impose on everyone through air pollution and effects on the climate. We should seize the opportunities this happy coincidence provides.”

Rupert Read said:

“Our chances of staving off man-made climate change are closely linked to the choices we make about energy use; everybody knows that now. But the Prime Minister has made his choice clear by talking about “green crap” in relation to energy obligations and going “all-out” for fracking, with all its associated risks and damages.

“I don’t really hold out any hope at all that the Budget will offer a vision for the energy revolution we need, so I’ve tried to set it out myself in the report we’re publishing this week. This report shows how it is only green measures that can address, long-term, and effectively, the ‘cost-of-living-crisis’. Because fossil fuels are just going to go on getting more and more expensive, forever – until they disappear altogether.”

 Later in the day, Sir Jonathon will be in Suffolk with Rupert at the invitation of the group “Together Against Sizewell C”. He’ll give a talk entitled “Why Nuclear Power Still Makes No Sense”.

Hard copies of the report, “Time for an Energy Revolution in the East”, by Rupert Read, will be available to journalists at the event. It is also available here: http://eastern.greenparty.org.uk/assets/files/easternfiles/energy_revolution.pdf

It calls for:

* An energy revolution to create thousands of lasting green jobs. It is calculated, for example, that 8,600 jobs could be created in the region just from the insulation and retrofitting of existing buildings alone.

 

* Renewables to get the same tax breaks as fracking now gets – tax-breaks which should be removed from fracking, and a moratorium on fracking instead imposed, as in France.

* Capital costs for R & D into projects like the Marine Energy Harvester funded by a tax on bankers bonuses. The running costs of these projects then pay for themselves through the free, clean energy they create.

* Robin Hood tax to fund micro generation: (retro & new build), such as ground source heat pumps in all social housing.

* Grants for communities to set up their own micro-generation projects, funded by tax on bankers bonuses.

* Rapidly deployed marine energy along the coast. Currently a project can be set up in 3-4 years, but the planning process is so slow that it is taking around 10 yrs. Rupert Read would work to remove these barriers at the EU level by streamlining the planning process FP7 for marine energy projects.

Gt Yarmouth, where the report will be launched, has been identified in research as a seaside town in need of regeneration and job creation. It is on the East Anglian ‘energy coast’ with all its potential for renewables development, and on the River Yare, which could be protected from future tidal surges and simultaneously generate tidal energy, in a manner laid out in the report.

The Caister-on-Sea Passivhaus project showcases how British companies, including local Yarmouth companies, are leading to way in producing affordable homes which will not leak energy. Moreover, these are council houses, which the Green Party also very much welcomes.

Green Saturday in Cambridge: Tony Juniper and I speaking:

LEADING GREENS BRING SUSTAINABILITY
VISION TO CAMBRIDGE

TONY JUNIPER AND RUPERT READ TOGETHER FOR WEEKEND
EVENT

THE INTERNATIONALLY RENOWNED CAMPAIGNER AND WRITER ON THE
ENVIRONMENT, TONY JUNIPER, IS THE MAIN SPEAKER AT A PUBLIC MEETING IN
CAMBRIDGE ON SATURDAY (MARCH 15TH).

Green Party activists will be
meeting people on the streets during an Action Day in the city as part
of the campaign behind Rupert Read, lead candidate for the Greens in the
European elections on May 22nd.

Later, the two will discuss how to
create a healthy low-carbon economy, and the important role that
Cambridge researchers, businesses and residents have to play in moving
to a sustainable future for our region.

Mr Juniper, a former executive
director of Friends of the Earth, who now advises companies
internationally on sustainability issues, was the Green Party candidate
in his home city of Cambridge at the 2010 general election when he more
than doubled the Green share of the vote. He will be endorsing the Green
Party and Rupert Read in the forthcoming European election.

Dr Read, a
writer and philosophy teacher at UEA, will be talking about the way in
which we are still using up the earth’s resources at too fast a rate. He
said:

“Britain’s ‘footprint’ on the world is at present as if we had
three Earths, rather than just one. Changing this is going to involve an
extraordinary economic transformation: a great transition, which needs
also to be a just transition. The exciting thing is that the East of
England – from the Cambridge Research Park to our ‘energy coast’ – is in
pole position to play a key role in this transition. As your MEP, I
would seek to help offer leadership in this epochal change.”

MEMBERS
OF THE MEDIA ARE INVITED TO JOIN THE GREENS’ STREET CAMPAIGN BY CALLING
RUPERT READ FROM 1000 SATURDAY TO ARRANGE A RENDEZVOUS, OR TO MEET TONY
JUNIPER AND RUPERT READ AT 1600 AT KEYNES HALL, KING’S COLLEGE,
CAMBRIDGE.

Foodbanks – and benefits sanctions

There’s been a lot of discussion about exactly why the demand for foodbanks here in the east of England is rising so quickly. Could there be a link between the number of people forced to use food banks and the number having their applications for benefit rejected? The fact is, those rejections have soared under the coalition government.

Green Party analysis of figures for our region compiled by the Department for Work and Pensions reveal that “adverse decisions” against claimants for Job Seekers Allowance and Employment and Support Allowance leapt from about 19,000 to almost thirty thousand between 2008 and 2009. By last year that number had doubled again to nearly sixty two thousand. We believe that this is one of the primary causes of the increased pressure on charitable foodbanks.

A Parliamentary select committee came to the same conclusion in January and called for an enquiry into inappropriate sanctions being imposed on claimants by Jobcentre Plus staff. They said staff should be incentivised to get people into work and not simply off benefits.

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if the Government could instead target the tens of billions that are being ripped off us all by a minority of bankers and tax-evaders?

Global over-heat: where do we go from here?: RR speaking in London event with Mayer Hillman, Vicky Pope, Saci Lloyd…

Radical ideas and suggestions on how to respond to the threat of global warming from some of the UK’s leading experts and campaigners.

 

April 12th, 2014

 

Conway Hall

Red Lion Square

London WC1R 4RL

Near Holborn Tube

 

£10 (£5 students) free to friends of CFI UK.

 

Tickets available online at: https://humanism.org.uk/events/?page=CiviCRM&q=civicrm/event/info&reset=1&id=52

 

10.30 Registration

 

11am Dr Mayer Hillman. Senior Fellow Emeritus, Policy Studies Institute, London. What do we do now that society is demonstrating all too clearly its strong preference for downplaying the significance and implications of climate change?

 

12.00 Dr Rupert Read. Philosopher and Green activist. Rupert will speak about global over-heat, the end of denialism, and the self-destruction of libertarianism in relation to this issue – and a possible way forward, in terms of guardians for future people. (lunch)

 

1.45 Dr Vicky Pope. The Met Office. Vicky was a founding member of the Met Office Hadley Centre and is a member of the Advisory Board on the UNEP early warning project on climate related hazards. She will present an overview of the latest science from the IPCC report and talk about its relevance for the UK. Vicky will give some idea of weather extremes we might expect.

 

2.45 Saci Lloyd is an Ecological activist and internationally acclaimed writer. She is the author of Carbon Diaries.

 

3.45 End

 

CFI UK reserves the right to change the programme.