Lisa Nandy: ext week thousands of Extinction Rebellion protesters will descend on Westminster, the latest example of direct action in a year when committed women, men and children across the world have pushed climate change to the top of the global agenda, where it belongs. Although London will again be the focal point, the movement mustn’t overlook the committed activists in places such as Bolton, Wigan, and Sunderland who are also spreading the message across the country. For the climate movement to succeed we have to build a broad coalition that covers our nation’s towns as well as our cities, and reaches out across class divides. Calls for individual action can’t just be modelled on the lifestyles of middle-class city dwellers. Telling people to get out of their cars can’t be the solution in those parts of the country where decades of chronic underinvestment have left us without public transport. In towns such as Wigan, jobs have disappeared as investment flowed into cities, creating lengthy commutes on public transport for most working-age people. Trains are overcrowded, deeply unreliable and ceased to function entirely for a large part of last year, while the buses are few and far between, and often more expensive than getting a taxi. Demanding people abandon their cars isn’t realistic if the alternative is a round trip of 42 miles a day on foot or by bike, just to get to work. Campaigns to tackle climate change need to link up with campaigns for better transport and fairer funding for it, particularly for buses. Rooting calls for action in the reality of people’s lives is essential if the battle against climate change is not to become a battle against each other.
Guardian 2nd Oct 2019 read more »
President Putin has accused Greta Thunberg, the teenage environmental activist, of failing to understand the realities of the modern world. “I may disappoint you but I don’t share the general excitement about Greta Thunberg’s speech,” Mr Putin told an energy forum in Moscow when asked about the Swedish activist’s appearance at the United Nations. “No one has explained to Greta that the modern world is complex and diverse, that it is developing quickly, and that people in Africa or in many Asian countries want to live at the same wealth levels as in Sweden,” Mr Putin, 66, said. “How can this be done? By forcing them to use solar energy?” he added. “Has anyone explained how much this costs?”
Times 3rd Oct 2019 read more »
Extinction Rebellionprotests are putting a bigger strain on police resources than the terror attacks of 2017, a senior Scotland Yard officer has warned. The Metropolitan Police is planning a major operation next week to counter climate change demonstrators who have vowed to bring central London to a standstill during a fortnight of coordinated activities. But Assistant Commissioner Nick Ephgrave said the police response was taking officers away from vital other roles in the capital including tackling knife crime and domestic violence. He said since April this year dealing with climate change protests had required more resources than had been needed to police the fallout from the London Bridge and Westminster terror attacks and the Grenfell Tower fire disaster. He explained how in 2017, 80,000 police shifts were reallocated to deal with the three major events.
Telegraph 2nd Oct 2019 read more »
Guardian 2nd Oct 2019 read more »