Will be be safer wearing a face covering when leaving our home? Should the Government buy up enough for everyone every trip? Are home made face coverings just as safe, easy to make, fun?
The only aspect affecting the planet is the emissions in making millions and the mountains of waste. But if reading this up will save lives go to Cover your face against Covid and please pass on to all and sundry. If you would prefer to support a local business than make your own cloth covering Leaping Lizards on the Archway Rd have fabulous coverings see here – though costing more than getting out spare cloth and a needle and thread!
And thanks to Masks4All for their campaign and resources (inc a wanted and offered page) —————————————————————————————————–
- WHAT CAN WE DO NOW to channel this Covid upheaval to build a greener fairer world out of the ashes?
- How can we prevent reinforcement of global finance, with its march towards climate and ecological disaster?
- How can we stop short term emergency measures from becoming long term deregulation, or restrictions on our rights? (member of Haringey Labour Climate Action)
There are so many thinkers writing about global emissions, financial systems and consumption and how to emerge from the Covid-19 catastrophe in better shape than before. And against them are so many powerful forces still pushing their usual interests. So how can the majority, who want a fair and clean world, prevail?
Until the public have a good grasp of what was wrong ‘before’ and what can be done now, those in power will try to get back to the old ways. The global financial system underpins the lifestyle of the privileged and the poor yet could be adjusted now to be fair. Just as the US and UK economies were quickly transformed in WW2 there are measures that could be taken straight away.
The difficult bit is to turn around the fixed mind sets of those in power.
[Superscript numbers at the following bullets refer to the References in the strip at the end]
1. Messages for the public to grasp – Build Back Better
“the proximity of death in shared calamity makes many people more urgently alive, less attached to the small things in life and more committed to the big ones, often including civil society for the common good.”10 Public pressure, arising from a new awareness, is fundamental to a recovery that builds a greener fairer world.
- The finance sector was screwed even before the Covid lockdowns2
- Capitalism can’t cope with a pandemic2
- Covid-19 is a dress rehearsal for climate change8
- Production and transport causes air pollution18, consumption drives the Air Pollution and Climate breakdown15
- Stringent changes to avert climate breakdown will not be as bad as the Covid economic collapse11
- Global problems need global responses eg:
- the value of global research into viruses, and global corporation in developing vaccines and in innovative protective products15
- China helping Italy, UK and US in Covid emergency “we are all waves in the same sea”12
- Business As Usual is heading for a 4.1degC rise!!!
2. Re-engineer Global Finance
“Never before has the global economy suffered a shock of this scale all at once. In the US alone, at least 17 million people have lost their jobs in the last three weeks. A severe global recession is now inevitable.” There is a stark choice – shore up a high carbon recovery or create a low carbon recovery.
- The outcome of disasters is not foreordained10
- The global economic and financial systems could be re-engineered to benefit the worlds population and planet2
- Powerful incumbent forces will change the rules to advantage high carbon industries18, 19, 20
- The new money that has been created by central banks ends up accumulating in rich individuals’ bank accounts5 but could go to jobs and infrastructure [see heading schematic]
- the costs of a global crisis are bound to vastly exceed those of its prevention6
- Global competition on death figures could be replaced by competition on serious carbon reductions (see Climate Action Tracker on shortfalls in pledges)
- Countries will only be willing to help climate if all do – else a free ride for some15
- Keynes advised on a reserve currency rather than dollar. $ drives financial systems1
- Cost of recovery will either come from future generations or from today’s poor15
- climate action could accelerate the recovery by creating jobs, driving capital formation, and increasing economic resiliency6
- the main way to offset this lower oil price effect is to raise the carbon price inversely to the falls in oil prices, and to deal with these perverse incentives with carbon border prices15
- not to price carbon is to distort trade15
3. Emergency measures that public will accept
If “the bottom 50% are disproportionately hit the backlash could make France’s “yellow vest” protests look very tame indeed.”9
- State help must come with climate conditions
- Polluters paying. Raising carbon price
- Health and Key workers to be valued from now on
- Vehicle industry restart to only produce Electric Vehicles and batteries
- Deliveries to only be low carbon
- Cost of grid upgrades to be spread across consumers, removing disincentives for small generation
- Insulate and install heat pumps with additional renewables – 2 million new jobs promised at election
- Universal broadband coverage
- Real living wage and affordable housing
- Fair flying allocation
- Community enabled
- Minimum effort, maximum carbon reduction
- Reduced material consumption to reduce carbon15
We are currently in the midst of a battle for the world. On one side are the thinkers who know how to keep the planet healthy and the world a better place. On the other side are those who want to maintain the privilege of a tiny minority, regardless of the legacy to future generations.
1.We can make sure the public understand the complex global financial system and the ‘Magic Money Tree’ nature of money.
2.We can then pressure those with power to direct the recovery to a green recovery.
3.We can call out all unnecessary restrictions on our rights and insist that emergency measures are directed to protect the planet and the livelihoods of global citizens.
This list is courtesy of the brilliant Transition Kentish Town.
Also see the Highgate Neighbourhood Forum newsletter with other useful information.
1. Grow food
Reason: It’s fun and yum
2. Learn your edible weeds
Reason: Many weeds hold great anti-oxidant properties to boost your immune system.
3. Delete old emails and unsubscribe
– from those one’s you always meant to and never got round to.
Reason: Data has a carbon footprint
– change your bank, pension, energy supplier or web browser to green and ethical ones
Reason: Many big firms invest in fossil fuels with little regard for the environment.
See also Highgate Society resources on Ethical Investing:
5. Repair clothes & gadgets
Reason: There is an enormous sense of pride in fixing something to give it more life and saves pennies and consumption waste too.
6. Permaculture your place
Reason: If you have the space why not draw up plans to be more self sufficient in the future. Solar panels on the roof, growing area, fruit trees, wild flower meadows, or if space is a luxury why not decorate a street tree pit with herbs and wild flowers.
7. Learn to ferment
– (if the flour hoarders haven’t got there first!)
Reason: Bread, Beers, pickling… the world is your jam jar! Also is great to do with excess vegetables you’re scratching your head for recipes!
8. Dust off the bike
Reason: With public transport reserved for key workers and those not able to work from home, a bike is a great way to avoid the crowds and get your daily exercise in.
9. Read a book
Reason: Although Netflix and the TV have a wealth of series and films, online streaming (even of music) comes with its own carbon footprint.
10. Learn something new
– a language, knitting, paint, play an instrument or meditate.
Reason: We are lucky in this time of crisis to have the internet and it’s wealth of knowledge, especially helpful are YouTube tutorials just search for what you’d like to learn!
11. Get your DiY on
Reason: Order that paint or wood in and get improving your home space! We might be in it for a while!
12. Ring your family and friends
Reason: Sometime in our previous busy day to day lives we neglected to call our parents or gran. See how they are doing, share your feelings and support one another.
All Events are off, but mutual community help and advice abounds.
The Highgate Neighbourhood Forum newsletter has links for Camden and Haringey ‘sides of the road’ and will be kept up to date.
Highgate Society Programme
For further details see the Highgate Society front page.
For some recent Events click here.
Since the 2017 election threats and damage due to Climate Change and to the Natural Environment have been much more widely understood, and many voters would like to know whether they can trust politicians to address these effectively.
Actions by Extinction Rebellion and straight talk by Greta Thunberg resulted in a UK Climate Emergency bill of 1st May 2019 and Parliament commissioned a Citizens Assembly spanning multiple department’s actions on climate change. So all of the leading UK political parties claim to take the threats seriously, and their 2019 manifestos are investigated below, albeit with just one individual’s interpretation here.
Alternative comparisons include Carbon Brief’s comprehensive comparison of the manifestos of all the Parties, The Guardian’s analysis of climate policies and the BBC has an Interactive Guide with their interpretation of issues. The smaller Parties are not covered. Although the Green Party influences approaches to Climate Change and the Brexit Party influences EU aspects, only the Conservative, Labour and the Liberal Democrats are covered below.
Similar sounding Policies
Superficially the manifestos of the Conservative, Labour and Liberal Democrats have some similar sounding policies. It is the expertise and dedication applied to the Programmes that differentiates them and could persuade voters to trust a Party.
It is difficult for most voters to keep up with unfolding climate change policies to assess which Party is most likely to deliver effective action against Climate Change. The UNEP’s Emissions Gap report of Nov 2019 says that, on current trends, emissions are on track to be 38% higher by 2030 than is needed to limit warming to 1.5C. With the UK hosting the all important 2020 Conference of the Parties in Glasgow, it is crucial that we have a UK Government who will respond to the emergency as the time to act is now.
Policy topics across all Parties
– 2020 UN climate conference in Glasgow (COP26)
– trade deal protections
– flood defences
– environmental land management
– energy-intensive industries moving to low-carbon techniques
– carbon capture and storage (CCS)
– walking and cycling
– electric cars and electric charging points
– air quality
– research and development
The main differences are in the background material and track record of the parties, particularly their approaches to capital investment and day to day revenue and spend.
Transition Highgate leaves it to the reader to assess which Party is the most prepared and most likely to take action commensurate with the Climate and Environmental emergencies we face.