Climate change

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Subscribe to, browse, play and download audio recordings from Solidarity, our weekly paper; various other publications; and several public meetings.

Cut the working week

The shorter working week should be a central demand for the ’new normal’ in post-pandemic recovery. So it’s fortuitous timing for the publication of The Case for a Four Day Week , written by Anna Coote, Aidan Harper and Alfie Stirling. It argues that reduced working time is good for human well-being, for the natural environment and for building a prosperous economy and aims to provide a roadmap for a transition from today’s standard five day/35-hour work week towards four days or 30-hours as the new norm. The eight-hour day Throughout human history, economic affairs have dominated human life...

Singapore Airlines and "just transition"

In its recent Budget, the Singapore government announced plans to give $870 million to the aviation industry in an attempt to rescue it. Yet, in the third quarter of last year alone, Singapore Airlines — the national carrier — reported a net loss of $142 million. So, a whopping $870 million is not likely to go very far, especially if travel takes time to pick up after the pandemic. Singapore Airlines laid off 4,300 workers last year while its CEO continued to draw an annual salary of around $5 million, causing outrage on social media. At the beginning of the pandemic, flight attendants had...

"The Silvertown Tunnel will be a disaster"

Victoria Rance, a spokesperson for the Stop the Silvertown Tunnel campaign, spoke to Solidarity. If it goes ahead the Silvertown Tunnel [a road tunnel under the Thames between Silvertown and the Greenwich Peninsula, supported by London's Labour mayor Sadiq Khan] will be a disaster for people in East London and for the fight against climate change. It’s being justified as a way of easing congestion. The Blackwall Tunnel always has jams, and there’s not many river crossings in the East of London. But what they’re doing is making a crossing right next to the Blackwall Tunnel – it’s the same...

Workers, trade unions and climate politics

Calvin Lawson - an RMT rep in Newcastle, part of the RMT Environmental Action Group, and co-lead on trade union strategy for Labour for a Green New Deal - spoke to Solidarity. Our trade union group within Labour for a Green New Deal is working with local groups to establish union link officers who can connect with trades councils, union branches and so on to support workers’ struggles but also take up environmental questions. We’ve organised some roadshows to encourage discussion and engagement, for instance in the North East where I’m based and working with Unison in the Manchester area. That...

The climate movement and the workers' movement

Protest outside the Vestas wind turbine factory (on the Isle of Wight, 2009), in support of the workers' occupation to stop it closing Often, when you speak to people in the youth-led environmental movement, you encounter people who don’t think climate change has anything to do with the liberation of oppressed groups – the working class, LGBTQ people, people of colour, and so on. It can be frustrating. One’s instinct might be to dismiss them as "bourgeois" or as having antagonistic class interests. But “to write people off lightly is not the mark of an organiser” (Ray Dunne, Trotskyist union...

Coal-mine backtrack

Cumbria’s Labour county council has announced that it will reconsider the development of a new deep coal mine. A spokesperson for the council said this was due to the official Climate Change Committee’s advice in December 2020 with regards to the UK’s sixth carbon budget. It does not take a rocket scientist to work out that digging coal to burn, whether for electricity or steel-making, is not a good way to reduce carbon emissions. Whilst the current trend might look like it is going against new coal, the inconsistency and lack of alternative economic opportunity undermines any climate ambition...

Capital is the culprit

“Things are harder for our generation than they were for our parents. But in one respect we are luckier than our parents. We have begun to learn and are rapidly learning to fight — and to fight not as individuals, as the best of our parents fought... but for our slogans, the slogans of our class. We are fighting better than our parents did. Our children will fight better than we do, and they will be victorious.” Lenin, The Working Class and Neo-Malthusianism (1913) This article takes up from the review of David Attenborough: A Life on This Planet in Solidarity 580. Fossil fuel — mostly coal —...

Tories back new coal mine

The government has come under attack from its own climate change advisors about the decision to allow a new deep coal mine to be built in Cumbria. The Climate Change Committee (CCC) cited the projected 0.4Mt of annual CO2 emissions from the mine as contradicting the already wildly insufficient commitment to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050. It would be the first new deep coal mine in 30 years in the UK, bucking the recent trend against coal, and particularly damaging to attempts to greenwash the Tory government ahead of hosting COP26. On the other side of the North, recent victories for...

Blaming all of humanity

David Attenborough: A Life On Our Planet, the critically acclaimed late 2020 documentary, is a powerful watch. Awe-inspiring natural beauty, captured on film, is interwoven with his signature emotive narration, plus a personal touch from this infamous presenter. It’s no surprise that this environmental call-to-arms caused ripples. This “witness statement” tracks a lifetime studying nature: and its continual destruction and decline. Humans increasingly dominate and destroy the natural world, consuming more and more of the earth which supports us. The great disaster he focusses on is...

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