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Thread: Extinction Rebellion

  1. #16
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    I went to a climate change talk by a young researcher-turned activist on Friday - the event was organized and hosted by these guys. It was reasonably interesting with some new info I hadn't come across before, although surely much of it would have been common knowledge to anyone with a passing interest in climate change. The audience, although a decent size, was almost exclusively in late middle age or elderly, which was a bit dispiriting. The audience discussion was also pretty light on practical suggestions for meaningful large-scale political solutions and heavy on well-meaning old ladies talking about turning off appliances when you're not using them.

    What was more interesting and useful to me was getting chatting with the speaker and couple of the younger attendees afterwards and getting some ideas for a possible career change into something more in line with climate or biodiversity modelling in the near future. I signed up for ER too.
    Last edited by Mr. Tea; 18-02-2019 at 01:24 PM.
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  2. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by version View Post
    You take the vast majority of people out of the modern environment and drop them in nature and you'll notice a positive change...
    Without wishing to go hard Monbiot on you, what even is "nature", though? Do you mean the basically agricultural landscape? Or the tiny patches here and there that aren't actually put to some practical or commercial purpose but which still have a biodiversity that's been drastically altered by humans for thousands of years?

    Obviously it's nice to take a walk in the woods, across the downs or along the beach, but even this has to be carefully managed, when you consider erosion, litter, dog shit, heavy tourist traffic in the summer and all the rest.

    Agreed with your main point, btw - reminds me of the cartoon with the climate skeptic asking the scientist "But what if we're wrong about global warming and we're building a better world for nothing?!"
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  3. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by version View Post
    I'll set the bar pretty low and say more or less anywhere you aren't surrounded by concrete and metal at all times. At this point, a park is better than nothing.
    OK, concur fully with that. A good start would be coping with a rising population by redeveloping our inner cities and building upwards again like we did in the 60s, not outwards with these endless land-hungry exurban non-settlements on greenbelt land.
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  4. #19

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    they let my partner speak at a rally after bugging them ab it ("you could use some energy at this rally, what else is going on?") until she was about to mention what cuba is doing about these problems at which exact point (having asked to read her speech ahead of time) they cut her off so make of that what u will
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  5. #20
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    I can't say I'm too familiar with Cuba's environmental policies - what did she intend to say about them?
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  6. #21
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    Surprise Dennis Bovell doing Wonderful World on a pink yacht in Oxford Circus

  7. #22
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    The occupations across London are great. Went to Waterloo bridge on Monday and liked the vibe away from the most hippy elements. Surprised and glad they have held it this long.

    Equating success with mass arrests is very very very bad though and cannot end well.

  8. #23

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    https://revista.drclas.harvard.edu/b...ental-strategy
    key quotes:

    "It would be wrong to attribute Cuba's changes only to the "special period" of pervasive shortages and economic crisis that arose with the disbanding of the COMECON trading block (the Soviet Union, eastern Europe, Cuba, and Vietnam)."

    "I have had the privilege of being a participant/observer in this process since 1964, mostly in the development of ecology and ecological agriculture. I watched as botanists and zoologists began to think of themselves as ecologists and to examine the ecological consequences of development."

    "By 1980, we had held the first national ecological conference in Cuba and passed a resolution urging the environment-monitoring agency, the National Commission for the Protection of the Environment and the Preservation of Natural Resources, also have regulatory powers. I recall heated arguments about pesticide use at that meeting [socialism is not monolithic/anti-democratic]. Shortly thereafter, the Commission was raised to cabinet rank and is now part of the Ministry of Science, Technology, and the Environment. In 1988, a conference entitled "Integrated Technology in the Defense of Nature" placed the issues on a national agenda. In the conference's keynote presentation, I stressed the notion of "modern ecology" to emphasize that modern biology is not only the biology of the very small."

    "Dialectical materialism emphasizes historicity, context and process, interconnection the inseparability of the social and the biological and other themes that made an ecological perspective attractive. I was present when one local Communist Party nucleo prepared itself for the debates by honing the argument that far from ecology being "idealist," it was the height of idealism to suppose that we could pass resolutions and have nature obey."

    "Enterprises charged with production and overwhelmed with meeting the population's needs were often impatient with ecology. A later Cuban document criticizes the assignment of environmental monitoring to the same enterprises polluting."

    "In agriculture, the use of biological control of pests became widespread and centers for the culturing of the natural enemies of pests were set up on the state farms and some cooperatives. Research on biofertilizers led to the spread of nitrogen-fixing bacteria, composintg, use of earthworms, mycohrhizae (fungi that serve as extensions of a plant's root system in the mobilization of minerals), and recycling strategies. At one point, we had to argue for slowing down the adoption of organic methods to a rate we could guide because misuse could discredit the whole program.
    The trajectory in pest management has been from pesticides to the application of natural enemies to the creation of conditions that favor natural enemies and towards a multi-tiered defense system. This sort of defense system starts with the planting pattern (several crops with different vulnerabilities in the same field or adjacent plots that mutually benefit each other, plants that repel or trap pests), an environment friendly to predators and parasites of pests (straw for spiders, nectar sources for wasps, safe nesting sites for ants, protection from pesticides for all of them, as well as birds); the use of insect diseases, and fungi that attack the pests."

    "The National Environmental Strategy, formulated in 1997, tries to develop criteria for those decisions. It legally requires all agencies to take environmental issues into account. It encourages grassroots participation through such ventures as organic vegetarian restaurants and seeks to promote environmental awareness. The strategy gives priority to environmentally sound technological research and stresses an active international environmental policy. It seeks to integrate issues of public health, clean production, recycling of urban waste, alternative energy, biodiversity, and education into a comprehensive vision. The more deprived areas of Cuba are to receive the first benefits of eco-friendly technology; the four percent of households not on the national electric grid are prioritized recipients of solar collectors, for instance. Special programs such as an anti-desertification program are being developed for vulnerable regions."
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  9. #24

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    more heat

    https://eandt.theiet.org/content/art...en-revolution/ (i feel this is written w something of a reflexive anticommunist bias but they still have to show their asses by giving cuba it's due credit):

    "According to the United Nations’ 2016 Human Development Report, Cuba is one of just a handful of countries that has managed to improve the health and wellbeing of its citizens while developing sustainably. In the Environmental Performance Index compiled by Yale and Harvard universities, Cuba ranked 45 out of 180 countries – the highest ranking for a non-OECD, non-European state."

    "...a five-minute address to the landmark United Nations Conference on Environment and Development in Rio Do Janeiro...
    “Tomorrow will be too late to do what we should have done a long time ago.”
    On his return, Castro set about amending the constitution to safeguard land, air and water resources, becoming one of the first leaders in the world to do so."

    "These measures have worked... The amount of land under forestation in Cuba has grown considerably, from 19.2 per cent in 1990 to 30.1 per cent in 2015, according to the World Bank. An estimated 22 per cent of Cuba’s land is under legal protection, compared to 13 per cent in the US."

    "There has been a similar record in marine environment. The island has almost 100 protected marine areas, with a quarter of its marine habitats protected from development.
    Cuba now has the richest biodiversity of plants and animals of all the Caribbean, and is the fourth richest island in the world, from a natural history point of view. Over half of its plants and 95 per cent of its amphibians are not found anywhere else.
    In a sign of the growing enthusiasm for the country’s environment, the American Museum of Natural History recently hosted a major exhibition celebrating Cuban biodiversity.
    'Cuba’s nature has been protected by a combination of historical circumstance, but also because Cubans themselves have been very committed to protecting their biodiversity,' says Ana Luz Porzecanski, director of the museum’s Centre for Biodiversity and Conservation."

    "The 2005 hurricane season battered Cuba’s already inefficient electric grid. In 2006, the government instituted a series of reforms in the sector in what became known as the ‘Energy Revolution’.
    These measures transformed the island’s lighting, eliminating the use of nearly 116 million old-fashioned incandescent light bulbs and making Cuba the first nation to entirely phase them out.
    Millions of inefficient consumer appliances such as fridges and fans were replaced with modern energy-saving versions using government aid."

    "In 2014, Cuba set an ambitious target to produce 24 per cent of its electricity from renewable sources by 2030.
    'Cuba expects to have 780MW [renewable energy] in the next 14 years, and I think it set the pace for 14 years because they want to be realistic,' Carlos Fernández-Aballí, chief strategy officer of Havana-based sustainable development consultancy Cuba Strategies, told a conference in New York.
    'If they can do it in three, they’d also be happy, because these investments correspond to what the grid can physically incorporate without becoming unstable.'
    To reach that target, Cuba needs an estimated $3.5bn of investment. The 24 per cent renewable energy target will, Cuba hopes, be achieved by 14 per cent from biomass, 6 per cent from wind, 3 per cent from solar and 1 per cent from hydropower.
    The solar energy sector is moving the fastest towards the target. The government has built a manufacturing plant that has produced 14,000 photovoltaic solar panels outside the city of Cienfuegos and a 4.5MW solar plant near the US naval base at Guantanamo. Deals are also being struck with foreign engineering companies. Last May, British company Hive Energy signed a contract for a 50MW project with the Union Electrica de Cuba.
    Cuba is also looking to harness wind power. There are currently four wind farms in operation, financed by Chinese and Spanish investors, with total capacity of 11.7MW, ranking Cuba 72nd worldwide in installed wind-power capacity. And the island’s largest wind farm to date, Herradura 1, is being built in the eastern province of La Tunas. The facility will have 34 of the 1.5MW-turbines made by China’s Goldwind, for a total of 51MW.
    Yet the renewable energy technology that has most potential in Cuba is probably biofuels. Many commentators expect the sector to grow following the death of Fidel Castro, who once described them as a “sinister idea” because of concern they would compete with food crops.
    In 2013, UK-based Havana Energy entered into a joint venture with the Cuban state-run Zerus SA to build five biomass power plants in Cuba. Called Biopower SA, it will generate power from bagasse at sugar mills. Valued at a total of $250m, the power plants are expected to produce 32MW each.
    As well as using residues from sugar crops, Havana Energy is also involved in a project to use the marabu plant, an invasive shrub that has taken over much of Cuba’s arable land, as biomass. The burning of marabu would not only provide fuel, but would also give a boost to Cuban farming if the land it has overrun can be reclaimed.

    https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2018...climate-change

    "Irma lent new urgency to a plan, called Tarea Vida, or Project Life, adopted last spring by Cuba’s Council of Ministers. A decade in the making, the program bans construction of new homes in threatened coastal areas, mandates relocating people from communities doomed by rising sea levels, calls for an overhaul of the country’s agricultural system to shift crop production away from saltwater-contaminated areas, and spells out the need to shore up coastal defenses, including by restoring degraded habitat. “The overarching idea,” says Salabarría Fernández, “is to increase the resilience of vulnerable communities.”"

    "But Project Life stands out for taking a long view: It intends to prepare Cuba for climatological impacts over the next century. “It’s impressive,” says marine scientist David Guggenheim, president of Ocean Doctor, a nonprofit in Washington, D.C., that has projects in Cuba. “Cuba is an unusual country in that they actually respect their scientists, and their climate change policy is science driven.”"
    "my heartstrings are autistic" - treelethargy
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  10. #25

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    i'm critically supportive of them disrupting transportation but between trying to silence people pointing to socialism as a solution to this climate shitdown and the "cops are good" tweeting i get the general feeling that they're Liberals and not helping tons
    "my heartstrings are autistic" - treelethargy
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  11. #26
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    Fair play to them. Of course, ignoramuses like me are just seeing photos of them doing yoga in their tye-dye clothes in the Metro and kneejerking 'get a job/have a shower' and so on. Which is a shame. But I suppose it's about disrupting the normies not winning them over.

  12. #27
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    Suprsied to see some Twitterati I normally like going down the "oh no crusties" route, which is so shallow. To be expected though I guess. Also re. disruption etc. I think some kind of civic disobedience is needed to make the point surely. Well meaning protests that don't upset the applecart seem to have done absolutely nothing to change the big picture.

  13. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by DannyL View Post
    Suprsied to see some Twitterati I normally like going down the "oh no crusties" route, which is so shallow. To be expected though I guess. Also re. disruption etc. I think some kind of civic disobedience is needed to make the point surely. Well meaning protests that don't upset the applecart seem to have done absolutely nothing to change the big picture.
    What’s funny is that the M11 blockade at Leytonstone, the Newbury Bypass tree camp and Reclaim The Streets are now seen as awesome protest, but they were totally crustie.

    ER is very middle class though and I think intentionally so with their nonsense about the cops being on their side.

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  15. #29
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    Reclaim the Streets was soundtracked by trance as I remember it, the unmistakable indicator of crustie involvement.

    ER or XR is emerging as incredibly cynical with this voluntary arrest bs. Would be stupid if it wasnt exactly what the organisers want - getting other people to sacrifice so that they can be hailed as messiahs. I met one of the ppl arrested yesterday (theres so many of them, was only a matter of time) and the naivete made me feel ill, because he's a really nice guy. It might be ok this time, but next time? Also astonishingly incognisant of how lack of fear of police is a white middle class privilege. Maybe depressingly rather than astonishingly.

    I enjoyed the twitter backlash to this idiocy:
    https://mobile.twitter.com/Extinctio...16919843315713

    I think I was wrong upthread, saying theyre on the right side of history. This could easily go all jim jones.

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  17. #30
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    I think they'd have allot more impact, and less of a high crusty ratio of supporters, if they chose singular concrete changes, policies, something to latch on to. Go at them one by one. As far as I'm aware it's just "we need something to be done", there's no concrete end goal there, the government needs specific pressures to take specific actions. Got some friends updating regularly from the protest, just looks like a rave and people shouting the police. Still no-one has learnt how this kind of protesting does nothing but to push the average working class folk away from wanting to engage with anything they're saying. It's why climate change denial is so pervasive on the right.

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