Global warming is the overriding environmental issue facing the world. 20 years have passed since the United Nations’ (UN) ’Earth Summit’ in Rio de Janeiro highlighted the problem.
Emissions of greenhouse gases that cause climate change have escalated to critical levels. They threaten catastrophe, even endangering life on the planet in the long term.In Planning for the Planet, Pete Dickenson indicts the representatives of the capitalist market system.
The huge multinational Tamboran wants to begin massive exploration for natural gas in Ireland, drilling 1,600 wells in Fermanagh and Leitrim using the dangerous hydraulic fracturing technique, or “fracking” as it is more commonly known.
In the last four months, hydraulic fracturing or “fracking” as it is commonly referred to has became a bigger issue here in Northern Ireland.
Japan’s earthquake and tsunami not only ignited catastrophic explosions at the Fukushima nuclear plant, it also sent shockwaves through global energy policy.
Capitalist system incapable of facing up to natural disasters – democratic control of reconstruction and relief work needed
The massive earthquake that struck north-eastern Japan on Friday 11 March and ensuing destruction caused by one of the most powerful tsunamis ever witnessed was the “worst crisis since 1945” according to Prime Minister, Naoto Kan. Capitalist governments always try to exploit for their own political reasons the spontaneous mood for unity in the face of disaster. The terrible events in Japan, however, raise many questions about the follies of capitalism and especially the massive development of nuclear power, never entirely safe, in a notoriously quake-prone region. Government officials say the death toll from the earthquake and tsunami could reach tens of thousands. As Reuters noted, “The catastrophe will also sorely test Kan’s deeply unpopular government.”
ACCORDING TO the headlines, Britain is on course to a green future based on renewable energy. The National Grid, which organises electricity distribution, has just produced a report claiming that 15% of the country’s energy will be generated by renewable sources by 2020. At the same time, the renewable sector is expanding currently by 25-30% per year internationally and some leading companies in wind energy have announced new investment recently in the UK. For example, GE, Siemens and Gamesa say they are going to invest £300 million in the next three to four years. So, should we stop worrying about global warming since everything seems to be moving in the right direction?
Warm autumn likely to follow
Dozens have died in fires, hundreds have been arrested, thousands have drowned in the last month as the ecological crisis and the struggle against its causes find their epicenter in Moscow.
This summer has already seen 17 temperature records smashed as temperatures have steadily climbed from the high twenties Celsius in the middle of June, to the mid-thirties in July and now around forty degrees Celsius. Forecasters say this heat wave may last till September and may get even worse. Never have such temperatures been recorded in Moscow.
At a time when the government continues to implement savage cuts on working people on the one hand it is still in the process of giving away billions of euro worth of our natural gas to private interests. Two onshore gas fields are next to being a gift. One in Clare and one in the North West. The closing date for the licence applications is 11 June.