Tuesday, 1 April 2014

Recent green thoughts

Amongst all the uproar about the far-right Front National (FN) of Marine Le Pen winning many town halls in recent French local elections, our French counterparts, Europe Ecologie Les-Verts (EELV), managed notably to win Grenoble, as well as a few other places. I am also thankful that in some places, the French Greens were allying with Parti de Gauche (PG) rather than the Parti Socialiste (PS) who their MPs are in government with at the moment. It has also been noted that the comparative routing of PS overall was enough to persuade President Francois Hollande, whose approval ratings are now below 20% according to recent polls, to sack outgoing French PM, Jean-Marc Ayroult, and replace him with Spanish-born interior minister Manuel Valls.

Also, a new IPCC report on climate change has been released, stating that in order to stave off catastrophic global warming we need to leave 80% of remaining fossil fuels in the ground and move as soon as possible away from non-renewable energy. As usual, the ConDems are ignoring it and continuing to grant tax breaks to fossil fuel companies, especially those involved in oil, and Owen Paterson had the cheek to claim that adverse artificial climate change is 'something we can adapt to over time'. He is wrong, but we need to act nevertheless, because if we leave it long enough to prove Mr. Paterson wrong, we will be leaving it too late to save human civilisation as we know it. The 'Fossil Fuel Age' needs to end because of moves towards renewable energy, not because of exhaustion of  fossil fuels and global warming devastation. As Caroline Lucas MP says, 'the Stone Age did not end because we ran out of stone, it ended because we found smarter ways of doing things.'

Finally, Green Party leader Natalie Bennett has wisely pointed out in the Guardian that we are a useful focus of rallying support for disillusioned Labour supporters, especially in light of the decision of most Labour MPs to support the ConDems' welfare cap, which will limit welfare spending to £19,000,000,000, no matter what (unemployment benefits and pensions are not included, although cruelly disability benefit and housing benefit are). Time to get out there and spread our progressive message to the people who have not heard it yet, I say!



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