Dear Extinction Rebellion, The emergence of a mass movement like Extinction Rebellion (XR) is an encouraging sign that we have reached a moment of opportunity in which there is both a collective consciousness of the immense danger ahead of us and a collective will to fight it. A critical mass agrees with the open letter launching XR when it states “If we continue on our current path, the future for our species is bleak.” At the same time, in order to construct a different future, or even to imagine it, we have to understand what this “path” is, and how we arrived at the world as we know it now. “The Truth” of the ecological crisis is that we did not get here by a sequence of small missteps, but were thrust here by powerful forces that drove the distribution of resources of the entire planet and the structure of our societies. The economic structures that dominate us were brought about by colonial projects whose sole purpose is the pursuit of … [Read more...] about An open letter to Extinction Rebellion
institutions, infrastructure, and ways of life of the carbon age or face catastrophic climate breakdown, where those with the least responsibility will bear the highest price. This is a daunting political project, one of deep creation, of radical, hopeful natality, that must be negotiated together with great care. Yet we cannot avoid radical change. Given the scale of disruption hurtling toward us, it is inevitable; the key question is in which direction, at what pace, cost, and to whose benefit. Transformation on the speed and scale required will require new forms of stewardship of nature, labour, and capital. In place of extractive, concentrated, and footloose forms of property, a net zero society that sustains a good quality of life for all must be anchored in ownership models that are sustainable, democratic and purposeful by design. The alternative will drive accelerating climate breakdown and continue to generate stark inequalities. The dominance of global production by … [Read more...] about Rethinking ownership is key to solving the climate crisis
Mahdi plays for German football team FC Lampedusa St. Pauli in Hamburg, a team made solely out of refugees and migrants. The team name stems from refugees who came to Hamburg via Lampedusa a few years ago. Around 380 refugees stayed in the St. Pauli church at that time and some of them reached out to coaches to find opportunities to play football. That is how FC Lampedusa St. Pauli started, now an all-male team made out of refugees and migrants from countries including Afghanistan, Iran, Syria, Eritrea, Somalia and Kosovo who all share a passion for football. Mahdi is happiest on the football field, playing in Germany just as he did back in Afghanistan. FC Lampedusa is about more than just football for Mahdi though; before every game, he and his teammates cook dinner and spend time together. Most are in Germany alone, having had to flee from their home countries, and so the camaraderie of FC Lampedusa is extremely important. “I made loads of friends here at FC Lampedusa and also … [Read more...] about A safe haven in the beautiful game?
Garry Knight / Flickr The Mayor of London recently introduced the ultra-Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) in the capital, a policy advocated for by IPPR. All vehicles entering the centre of London will have to pay a daily charge if they don’t meet new tighter emissions standards – though some exemptions apply. The policy is radical, controversial, but it is also necessary – here’s why. Thousands of Londoners die prematurely every year due to toxic air. It stunts the growth of the lungs of children; it is one of the primary causes of cancer; and it increases the risk of dementia. There are hundreds of schools in London in areas where the legal limits for nitrogen dioxide (NOx), a form of pollutant, exceed the legal limits. The biggest contributor to poor air quality in the capital are the most polluting vehicles – and the ultra-low emission zone is a radical solution. The zone is expected to reduce NOx emission by almost half according to figures from the Greater … [Read more...] about Ultra-Low Emission Zone charges are a matter of social justice
Brookings Institution / Flickr Tony Blair is back again. And this time, he has bright ideas about how to defeat the far right – by forcing migrants to integrate, and focusing on civic education around ‘British values.’ He is trying to rehabilitate failed ideas of integration – but a brief look at his tenure in office and its legacy shows how policies justified by the same means have alienated minorities, driven up social inequality, and further normalised a distinctly far-right world picture which paints migrants and BAME people as the problem. In July 2005, just days after the 7/7 terror attacks, Tony Blair called a delegation of senior Muslim community leaders to 10 Downing Street in what appeared a gesture towards a show of national unity. He was seeking confirmation of the position that these bombings were neither a consequence of British foreign policy, nor an expression of Islam, but rather the product of an extremist ideology that all present were … [Read more...] about Don’t listen to Tony Blair – his policies helped empower the far right