Thursday, February 26, 2009

Kevin Smith on Climate Camp and carbon trading.

The police are maintaining there war of words against the Climate Camp. A recent police stopry was covored widely in the press--across ideological lines--from the Guardian to the Daily Mail. This story told of a fiorthcoming 'summer of rage' and went on to conflate general economic tensions relating to the financial crisis with the motives of climate change activists who dont believe in carbon trading. It is an interesting conflation, and one that we wish the public where generally more willing to make; if the neoliberal economic model has hit crisis point then do we really want to apply that same model of trading--this time in carbon certificates--to the problem of climate change? Wouldnt we be better with an approach that we know will work such as simply replacing fossil fuel plants with renewable generation, or increasing the energy eficiency of transport?

On cap and trade Kevin says:

This is a policy option that has been aggressively promoted not because of its
track record in reducing pollution (because it hasn't got one) but because of
its compatibility with the market-obsessed economic agenda of recent decades.
The concept of the omnipotence of markets has had an enormous crisis of
legitimacy in the wake of the financial crisis but the UK government is still
making futile attempts to apply the same failed market logic to the problem of
climate change.

But while the climate camp strives to think the unthinkable; environmental protection not based on markets...the police are trying to persuade the public to accept the unacceptable. Protest is not just protest it is highly disruptive 'social unrest' which requires far more strident policing.

The climate camp's plans to target the carbon markets on 1 April is one of the
protests that were described in the Guardian by Superintendent David Hartshorn
as kick-starting a "summer of rage". Using the threat of social unrest provoked
by the recession could be interpreted as an attempt to justify increasingly
draconian policing of protest. However there's a great deal of evidence to
suggest that this policing trend had started long before the recession began.

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Climate Change Action

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