Friday, August 22, 2008

UK Climate Action

Thousands gather in Britain's climate camp against coal; 3 protests, police over-reaction.

Is it "Green Stalinism" versus decentralized power? That is a recurring theme between those calling for big government action - and the anarchists who believe the government poisons everything it touches.

Quotes from George Monbiot, and music from the camp.

Plus a good interview on getting the public to accept alternative clean power. Will a windmill really blot out the landscape? Or is it better to accept climate change? How to overcome public resistance, and empower those who are ready to change.

The police seemed to think any public gathering was a good chance to practice mass anti-terrorist games. They raided the peaceful camp for no reason, and confiscated such dangerous items as crayons (from the kids) which could be used to make signs.

The media focused on the discovery of a set of kitchen knives, which proved deadly intent. Actually, it proved there were thousands of people on site to feed. Try slicing onions by hand.

The protest was to stop the construction of two new coal fired power plants at Kingsnorth (which is actually in the South East of Britain). After more or less closing down their coal industry, and lowering emissions with natural gas, the government of Gordon Brown is turning back the clock, to go back to coal. Never mind their own lofty greenhouse gas promises.

This regressive action threatens us all. How can anyone ask the Chinese to stop, when rich Britain, loaded with wind and tidal power options, decides to build more coal plants?

Even though a huge group of scientists in the UK have protested building new coal, and even though the protesters were merely asking for what the government promised - the entire police apparatus of the state was used against the generally middle-class and student protesters.

While the camp was going, with clean energy and food raising workshops, there were three protests: one against the Royal Bank of Scotland, which funds more dirty energy than anyone in the country; a very innovative campaign at Heathrow airport, trying to get holiday-goers to consider their climate impact; and the main attempt to get into the Kingsnorth site (where an old coal fired plant is still belching black into the sky).

All peaceful attempts, met generally with police violence. That is the only answer the state has, apparently, to people gathering to protect the climate. And the media focused on that, of course, rather than the issues. Headlines about knives, hardly anything about the ecosphere going down the crapper. Stupid humans.

The show is composed of clips broadcast live from the Climate Camp in early August - another useful demonstration of the new media. Don't like the old media? Do it yourself. A great work-together project by several UK community stations and radio activists.

All of this: North America (and Australia) - take notes! We don't have to sit around moaning about stupid coal plants being built. Let's get together and act! Britain leads the way.


Radio live from Camp. Ecoshock Show 080822 1 hour CD quality 56 MB or Lo-Fi 14 MB

Production Notes: Compiled over 9 hours of live radio from 30 second music bed for station ID at 30 min (with re-intro). Cut last two minutes of music if you need more time.

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