Derby People’s Assembly week of action 8th to 13th February

derby

There are a great many activities taking place this week among them a meeting about Europe with Natalie Bennett hosted by Derby Greens- 7.00,pm at Derby University. Come along!

 

Date and Time Place Description Organised by
Monday
8 February:7.30 to 9 am
Derby Railway station  Leafleting: Why we love the  Unions  Derby Trades Council.
Wednesday
10 February:8:00 amonward
Outside all hospitals, especially Derby Royal  Support  Junior Doctors pickets  BMA and supported by Peoples Assembly
Wednesday
10 February: 11.30 -2:00 pm
St Peter Street, probably at the Spot  Street protest is support of Junior Doctors  BMA and supported by Peoples Assembly
Thursday
11  February:7:00 pm
Derby University  Talk on Europe, by Natalie Bennett  the leader of the Green Party  Derby Green Party
Thursday 11
February:7:30 pm
St Paul’s Church Hall, Seale Street, DE1 3RT Chester Green  Public Meeting FLOODS, CLIMATE CHANGE & THE CUTS at Chester Green  Derby Climate Coalition and 38 Degrees Speaker: Climatologist Ed Sears
Friday 12
February: 12 noon to 2:00 pm
The RAM, East Street.  Leafleting: Why we love the  Unions  Derby Trades Council
Saturday 13
February:11:00 to 1:00 pm
Sport Direct, St Peters Street (next to Tesco)  A fun-packed action against Sports Direct in Derby. part of a day of national protests.  Derby Unite Community branch and Peoples Assembly
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Moorland Management – 27th January

Meeting on moorland management

Wednesday 27th January 2016
7:30pm Royal Hotel, Market Street, Hayfield

UPLAND HEATHLAND Upland heathland_ipcress7

Robert O’Connor, a local Green Party member and ecologist/conservationist, will lead a discussion on the subject of moorland management in the UK.

The blanket bogs and upland heaths of the UK account for something like 1.35 million hectares (lowland peat covered about 65,000 hectares in mainland Britain in 1990, now likely to be much less due to commercial extraction).  Changes in land use over human history include; strategic use of uplands for defence and transportation, animal stock grazing and low level agriculture, industrial use including quarrying, hunting and other forms of recreation, and more recently the use of uplands as freshwater catchment areas.

Other issues under consideration for discussion include:

  • Land ownership  
    Who owns what?
  • Hunting
    Killing of ‘non-preferred’ species on estates managed for game hunting, and how much money is involved in game hunting.
  • Effects on biodiversity
    Estates managed for hunting tend to have low species diversity – for example moorlands managed for red grouse are mostly dominated by heather, which is the preferred food plant of red grouse.
  • Effects on CO² storage
    Blanket bogs store significant amounts of CO² in the peat layer, accumulated over thousands of years.
  • Effects on flood attenuation
    Requires a holistic and landscape approach in implementation of ‘future-proofed’ flood alleviation schemes.
  • What is being done now to address habitat degradation?
    A quick look at some exemplar conservation projects undertaken by various NGOs, such as the RSPB.
  • Appropriate use of public funds in subsidies
    Looking at various payment schemes to landowners past and present.

For more information:

 

 

Green Party Spring Conference

SPLASH_SpringConf2016_v1

Green Party Spring Conference 2016 
Friday 26 – Sunday 28 February
Harrogate International Centre

Spring Conference – in its new shorter format – will be held at the Harrogate International Centre – the third largest conference and exhibition centre in the UK – in the lovely spa town of Harrogate on the edge of the Yorkshire Dales.

Booking

Bookings are now open! Get the best prices by booking online before 14 February.
We do everything we can to keep the cost of attendance down, and we hope that the shorter format will be welcome for that reason, but for those who would not be able to cover the costs of attendance themselves there is also a limited access fund.

Non-members are also very welcome to attend and can either book using the form on the website, or can pay on the door.

Timetable and agenda

Conference is a chance for members from all over the UK to get together not only to discuss and vote on policy motions, but also to network, socialise and learn. As well as nine hours of discussion time and around 12 workshops dedicated to policy, there will also be:

  • 16 training sessions on local party organisation, campaigns, media, policy, electoral activism, etc
  • 20 informative fringe sessions run by party members or staff
  • 3 topical panel debates open to the public with high level external speakers
  • Evening entertainment programme
  • Exhibition including members groups as well as external organisations and campaigns

An outline timetable is available on the website. The first agenda (list of motions accepted) and the prioritisation ballot is open on the members’ website until 25 January.

Details of how to apply to run a fringe are online.

Travel

Harrogate is 35 mins by train from Leeds.

Check the travel page of the conference website

If you are seeking or offering a seat in a car you can use our Liftshare scheme.

Accomodation

There is a huge selection of hotels and B&Bs right on the door step of the venue, and we have arranged allocations at a few local hotels. See the accommodation page on the website for more info and booking.

Creche

Children between the ages of 1 and 11 are welcome to join the Conference Creche, which is run by fully qualified, DBS checked staff. And all absolutely free of charge to Green Party members who are attending the Conference! (Refundable deposit required).

Latest news

Keep up to date with our plans for Spring Conference on social with #GPConf
and https://www.facebook.com/events/714590818675803/

If you can’t join us there, why not watch the Leader’s speech and plenary sessions live online!

How to hold a policy discussion with your local party

About the priority ballot

More information on the website. www.greenparty.org.uk

 

Derbyshire Green Party AGM – 17 January

Derbyshire Green Party

Annual General Meeting

Sunday 17th January 2016

at The Medway Community Centre, New Street, Bakewell Derbyshire DE45 1GT

Starting 12 noon to approximately 4pm

Fair is Worth Fighting For

The Agenda has been sent out to all members. If you have not received yours, please contact Charlotte
at (email) cnfarrell@hotmail.co.uk

Calling all Young Greens in Derbyshire

Its 2016, a new year has begun. Derbyshire Green Party is seeking to invite all the Young Greens within Derbyshire to a meeting

Young Greens

Venue: The Brunswick Inn, 1 Railway Terrace, Derby, DE1 2RU

Date:     Saturday 23rd January

Time:   1pm – 5pm

The meeting has been organized jointly by me, Matt Genn, Acting Derby Young Greens Co-ordinator and Marten Kats, Derby City Greens Co-ordinator.

We look forward to meeting you in order to decided how we should be organised and what we would like to campaign on in 2016.

Like out Facebook page – Derbyshire Young Greens Facebook group: Derbyshire Young Greens

No Minister, this winter's floods are not 'Unprecedented'.

East Midlands Green Party Blog

David Cameron was ill advised to brag about how much flood defence work has been done during his premiership – surrounded as he was by flood water in York. “Like much of the rest of what you have done as prime minister David, your actions on flood prevention have been demonstrably inadequate. That’s why you were surrounded by flood water!”

The line being taken by this lamentable government is that the floods of this winter were ‘unprecedented’. The impression that they want to leave with the public is that there was nothing that could have been done to prevent them and that they are a one-off event, unlikely to be repeated. “So, Environment Minister Truss” [who has repeated the ‘unprecedented’ line like well trained parrot] “were the floods of 2007 or of 2014 also ‘unprecedented’? Doesn’t ‘unprecedented’ mean ‘not happened before’?”

After the 2007 flooding in the West country, there…

View original post 962 more words

No Minister, this winter’s floods are not ‘Unprecedented’.

East Midlands Green Party Blog

David Cameron was ill advised to brag about how much flood defence work has been done during his premiership – surrounded as he was by flood water in York. “Like much of the rest of what you have done as prime minister David, your actions on flood prevention have been demonstrably inadequate. That’s why you were surrounded by flood water!”

The line being taken by this lamentable government is that the floods of this winter were ‘unprecedented’. The impression that they want to leave with the public is that there was nothing that could have been done to prevent them and that they are a one-off event, unlikely to be repeated. “So, Environment Minister Truss” [who has repeated the ‘unprecedented’ line like well trained parrot] “were the floods of 2007 or of 2014 also ‘unprecedented’? Doesn’t ‘unprecedented’ mean ‘not happened before’?”

After the 2007 flooding in the West country, there…

View original post 962 more words

Important message for Green Party Members in Amber Valley

If you are a Green Party member living within the Amber Valley Borough Council boundary then you should have received an invitation to vote in the ballot currently taking place to decide whether Amber Valley becomes an independent local party. Previous experience tells me that emails sent to a large number of addresses at once sometimes end up in junk, spam or bulk mail folders.

If you are an Amber Valley member and don’t think you have received your invitation then please check this/these folders. If you still can’t find it then it may be because we don’t have an up to date email for you. Please contact me to ensure you have the opportunity to participate in this important vote.

Peter Allen
On behalf of Derbyshire Green Party
Email     peterd.allen@btinternet.com
Tel          07793319547

Global warming and the ice age

Looking up at grey skies in August, I’d say many of us have flippantly said “Global warming? Bring it on!” More seriously, opponents of action on climate change have made claims of beneficial effects of warming for agriculture and the economy as a whole. Maybe the storms and flooding of the last few days, repeating and exceeding the floods of last year and the year before have provided  a more sombre idea of the effects of global warming on our weather systems. In  this post, Phil Ælse explains why global warming won’t be a pleasant experience!

What does the term global warming means to you? Do you envisage yourself  enjoying balmy days on Blackpool beach, strolling along the promenade at Llandudno in shorts and sun-glasses, and picking coconuts from the palm trees along Skegness front?

Unfortunately, whilst the general temperatures will increase in the short term, the specific effect on Britain could be less pleasant.

Think Costa Rica not Costa Brava: increased humidity; sweaty, smelly bodies; respiratory illnesses and skin disease on the increase; viruses and bacteria that flourish in dank conditions running riot; food spoiling rapidly and drinking water that needs boiling before use.

Britain’s Geography make it a damp place – even Julius Caesar commented on that: “The nights are short and the weather miserable, with frequent rain and mists.” Global warming won’t change that.  The Pennines cause water vapour to rise and that soon comes back down as rain.

phil1

In general terms the east of Britain suffers more from this effect than the west, as the colder air streams across the North Sea are more ready to dump rain than the typically warmer Atlantic and its beneficial Gulf Stream to the west.

The Gulf Stream is a continuous current of warm water that runs from the Gulf of Mexico across the Atlantic and up the west cost of the UK. This is what gives places like North Wales and Lancashire relatively warm coastline, compared to places at the same latitude, such as Newfoundlgulfstreamand on the Canadian east coast. But whilst the sea and air temperature of the west coast is higher than the US east coast it is the welsh mountains of Snowdonia and the Pennines that then cause the cloud vapour to rise and dump rain on us.

 

Now, imagine if we warmed the ice cap at the North Pole. This will result in a stream of cold water pushing down the Atlantic and could cause a diversion of the Gulf Stream, pushing it south and away from the UK. This would remove the beneficial warming effect from our coast line and seas, and would means that we wouldn’t get the same comfortable temperatures, but we would still get the same clouds hitting the Pennines and rising to fall as rain. Except this is now more often going to be as snow and ice during the winter.

gulf2

So, yes, an initial rise in global average temperatures may give you a slightly warmer climate –  with all the problems of warm humid climates. But by 2050 we could start to see the diversion of the Gulf Stream, meaning that the climate our children will ensure will be more like that of Canada, with three metre deep snow drifts, transport chaos and frozen water pipes. The worst case result of the diverted gulf stream is that there will no longer be any warmer water streams being sent up to the Arctic Circle’s seas. The glaciers and ice caps will ultimately spread, not shrink, and northern Europe and the UK will eventually (and whilst not in our grand-children’s life time, fairly rapidly in geological terms) be brought in to the next ice age.

This has precedent. Ice core samples have been taken from the Poles and from ancient glaciers that show there is a direct correlation between rising  CO2 levels and an eventual decline in to an ice age. The last big ice age, some 11,000 years ago caused the Gulf Stream to shut down. The regional climate of the Northeast Atlantic became considerably cooler and as a result north-western Europe dropped back to ice age conditions within tens of years of this diversion.

icecore

So how is this our fault?

Humans have only been around for a few thousand years, and ice ages have happened for millions of years and multiple times. Cows and pigs haven’t just started pooping and parping. What’s changed?

The difference in this case is the speed in which carbon dioxide (the most prominent greenhouse gas) is rising during the global industrial age compared to previous pre-ice-age periods. Each ice-age has been preceded by a gradual increase in carbon dioxide over thousands of years. In the last three hundred years, the rate of carbon dioxide has increased vastly, meaning that the rate of increase of the ice core graph is not a curve as in previous occurrences, but a near vertical line as can be seen on the extreme right of the graph.

This meteoric rise is a result of our massive increase in carbon emissions from our altered way of life. Flying, driving and heating with fossil fuels means we are creating CO2 in spades.

Demanding fresh meat on our table every day means we have millions more cattle animals than we ever had before. To satisfy this demand, animals are now raised in factory conditions. Raising animals on pastures can be a means of absorbing CO2,  but these intensive methods add to the emissions that are changing the climate on which we depend.

An economy based on producing and marketing ever increasing numbers of  disposable consumer products means more and more energy is used in creating, transporting and disposing on giga-tonnes of products, many of which are used once then thrown away.

What can we do?

We need a different kind of economy. One that serves the needs of our communities rather than a continual treadmill of production for production’s sake. We need to get rid of the nonsense of long supply chains for goods that can be produced locally.  We can make a start in our own lives by buying local produce and supporting local shops, by sharing tools and equipment that aren’t needed every day –  but in the end the system must change.

We need to move a distributed modern energy system based on renewable energy with people in control of their own energy supply. The UK already has some community energy projects – other European countries, such as Germany have a lot more. If there is no community project, what about installing solar panels or switching to an  energy provider that provides equitably generated electricity, and tell the fuel guzzlers WHY you switched.

And even when it seems like talking to the wall, we need to make sure our MPs know how we feel when they vote for things like fracking.

Ultimately, it may not be enough. But what you do will affect your community and your grandchildren. Doing nothing at all, you only allow the disaster to strike and  when your grand-child looks at you and asks “Why is it so cold?” will you be able to say “Its just a cold snap, dear”, or will it be “Because my generation destroyed it all for you!”

 

The Curate's Egg of the Paris Agreement

The Curate’s Egg of the Paris Agreement

Don't rubbish this agreement, it's all we have.

Don’t rubbish this agreement, it’s all we have.

Deal on a Knife-edge – which side of 2°C will it fall?

COP12 – Last Chance Saloon?

Across the world we are rising for climate justice

 

This weekend has seen people throughout the world take to the street to demand
effective action on climate change.climate1

Even in Paris, where demonstrations have been cancelled because of the state of emergency, thousands of pairs of shoes were arranged to represent those demanding action

Together, we are demanding that governments finally acknowledge that so far they have failed us. So many conferences have come and gone and emissions and temperatures have continued to rise. Despite pledges to end subsidies on fossil fuels, governments in many industrialised countries, including our own, have dramatically increased such subsidies and have supported technologies that carry a high risk of pollution, such as deep sea drilling, fracking, and extraction of oil from bitumen (tar sands). World wide, fossil fuel subsidies are at least 4 times higher than subsidies on renewable energy sources. The number is even higher when failure to internalise costs of environmental pollution are taken into account, as they were in the IMF report released in May 2015. That report estimates subsidies as around 10 million dollars per minute.

climate2

On Monday, another conference will start in Paris. Can we expect any better? Certainly not if we aren’t prepared to fight, to insist, to not let them off the hook. Pledges made by individual countries, so far would see temperatures rise by more than 3 degrees – a catastrophic result. The conference is promoted as “business friendly” and corporate lobbyists are present in force, where ordinary citizens are excluded.  We are promised business solutions, but, big business’ “solutions” for the climate remain basically the same: prevent any meaningful global action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, avoid any form of public scrutiny and regulation by pushing failed market-based mechanisms such as a ‘global carbon price’, and promoting various for-profit schemes and hazardous techno-fixes.

actnow

Everyone can do something. Just making our representatives aware that we are watching their response to the demand for real action on climate change. On Saturday, Green Party members in the High Peak constituency were out talking to people in Glossop, encouraging them to sign a letter to our MP, Andrew Bingham. Please download the letter and send it to Andrew Bingham, or adapt it to include your own concerns – or send a similar letter to your own MP.

Letter_to Andrew Bingham

 

 

What does the World need from Paris?

Support Junior Doctors – Tell Jeremy Hunt “Enough is Enough”

doctorsJunior doctors form a core part of the front line staff in our health service.
Without them our NHS would collapse, especially as we approach the winter months.

Junior doctor is a misleading label – it covers all doctors and surgeons other than GPs and hospital consultants. Doctors working in hospital specializations typically spend between 10 and 14 years as “junior” doctors, working punishing hours, with high levels of responsibility, while also studying for further qualifications needed for their specializations.

Now, faced with the threat that new contracts will be imposed, these doctors have voted overwhelmingly for strike action. The decision to strike is not one that any health care worker takes lightly. The junior doctors deserve our support. The future of care in the NHS is at stake.

When the Conservatives scraped into power in May with 36% of the vote, they thought they had a clear path to run the NHS as they pleased – and what they want is to move away from our cherished, publicly owned model, to an insurance-based model like the US health care system.

One of the key pledges in the Conservative Party’s manifesto was to ensure that there is:

“A truly 7-day NHS- so you will always have access to a free and high quality health service when you need it most.”

Conservative Party Manifesto, 2015

That sounds great – but the new contract shows that this is to be achieved by getting already stretched and overworked NHS staff to do even more. Some junior doctors are working up to 90+ hours a week!  This is clearly unsustainable for the junior doctors and a risk to the patients that they are providing care for.

The government’s proposals are essentially non-negotiable with 22 out of the 23 proposals being off limits for discussion. To me, that’s not negotiation. It’s an attempt to impose an unfair contract on junior doctors, trapping them into a situation where they would have to accept or take strike action. It wouldn’t surprise me if the government tried to conjure up images of the Winter of Discontent (1978-79), in which public sector workers went on strike on mass.

Rather than enter into real negotiations with the BMA, as the union jhrepresenting the doctors, Jeremy Hunt has launched a media campaign with the aim of winning a public relations war. He’s attempted to show the doctors as rejecting a decent pay offer (11%) and reduced overtime hours. What he fails to mention is that the number of hours during the working week that are classed as unsociable – and therefore attract an extra payment – is being cut by 25%. So doctors will work more hours at the basic rate.

chuckaThis is a “cack-handed approach”, in the words of Chuka Umunna on Question Time on the 5th November. However, he didn’t give a clear answer about whether he supported the junior doctors.  Only Victoria Corren and Jenny Jones (Green Party Peer) offered any firm support to the plight of the junior doctors.

Now the result of the ballot has been announced, and an overwhelming majority have supported strike action. In Chesterfield, there will be a picket at the Chesterfield Royal Hospital on December 8th.  I will be supporting it and urge as many Green Party members and supporters (as well as anyone else who wants to defend the NHS) to join me. I appeal to Toby Perkins, the Labour MP for Chesterfield, to support the junior doctors at this picket and any future pickets in the run up to Christmas.

Furthermore, I will also aim to work with all progressive forces in Chesterfield to support this strike action including the Chesterfield and North Derbyshire Save our NHS Campaign, the Liberal Democrats, TUSC, the Socialist Worker’s Party and Chesterfield Women’s Equality Party.

 

Matthew Genn

Chesterfield and North Derbyshire Greens Co-ordinator

More information

https://s3-eu-west-1.amazonaws.com/manifesto2015/ConservativeManifesto2015.pdf

The Telegraph, 19th November 2015

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/health/news/10818708/Junior-doctors-are-still-working-100-hour-weeks-despite-European-laws-BMA.html

BBC News, 19th November 2015

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-34775980

BBC Question Time, 5th November 2015

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b06np79d

The Guardian, 19th November 2015

http://www.theguardian.com/society/2015/nov/19/nhs-strikes-junior-doctors-vote-action-bma

1°C and Rising – Time for Action on Global Climate

Climate Change Summit – Paris 2015

Paris 2015: A Place for Hope

On 5th November, Donald and I were among more than 100 people, who cop21 gathered at Derby Cathedral for a public meeting on climate change,  designed to give people the opportunity to hear about and discuss the issues to be debated at the Paris 2015 Climate Change Summit.

John Selwyn Gummer – now Lord Deben –  addressed the meeting. He chairs the Independent Committee on Climate Change and will represent the UK at the Paris 2015 conference. He began by outlining the three arguments he uses to counter climate change deniers:

  • Risk – the choice between acting on climate change and not acting. If the promoters of climate change are wrong and we act, nothing will have been lost – the atmosphere will be healthier. If the climate deniers are wrong and we do nothing, we shall face catastrophe.
  • Care – he said that as a result of centuries of astronomical exploration planet earth is the only planet to support life as we know it. That does not rule out the possibility of discovering life on another planet; it does mean that for the time being, planet earth is rare and therefore needs to be cared for and treated with respect.
  • Act Responsibly – in other areas of life we do not choose to act stupidly and therefore it is wrong to go on acting stupidly by increasing CO2 emissions. The link between climate change and CO2 emissions was as true as the link between smoking and cancer. We must therefore keep our CO2 emissions down to avoid crossing the critical 2 degree rise in temperature threshold to prevent disaster happening.

Lord Deben went on to describe how we get to that target. He emphasised that the Climate Change Act 2008 was achieved by an All-party consensus in the UK and that was key to its success. He was very optimistic and positive when he talked about his hopes for Paris 2015. He pointed out that in Australia and Canada political changes had meant that both countries were now committed to taking climate change seriously. He remarked on the co-operation that now existed between China and the USA. He pointed out that there is now a scientific basis for the reality of climate change and that all the nations responsible for 85% of carbon emissions now all have climate change legislation.

Lord Deben concluded his talk by stating two key things that he saw as essential to progress being made in Paris.

  1. The need to recognise that Paris will not achieve an answer that is perfect – it may get the best answer that can be had for the time being but it will need to be improved on and modified over time.
  2. The importance of achieving a binding agreement in Paris – something to hold people and nations to, rather as the British Climate Change Act obliged the Government to take carbon emissions into account in any budgetary proposals that were put to parliament.

Apart from this, he said little about his views on the compatibility of economic growth and corporate deregulation with the need to cut net global carbon emissions to zero by mid century or whether corporate lobbying is delaying action to slow down climate change.

He spoke of the stand made by the Pope making a significant difference to worldwide awareness of climate change, not least in the USA, because it made it impossible to ignore the reality of climate change. He stressed that the encyclical also made it clear that you cannot deal with climate change in isolation from other issues such as world poverty and justice for the poor.

Q & A session:

Investment in Renewable Energy

  • Q If Britain, as he stated, is a leader in combating climate change, why have we not put more investment into renewals?
  • A It seems that renewables have been too successful.  For example,  off-shore wind farms were giving a return of 40% not the 29% forecast and this created a problem for the chancellor who presumably then decided they didn’t need investment!

Fracking

  • Q Fracking is raping the earth so why are the government legitimising it?
  • He appeared to imply that Fracking is a separate issue. He believes science and the evidence of science is that it is safe.
    By the mutterings from the audience, I think many people thought he must be looking at different evidence! He talked about the need to ensure that we had our “own” supplies of gas because of the dangers of being dependent upon Putin. He didn’t respond to the heckler who said that fracked gas is a fossil fuel, the implication being that we have to keep all fossil fuels in the ground.

The time for questions was limited as Lord Deben had to catch a train. There wasn’t time to go into the issue of other green-house gases, including methane, with agriculture, notably animal husbandry being currently a major emitter, coupled with the conversion of natural grassland and forest to cultivation of animal fodder or ask whether he still enjoys beef burgers!

Donald and Jean Macdonald
Derbyshire Green Party

This public meeting was organised jointly by the Derby Diocesan Environmental Group and Derby Cathedral Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation Committee (JPICC) of which Donald is Chair.

Stand up for climate justice