Civil society is full of anchor institutions that often provide leadership by setting agendas and raising awareness of certain issues. One such group of these institutions is universities and due to the recent dispute with the UCU these organisations have often found themselves in the news. Although this trade union confrontation being at the forefront of discussions of campuses around the country, a number of universities are also making headlines by divesting themselves from fossil fuel companies. Removing universities’ financial support for companies destroying the earth will be a major step forward and has the potential to radically change the debate around anti-climate change measures.
Something that has been troubling me in recent weeks has the emerging trend among people in the Democratic Party who, in their pursuit to demonise Trump, have decided to extricate him from the GOP. In there eyes Trump is an unprecedented and unholy aberration and that the US would be in much better shape if a different Republican was in office rather than Donald Trump. I don’t necessarily disagree with this premise as a President Jeb Bush wouldn’t be exactly good but I don’t suspect that he would openly muse about using nuclear weapons. However what has now taken over the Democratic Party is that Trump has now been separated from the Republicans to such an extent that many Democrats have rehabilitated the historical record of George W. Bush.
When the protests around the Keystone XL pipeline made headlines a year ago much was made of how the continued construction of these pipelines was a short-term business decision as renewable energies were becoming increasingly affordable. Further, as a report from the International Energy Agency said this week, renewable energy technologies are the source of most added electrical capacity in the last year. It appears that TransCanada, the company behind the Keystone XL pipeline, have accepted this premise as they have announced that the Energy East pipeline will be abandoned. This is an important decision and will hopefully snowball into a wider trend among fossil fuel companies.
In the never-ending scramble of resources, governments around the world are turning over every stone so that demand and be satisfied. This demand is driving governments and corporations to do irreversible damage to our planet but the people that are increasingly on the front-line are indigenous populations. In the United States it was the Sioux Nation at Standing Rock who loudly opposed the Keystone XL Pipeline. In Australia aboriginal communities have protested attempts by the both the government and private companies to mine their lands for precious resources including uranium. It appears that this trend is also affecting the indigenous people of Peru and they need people to stand up to support their cause.
One of the things that the mainstream press have done is focus on Trump’s outlandish statements, particularly his empirical statements. For example at his press conference today Donald Trump said that “I guess it’s the biggest electoral college win since Ronald Reagan”. I don’t blame the media for doing this as there is only so much time in the day, and such a statement is easy to disprove, but given the scale of the lying by Trump, I have decided to avoid these little things as much as possible. At the end of the day whether Trump’s win was the biggest ever or the smallest ever doesn’t really matter because he still won. Instead, I’m going to look beyond the stupid statements of the President, and highlight the horrible things the GOP are doing. And this starts right now.
Norway is often cited as an example of a non-Middle Eastern nation with a large part of its GDP based on oil. However it appears that the Scandinavian country is seeking to move its economy beyond black gold, starting with domestic consumption. Lawmakers from across the political spectrum have reportedly come together to ban all fossil fuel cars in a move that will set a precedent for other nations around the world. Some right-wing members of the Norwegian Parliament are have denied that a binding deal has been agreed to but the electoral arithmetic makes this proposal a distinct possibility.