New Greenwatch Blog!

The Greenwatch columns have been running in the print issue of CHARTIST for years, so CHARTIST is now thrilled to launch its new GREENWATCH blog

In the last edition (277) of CHARTIST Magazine, I asked the following questions:-
  • In harmony with the new politics, Greenwatch invites feedback from readers for future coverage. Here are the personal priorities I aim to explore.
  • On environmental issues, most people have an instinctive position but do not know the science and engineering detail.
  • Is it necessary to increase nuclear power to decarbonize? Some prominent green think so, but there is a divide between these groups many academics. Is there such as thing as inherently safe nuclear power, so human error cannot result in dangerous accidents and free of contamination by spent fuel or terrorist threats? What about issue of nuclear waste?
  • Apart from safety and environmental issues, what are the energy implications of Shale gas and oil?
I am also interested in CHARTIST readers’ views on the environment and climate crisis.
I’m pretty clear on prevailing views on the economy, Trident, Middle East, public services, education and inequality. Maybe readers are ‘intensely relaxed’ with GM crops and nuclear power as well as sceptical or even hostile to the green movement, maybe seeing it as a collection of middle class, bearded, sandal wearing vegetarians (echoes of Orwell here, and I plead guilty to all of them).
But I doubt it: I guess that, like me, you are sceptical about GM crops and nuclear power, though unwilling to rule them out in all circumstances. Similarly on fracking: there are good reasons it is unnecessary and even counter-productive but not every objection to it is sound.
I also guess the ‘typical’ reader is more likely to be active in a Trade Union or Labour Party branch than in Friends of the Earth. You may not prioritise our environment though I’d like to persuade you to put it in your top three.
greenwatch logo
I expect you share the view that free market capitalism is a huge impediment to tackling environmental damage, and climate change in particular. But in view of the urgency of action, how can we campaign on this viewpoint given the many people who don’t (yet) share our views on it?
Which brings me to a vital but not strictly green issue. Like many Labour Party members I was relieved that Caroline Lucas won again in Brighton (note to Ian McNicol – please don’t expel us all) but dismayed that Nancy Platts (for Labour) lost next door – by less than the Green party vote. The need for co-operation between progressive parties has arisen even more since Jeremy Corbyn’s election, and many of us feel that we must find a way, but given our regressive FPTP electoral system and party tribalism this could be difficult.
My main interests are centred on climate change, especially how to secure the changes that are necessary to safeguard us all, and energy policy. I have mentioned some of these questions over the past year in the CHARTIST, and Dave Toke has done so consistently over many years.

This blog has therefore been created to allow more contributions and to allow you to make comments and other feedback. Do you have a subject you’d like to know more about? Do you disagree with anything Dave or I have written? Or do you have an article in mind just waiting to enlighten us all? If so we’d love to hear from you.

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Nigel Doggett