Mondays at 7.00pm, usually at: Clockhouse Community Centre, Defiance Walk, London SE18 5QL (10 mins walk from Woolwich Ferry roundabout). NOTE – from March 2020, because of the coronavirus emergency, the sessions will take place on line, using Zoom video conferencing technology.
THE NEXT SESSION:
Monday 22 February, 7.0pm on zoom: “The UK government’s techno-fixes: how they damage the fight against climate change.” Carbon capture systems, hydrogen, nuclear power and electric vehicles are key elements in the government’s so-called “green recovery” plan. We will discuss whether such technologies will help deal with climate change – and the danger that they could well make things worse. The discussion will be opened by Ellen Robottom (Leeds Trade Union Council) and Simon Pirani (energy researcher and author of Burning Up: A Global History of Fossil Fuel Consumption). Ellen will explain why trade unions in Leeds are campaigning to support retrofitting homes with insulation and heat pumps, rather than a scheme to turn the gas network over to hydrogen. Simon will focus on political approaches to technology that could serve society’s needs. To attend, please sign up FREE on eventbrite here.
FUTURE SESSIONS 2021:
Monday 29 March, 7.0 pm on zoom. “How degrowth can tackle the climate and ecological crisis”.
This session will be a brief introduction to the idea of degrowth: how it seeks to address climate and ecological crisis; and how it relates to and diverges from concepts such as “green growth” and the “Green New Deal”. The discussion will be opened by Joe Herbert (@joefherb), a doctoral researcher in Human Geography at Newcastle University, who is active in the international degrowth movement, is on the degrowth.info webteam, and is a supporter of XR. To attend, please sign up FREE on eventbrite here.
Monday 26 April, 7.0 pm on zoom. “Soil: the missing ingredient in the climate challenge.”
At this session we will discuss how soil degradation contributes to climate change, and how and why much of the best land is suffering erosion. We will talk about the UK’s land and agriculture policies, and what we can do to reverse soil degradation. The discussion will be opened by Charlie Clutterbuck, author of Bittersweet Brexit: Land, Labour and Food After Brexit (Pluto, 2017). Charlie has three degrees in agricultural sciences and has worked in many parts of the food chain, from plucking turkeys to running on a hill farm. He has advised major food retailers, and was for years an active member of the trade union Unite’s Rural and Agricultural section. He was an Honorary Fellow in Food Policy at City University London, and is a board member of Incredible Farm in Todmorden and The Larder in Preston. To attend, please sign up FREE on eventbrite here.
Monday 24 May, 7.0 pm on zoom. Working through our feelings about the climate emergency.
The climate bubble of denial is bursting, and people are finding it hard to manage their feelings about the climate emergency. What can help us to face climate reality? How can we recognise what we feel, and work our feelings through about this threat to our survival? What sort of framework do we need to be able to think proportionately about our responsibility for damage already caused to our climate system? This discussion will be opened by Sally Weintrobe, who will introduce her ideas on neoliberal Exceptionalism and the culture of uncare it promotes; a culture that alienates us from the part of us that cares about the effects of our actions and leads to moral injury. Sally is a psychoanalyst with the British Psychoanalytical Society, a founder member of the Climate Psychology Alliance, and chairs the International Psychoanalytic Association’s Climate Committee. She has written and lectured widely on climate change. Her new book, Psychological Roots of the Climate Crisis: Neoliberal Exceptionalism and the Culture of Uncare, is out in April. To attend, please sign up FREE on eventbrite here.
STUFF TO READ, relevant to our discussions, and audio of some of the past talks, now available here
Monday 16 September 2019, 6.30pm, Clockhouse Community Centre. Understanding climate science, with Ryan Clark (Climate Reality Project).
Monday 30 September 2019, 6.30pm, Stir Cafe, 23 Anglesea Road, Woolwich, London SE18 6EG. Fossil fuel use and how to stop it, with Simon Pirani (author, Burning Up: A Global History of Fossil Fuel Consumption) and Dario Kenner (author, Carbon Inequality)
Monday 21 October 2019, 6.30pm, Clockhouse Community Centre. UK climate policy and how we can change it, with Greg Muttitt (Oil Change International) and Samantha Mason (PCS, the civil service trade union)
Monday 25 November 2019, 6.30pm, Clockhouse Community Centre. Climate change and the global south, with Dorothy Guerrero (Global Justice Now)
Monday 16 December 2019, 6.30pm, Clockhouse Community Centre. “What is biodiversity? Why does it matter? why are we loosing it? what can be done?” with Ted Benton (naturalist, philosopher, professor (Essex University, retired).
Monday 20 January 2020: “Achieving climate justice and social justice. What works and what doesn’t” Shaun Day (Reel News) will show film clips from his tour of the USA, where he met community groups fighting for “just transition” away from fossil fuels.
Monday 17 February, 7.0pm: “Climate science and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change – an update” at: Clockhouse Community Centre, Defiance Walk, London SE18 5QL (10 mins walk from Woolwich Ferry roundabout). Discussion opened by Joanna Haigh (former co-director of the Grantham Institute and head of physics department at Imperial College, retired).
Monday 23 March: “Economics and climate change: the Green New Deal and degrowth”. Conducted on line
At this session we will think about: what economic policies are needed to stop climate change? What would a “green new deal” look like, and can it do what needs to be done? And is tackling climate change compatible with “economic growth”. The discussion will be opened by Colin Hines a co founder of the Green New Deal group, co-director of Finance for the Future, and an occasional advisor to Green Party MP, Caroline Lucas.
Monday 20 April, 7.0pm: “Deadly air pollution and what to do about it”. Conducted on line
The coronavirus emergency means that the volume of traffic in London is at an all-time low, and much of the city’s air pollution has cleared. But when the lockdown ends, pollution could return with a vengeance. We discussed this on a zoom session with our panel of speakers: David Smith of Little Ninja UK, Stewart Christie of the Stop the Silvertown Tunnel Coalition and Ryan Clark of XR Greenwich
Tuesday 12 May, 7.0pm: “The Greenwich borough decarbonisation plan. How we can give it teeth.” – on-line session. View on youtube here.
The borough of Greenwich, responding to campaigns by XR Greenwich among others, last year declared a “climate emergency”, and in January the council agreed the outlines of a decarbonisation plan. At this session we looked at it in detail. The discussion was opened by Denise Scott-McDonald (Greenwich councillor – Labour), David Gardner (Greenwich councillor – Labour), Andrew Pendleton (New Economics Foundation) and Chloe Jeffries (Manchester Climate Emergency)
For more on XR Greenwich’s interaction with the council, see here.
Monday 22 June, 7.0pm: “Coronavirus, climate justice and the next international climate talks”
Speaker: Asad Rehman (War on Want). At this session we discussed how we can make common cause with those fighting for climate justice and social justice in the global south. The discussion was opened by Asad Rehman, executive director of War on Want, a committed and prominent campaigner on these issues for many years. You can view Asad’s talk on our youtube channel here.
Monday 20 July, 7.0 pm on line. How to make our electricity networks fossil-fuel-free. Electricity in the UK is produced mainly from gas, nuclear power and renewables. But we will need more of it, the gas will have to be phased out, and energy poverty will have to be tackled. And it’s not just a UK problem. Our discussion on electricity for the post-fossil-fuel era was led by Nadia Smith (South East London Community Energy) who researches community energy and fuel poverty issues, and David Hall (University of Greenwich/ Public Services International Research Unit), who has researched electricity ownership issues for many years.
Monday 24 August, 7.0 pm on line. Feminism and climate change.
With Orthalia Kunene (XR South Africa), Laura Schwartz (University of Warwick) and Silvia Semezin (feminist campaigner, Italy). View these talks on Youtube here.
Monday 21 September, 7.0 pm. “Is climate-induced social collapse inevitable? What the science tells us”. Discussion to be opened by Tom Nicholas (XR scientists / York University) and Galen Hall (Brown University (USA)). See some reading related to this session listed here.
Monday 26 October, 7.0 pm. “How can we achieve carbon-free transport?” Discussion opened by Chris Todd (Transport Action Network) and Lisa Hopkinson (independent researcher, Lorax Environmental).
Monday 23 November, 7.0pm. “Organising climate action in the Covid-19 pandemic”. Discussion opened by Swan, a participant in the “HS2 rebellion” protest; Sarah Lunnon, CEE Bill campaign; Jess Currie (Plumstead resident and participant in People Against the River Crossing (1993)); and James Marriott (Platform London and co-author of The Oil Road).
Monday 14 December, 7.0pm. “Citizens Assemblies, and what sort of democracy we want”. We will discuss ways of broadening democracy, which is essential to tackling climate change and achieving social justice. Speakers: Kathie Conn (XR Citizens’ Assembly Working Group and Transition Kentish Town); and Aileen O’Carroll (University of Maynooth, Ireland), who was active in the campaign for the 2018 Irish abortion referendum, when citizens’ assemblies were organised.
Monday 25 January 2021, 7.0 pm. “The Climate and Ecological Emergency Bill”. The Climate and Ecological Emergency (CEE) Bill, supported by 88 Members of Parliament, maps out the sort of actions the UK government would need to take to tackle dangerous climate change. It cuts through the government’s false claims about its climate policies, which we will surely hear much more of between now and the international climate talks hosted by the UK in November. Sarah Lunnon of the Climate and Ecological Emergency Bill Alliance and Robert Palgrave of Biofuelwatch opened the discussion. View their opening talks on youtube here.