States, councils and corporate bodies, talk the talk on climate change, but never walk the walk. Grand words, but actions that are mainly to protect the profits of the large corporations, who have billions wrapped up in fossil fuels. As the corporate juggernaut grinds its way through our planet, plundering for greed driven profit, our planet limps to a dubious future, where human life is doubtful. All unnecessary, all preventable, if we act now, but time is running out. We would do well to remember, spaceship Earth has no escape capsule. This is our only place for humanity, there is no other planet waiting for the Earth's population. Screw this one up and we are finished, no second chance. If this generation allows this greed driven suicide to continue, we condemn our grand children to an unimaginable, unlivable dystopia of our own making, surely they deserve better.
There are those who are fighting this murder by profit, our solidarity should be guaranteed and unstinting, more power to their efforts. This from Enough is Enough:
Climate protectors occupy coal-ship transfer port in Rotterdam
Rotterdam: This morning (March 9) dozens of climate activists from ‘We Stop Coal’ occupied the coal-ship port of the EMO Rotterdam. The participants of the protest state that it is time to break the power of the fossil industry. They say they will not leave until this renewed contract of EMO is made public and destroyed. There has been a huge international outcry about the continuation of the biggest coal harbour of Europe.
If the Netherlands wants to take their responsibility regarding limiting the warming of the planet by 1.5 C°, then the port of Rotterdam should stop facilitating fossil fuels as soon as possible. “The port of Rotterdam and counsellor Visser are guilty of climate destruction. By not acting on their responsibility regarding the lease contract of the EMO transfer company they are equally responsible for the destruction of our Earth. People in the Global South and our children will be the ones facing the costs of the decisions of EMO.” Albeit spokesperson Maria Rietberg. “This is a Code Red for the climate. Rotterdam is the biggest coal dealer in Europe. If the government does not take action, it is up to us.”
The port of Rotterdam is a crucial cross-section of the global fossil fuel trade. “Fossil fuels belong to the past. If we do not intervene right now, our planet will slide into a situation where their inhabitants are unable to live any longer”. Says Rietberg. “Rising sea levels, melting icecaps, millions of people on the move because of hunger due to failed harvest: the cause of this is partly to be found in Rotterdam.”
In the city council of Rotterdam, the behaviour and (lack of) responsibility of D66 councillor Adriaan Visser have triggered antipathy and a feeling of disbelief. Many local political parties urged their followers to take part in the climate march for a coal-free Rotterdam. The march is organized by the Climate Initiative and will leave this afternoon from the City House towards the port company at 13:00 h.
In the port of Rotterdam, 28 million tonnes of coal is transferred yearly. The burning of this coal equals 47% of the total Dutch CO2 emissions. The majority of this coal is exported by train and inland ships to Germany. In November, hundreds of Dutch citizens joined the protests during the climate summit in Bonn at the Ende Gelände coal mine actions. Four thousand citizens joined the demonstration against the RWE brown coal mine. These people forced RWE to stop their destructive work.
The passive display of the Rotterdam city board has caused international dismay, both in Germany and England. In an open letter, international environmental organizations called upon mayor Ahmed Aboutaleb, port company director Allard Castelein and the city council to phase out the coal transfer. “The international willingness for action to come to the Rotterdam port for big scale actions has increased enormously” Albeit spokesperson Micha Vos. “International anti-coal coalitions state that the Netherlands is avoiding their responsibility. With this unacceptable decision, the City Council acts against the Paris climate agreement.
Just transition for the port workers
‘We Stop Coal’ aims for a just transition. The coal port workers whose families depend on their income can be part of the immediate transition to renewable energy. The action group supports the call of the FNV -the workers union, for a Coal Fund for the workers of the coal branch. “We think it is necessary that the shareholders give a compensation back to the workers; have they not profited for years from their labour?” states Vos. “Renewable energy provides many opportunities for a new future in the port. The continuation of the status quo through failing government policy has enormous consequences. That is why we now stand up for the climate and demand climate justice for everyone”, albeit Rietberg.
We put a Stop to Coal, March 9, 2018.
See the fat cat’s grinning smile
as Corporate Capitalism runs amok,
Chasing profit as it goes
firing millions of ordinary folk.
Raping and polluting land after land,
starting bloody wars.
Toxic waste, sweat shop wages
and oil covered sea shores.
Where have all the flowers gone
beneath this ozone free sky?
To join the birds, to join the fox
on yonder plutonium field to die.
Mercury fish, strontium lamb
trees that never show a leaf,
radio active beaches, toxic streams
good lean BSE-antibiotic beef.
In a world of epidemic, plague and famine
it’s bottled water and chemical food.
Of course, it’s all tested on rats and mice
so you know its got to be good.
Beneath a sky that’s always black,
hurricane winds and endless drought,
its oxygen masks for the toxic air,
corporate profit’s what its all about.
It doesn't have to be that way.