Breaking news: Greenpeace pulls off a bank job

Posted by tracy — 24 November 2008 at 12:00pm - Comments

Four campaigners scale the Bank of England
Four Greenpeace campaigners scale the Bank of England to highlight need for green investment. © John Cobb/Greenpeace

Update: All four campaigners have now been arrested. You can see more photos from the day on Flickr.

Times are tough. We not only face an immediate global financial crisis but a long-term climate crisis. The urgency of the first is no excuse for neglecting the second.

Four of our campaigners have scaled the Bank of England this morning ahead of the Chancellor’s pre-budget report to highlight that the solutions to our financial crisis are also the solutions we need to tackle climate change.

The answer is a clean energy economy.

The hottest growth industry in the world just now is renewable energy. That’s where jobs of the future are already being created, and where much of the technological innovation is taking place that will usher in our next era of economic transformation.

Scientists agree. To address climate change, we need an energy revolution, a wholesale change in how we power our societies while there is still time for such measures to be effective.

First, Gordon Brown should offer large-scale investment in incentives for clean energy production and storage using 21st century technologies, such as solar and wind power and combined heat and power.

Secondly, the government needs to replace our worn-out electricity grid and should begin the planning and construction of an energy distribution system fit for the 21st century. That means good energy storage, allowing feed-in from microgeneration, super grid connection to mainland Europe, and ‘smart’ delivery features that provide consumers with sophisticated information and easy-to-use tools for conserving electricity, eliminating inefficiency and reducing their energy bills.

Third, the government needs to support low carbon transport. We need fuel efficient cars, plug in hybrid cars, hydrogen fuel cell vehicles, high speed rail, buses, and more investment in communications technology such as video conferencing so there is less need to travel, especially for business.

Fourth, we need to make our homes, offices and appliances more energy efficient. The government needs to embark on a nationwide effort to retrofit commercial buildings and homes to make them more energy efficient, including insulation, double glazing, energy efficient lighting, energy efficient appliances, microgeneration.

Fifth, the Chancellor should establish a ‘Green Investment Bank’ providing attractive financing including seed capital, loan guarantees, loans, tax credits and bond underwriting to scale up Britain’s green industry and green infrastructure, providing huge export opportunities.

What we need is a political party with the resolve to put long-term investment ahead of short-term interests.

We believe this would meet our energy needs securely, build green industry and create green collar jobs, and help us lead the global transition to a new low-carbon economy.

We've got six months until the next budget, what do you think the government should do? Please leave a comment below, we'd like to hear what you think is needed to kickstart the economy and tackle climate change.

I'm beginning to think that Greenpeace has spent so much time lobbying against things that they've lost sight of where exactly they want the planet to go. Economic growth cannot be maintained with the current ecological situation, and it is a dangerous assumption that it can be sustained using "green" technology, because if that assumption is wrong, then the consequences could be catastrophic.

What would be a good idea would be to promote, and facilitate, an "energy descent", and ann economic resurgance, albeit on a local scale. Another useful approach would be to harness the power of a positive vision, as I think you'll find that it's a lot easier to motivate people to take action with a vision of the future as enticing as the holiday of a lifetime, rather than using fear, guilt and shock as drivers for action.

"Greenpeace Vision for 2030" anyone?

I agree with TransitionEggman. All the thoughts expressed in the article are nice, but they are all looking only at technology. We need a major institutional and cultural shift to less energy and resource use, not merely investing in green options. The financial crisis is an excellent time for change - people are buying fewer new cars, and in general less tat that they don't need, all of which is good for the environment. We need to rebuild the economy so that it's not dependent on people buying resource-rich luxury items. We need to take this opportunity to push for infrastructure and institutions which don't require people to use cars at all - rather than push for 'green cars' (don't believe there's such a thing).

We really don't want to "kickstart the economy" do we? I thought we needed to SOMEHOW get to a static zero growth way of living on account of the planet being LIKE TOTALLED otherwise? Zero economic and population growth are what's needed to save the earth. Someone has to say this in PUBLIC and get it discussed outside of activisty type gatherings where we all know what we have to do because we know how messed up the biosphere really is. The majority of the public are so far behind in their knowledge it's scary. I know we don't want to frighten them, but really, what's the alternative? Keep telling them that if they give their friends wind-up torches for christmas its going to be ok? I'm frightened. Greenpeace should tell it like it is. If not you, then who?

I believe that if we transfer to Green Energy we will no longer have the need to buy as much oil and natural gas as a country, this will give us more money to pump back into the economy in the long run.
We need to be thinking for the long-term, rather than the short term.
As long as people have the need for things, they will buy it.
The banking system is still going to find it difficult to recover, even with the billions the government is using to bail them out. Tighter regulations should be brought into the banking sector and this should help to reduce the risk of further recession.
If people want Green Energy, they will get it, even if they don't it's a fact that they will be using it eventually, so we might as well do it now, whilst most resources are cheap.

If there were a Green Investment Bank I, for one, would certainly support it. Why not make this a campaign issue? I am sure that the Government would like to look after even more of our money than they do already!

I'd like the government to wake up & realise that they do not want to be responsible for the bio-hazard of liquid, or any other type of coal business. No-one wants to make the world a worse place consciously. I'd like them to be brave & create a think-tank comprising of leading scientists on climate change, the best researched environmentalists, renewable energy innovators & eco-architects to work on a (more) sustainable redesign that supports sustainable industries and is brave enough to set up some kind of 'environmental crime' rule plus ban the building of any more non-eco housing. There is NO excuse any more. It is radical but ALL homes should be built from now on with solar panelled rooves & re-used water flushing the loos. This should be made law & there should be no tax/vat on any green home improvements. We should not allow ANY trade in wood etc with anyone involved in these 'environmental crimes'. We also need to find a solution to the whole plastic packaging thing-apparently the biodegradable corn-plastic is not the eco miracle we'd hoped for? Radical change is what we need.It is possible & there is a willing marketplace waiting to make correct retail choices. We have enough geniuses to find solutions, just not enough politicians who have the moral incentive, intelligence, imagination or wisdom to listen.

Now that the 'Greed is Good' Thatcher-ism/Reaganomics capitalism system has thankfully collapsed, it is high time the major economies of the world invested for a Green Revolution, where renewable energy technologies are implemented.
This would create millions of jobs, while safeguarding measures to help protect and clean up the environment.

Surely Capitalism with its need for infinite growth and the way that in a capitalist society status is judged/awarded by wealth/posessions (our who dies with the best toys wins mentality) is the real problem, it drives our massive overconsumption which fuels climate change. We need to look at alternatives such as Kropotkin's vision in The Conquest of Bread or even Proudhon's mutualism although that shares many of the problems of wages

Quote "green is good
Posted by planetfan on 24 November 2008.
Zero economic and population growth are what's needed to save the earth." despite this being a very good point, there is no way at present of using a socially and economically viable method of population/economy control rolled into one; unless ofcourse your activist enough to impose communist rejemes or cull humans like we do deer or any other creature wityh no natural predator that poses a threat to the environment in which it lives.
Telling it like it is may induce panic and that all unwelcome medai hype which follows of which there is no need for, i think its going to take a ground breaking idea or one that may have been stairing us bluntly in the face for quite some time to solve this appropriately. Remember that Peace is just as important as Green in the name Greenpeace!
:)
Eggmans idea for future visions of a great green world where we have no destruction on our conscience any longer is a great one but by rolling the idea you disagree with of guilt, in with one of hope and positive thinking, you can make people guilty of NOW and hope and aim for the FUTURE!
Great comments guys keep it up!

I would agree totally that we need radical change! I do question how truly our elected representatives represent us? I think that one of the problems with a professional political class is that they end up representing/serving something else and doing whatever is needed to maintain their own power/status. I think we need to have a true democracy with direct involvement of people in the political process not just a token "vote" every few years to choose which end of the money party we want to govern us.

I agree, we will never consume our way out of climate change, our consumption is fuelling it.

These attempts don't seem to be making the slightest bit of difference to the government. Is it just me feeling that Greenpeace need a serious change in the way they attempt to "highlight need for green investment". Climbing the Bank of England is NOT helping; the only media coverage is on this website - the mass media will pay no attention and the only impact this will make is by taking up police time, using taxpayers money and taking up valuable court time - surely Greenpeace can see that this is not an effective or responsible way of making a difference.

Considering this telling off is coming from a 16 year old boy i'm hoping it will not go to waste as yet another useless blog comment.

I know what you're probably now thinking - yes, you've made your point, but where are the solutions? You critisized our methods and attempted (and failed, i know) to ridicule us and yet you offer no better methods yourself.
Let me tell you why - As a 16 year old im busy, im taking 4 A levels alongside many other activities.

If, for a change, i get a response and i feel that my opinion on this matter will be acknoweledged i will be more than happy to throw in hours of work and do all i can to help.

Has anyone read James Bruges' book, title as above? It was given to me last year as a Christmas gift, and I still haven't read it right through yet, as the subject matter is just too scary. I mention this book as it ties in so well with the topics under discussion at present. Please, READ IT if you care about the world.

I don't think we've got a cat in hell's chance of changing anything under the current voting system, and it's getting worse. Like American voters, we have no real choice. I have felt, ever since the advent of 'New Labour' that anyone remotely left wing or Green has been disenfranchised.

Gordon Brown continually said we need to get away from 'boom and bust', but that's how capitalism works - that, and the necessity for a good ol' war (Well, we have to keep the munitions industries busy, don't we chaps ? Not to mention the post-war beano for the construction industry!)

So what is the answer to the question posted by Greepeace? I don't think much of Alstair Darling's pre-budget report; is it a very good example to set to the nation - 'oh dear, we seem to be in deep doo-doo, lets throw another few billion pounds at the problem'?

We actually need a complete change, not just of government but of the political system, and until that happens I'd be happy to settle for renationalisation and heavy subsidising of the railway system, and heavy investment in tidal and solar power. Well, I can dream can't I?

I am also 16 and have a first hand account that one of the problems lies in schools. I'm part of my own organisation in school to help fight climate change, but the issue is that no one my age is really bothered about the problems with the climate at the moment!
I think it would be important for our request of the budget to include some sort of education scheme in schools to teach children about global warming. Another idea would be to actually help provide resources for schools (not just homes) like solar panels, recycling systems etc.
However Greenpeace could bypass this by setting up a scheme that enabled student groups to participate in campaigns and make more of a difference than just putting up posters about food miles- like we do at our school!

population control HAS to be part of the solution but seems to be the elephant in the room. Medical advances/ wealth help us live longer but the birth rate should fall to balance this. Even if we all manage to use less resources per person if the world population continues to rise at its current rate the planet will remain doomed.

Human beings do scary things to each other when stressed. And society seems to fall apart only to readily. If climate change and population growth go unchecked the earth will be unable to sustain us all and there will be population correction by one horrible form or another. I hope there is real political will to sort this.

my response to GDAY and other teens, Being 17 taking my a levels Geography geology environmental science (and much unloved physics) and coming from near birmingham to a beautiful valley called the Eden Valley in Cumbria, i have an extreme passion for conservation and all things Eco, my first love is Bushcraft and i look to the ways of old to find answers for the future, its great to see other people my age getting just as inthusiastic about this but perhaps we should stop worrying so much about whether other people our age are "in" to climate change and conservation and realise that alot of people have not got the background as many of us may have and just be happy in knowing atleast some of us care. Teaching alone is as you can see from years of Greenpeace campaigning, not always the right way forward and getting to hit home the fact that this s*** really is real involves taking an active part and seeing with our eyes, and maybe if the select few of us who do care could help to show others the importance of saving our Earth maybe we can nip them in the bud as i have been and stop the problems that we live with today, before they happen. Perhaps by doing campagins as you have said Gday but on a much larger scale, I know that in sweden they teach of the improtance of traditional ways in schools like Bushcraft they learn and in turn have a good track record for keeping it clean and leading the way in certain green developments. The idea of massive change is one that needs to be employed now whilst the circumstances are right, but it needs people to take action, to communicate, prepare and work together to do this.
i find it hard to believe that communicating on this thread to be the most effective and suggest Greenpeace set up extensive forums or if they exist, kindly direct me to them :S.
I think all disscussion is great but we really need to do something, something really big that will make a difference and really get a move on with it, because its enough to do many small things but if we could really make britain a transition country for Greenpeace then we can do it!

i apologie for the brief essay and some of my lay out but i am a speaker not a writer and i think being able to communicate with people easier will make action and discussion alot more effective.

keep up the posts i love to read these gr8 ideas

thanks :)

"What we need is a political party with the resolve to put long-term investment ahead of short-term interests."

Er, like the Green Party perhaps? I know you guys can't be party political, but no need to pretend we don't even exist!

Check out the Green New Deal stuff that Caroline Lucas MEP has been doing with the New Economics Foundation. See also: http://www.greenparty.org.uk/.

Existing financing mechanisms for investment are the problem - not the solution.

So the last thing you should be suggesting is using them.

You might try a different approach - unitisation of energy as an alternative to secured debt and conventional Equity. You could fund such investment through a carbon levy into an energy investment pool.

http://www.slideshare.net/ChrisJCook/financing-energybeyond-peak-credit-...

This enables the "monetisation" of the energy value of carbon, rather than the completely hopeless emissions trading and carbon credit schemes which are either brought to us or supported by the same people who brought us the Credit Crunch.

The financial system needs a complete change, we cannot continue as we have been, I had hoped this 'financial crisis' had opened the governments eyes.

Society as a whole needs a change, people need to turn their brains on a bit more, think independently for a change.

Take a step back, analyse the issues properly, admit to yourself where you've been going wrong.

This article focused mainly on what the government can do, people still need jobs, the easiest way to create 'green' jobs and tackle climate change is to massively invest in renewables fast, spend the billions borrowed on infrastructure not the banks.

I am involved with the green party, generally I think they are good however they do seem to hold on to certain myths rather than facing the facts. They are better than the tories (the do nout party) and labour (the spend spend spend party).

The lib dems are fairly good, They woke up to the looming crises way before labour. Greens for local, lib dems for national government.

I will write to the chancellor, hopefully with the backing of some faculty members and fellow students. I need to get better clued up on the financial situation first, I know the environmental situation needs a change.

JetG. Freedom isn't free, it comes with personal responsibility.

Its an established fact that EU is the second after the US among the global CO2 emmitting nations and UK has a major chunk of it. Promoting hybrid and green cars will not reduce the carbon foortprint, instead as mentioned in the above article there should be more invest incentives towards sustainable power generation. I also support the idea of "Green Investment Bank" and think that it will help boost the green energy sector.

Besides, I believe that more stringent laws and regualations can also help hinder this environmental damage. I appreciate the work of green peace activists and support them in every aspect. British leaders need to realise the importance of the environmental issues that need to addressed immediately before its too late.

Praveen Madimetla
Centre for Science and Environment
New Delhi
praveen@cseindia.org

I can understand your frustration, but the very fact that you have taken the time to comment on the situation gives me great hope that things are (albeit slowly) moving in the right direction.
At 16 years old I had no idea about the state of the planet and if I had have had an idea I doubt very much that I would have done anything about it. At the grand old age of 34 I have now been 'green' orientated for a rather naff 4 years, so I am trying desparately to make up for the years of consumerism I already have under my belt.
You however, are still in the position to make a massive difference just by being more aware of things like recycling, re-using and reducing consumption and even more so by encouraging friends and family to do the same.
Maybe you could set up a think tank at your school/college to - 'encourage' the school board to take a good hard look at how they manage such things as their carbon footprint and recycling?
Good luck with your A Levels btw!

Greenpeace is right about the bank but it should start the bank itself - use networked fundraising like Obama did - and then use the bank to drive actions by others - don't wait for or put all your faith in govts

It now comes to this; do we live in an ecologically sustainable way, and disregard the current financial system or do we disregard the ecological system and continue with a moribund economic system.

There is only one ecological system, there are, potentially billions of economic systems. Why are we so wedded to just one way of doing things economically.

We could try a common treasury for all, each given according to their needs. An idea worth trying seeing as all other ways have failed.

We can but live in hope; for the penny to drop, that the current economic system is raping the ecological system of planet earth, and that ecological system is finite.

Large infrastructure projects like roads will be difficult to achieve in the short term but a high volume of smaller projects might be possible.

As an example, more and more people are coming to terms with the need for renewable energy and are beginning to accept the need for wind turbines.

Whilst I hate the idea of wind farms I am quite attracted to the idea of wind turbines being provided at community level (subject to local conditions being suitable).

This could go through the planning system more quickly and there are now many communities that would embrace this. They could lead the way for the more hesitant ones. I would support one in my village.

A wind turbine costs the equivalent of £1 million per Megawatt (roughly enough to power 1,000 homes) and would take around 8 years to amortise - not long. One large turbine could supply up to 5,000 homes.

Govt funding, provided now, could be paid back in a relatively short time through the sale of the energy produced. After 8 years the community would own their own turbine and have their own free/subsidised energy. Energy security at community level.

All we need is the government to set up a scheme!

One vital element in re-educating politicians and society is to expose GDP as a highly misleading indicator of economic success. GDP only measures recorded commercial transactions (so excludes voluntary work, unpaid domestic work, undeclared cash transactions - the so-called 'black economy')

Worse still, it does NOT record the negative side effects - pollution, depletion of natural resources, traffic jams, road accidents, deprivation and its consequences

So a policy of sustained economic growth as measured by GDP (currently the objective of all political parties and international institutions) is the opposite of what we need. Perhaps someone can invent an Index of Sustainable Progress to replace GDP?

As an idealistic teenager in the war years, I saw economic growth as the solution to the problems of poverty and deprivation I saw around me. Now, at 79, I can only apologise to my grandchildren and their contemporaries and wish them kuck with clearing up the mess that I and their parents have helped to create

Stop EDF's attempts to build two new nuclear reactors at Hinkley Point in Somerset. Stop EON doing the same at Oldbury or Berkeley in Gloucester.
Encourage the government to support the many green, safe, sustainable energy schemes for the Bristol Channel area including the Severn Barrage, the Western Array offshore wind farm. on shore wind farms to enable Somerset to meet its green energy commitments.
Accept that many published scientific papers confirm that nuclear power has brought us 40 years of unnecessary public health damage.
Support the European scheme for a North Sea wind farm grid to supply all of Europe including the UK.
Develop other wave and tidal power energy sources.
Nuclear power is the least safe, most expensive mistake ever made by a UK government. We now have the chance to put a stop to an industry which convenes the Human Rights Act by infringing UK citizens' Right to Life under Article 2.

I used to be a freelance chef and worked in a differant kitchen almost everyday. A large percentage of the chefs
on the freelance circuit were from australia,new zealand,South africa,USA ,Europe and asia mostly enhancing there careers on a 2 year student visa. What i kept hearing in our disscusions in a pub after work was that WE Britain rely solely on a service industry. IE,financial services,insurance and of course all our restraunts ,night clubs and pubs. They all knew that this economy could not sustain itself for much longer under this regime on reliance
of services. These discussions were 5 years ago. They all would say that britain needs to get back to doing what it does best and that is manufacturing. The world money go round of our reliance on asian manufacturing has now almost broken down completly and we need to stop buying all this cheap tat and start making and buying items we actually need.
The labour goverment talk about climate change targets so WHY ARE THEY ALLOWING THE BUILDING OF KINGSNORTH? and now this week annouced building a coal fired power station in scotland. We have major rivers like the thames that has power stations either side and they have not even contemplated underwater turbine generators that if lined the thames either side could probably make london and the southe east energy self sufficent! The reason i can see is that China owns so much bonds in our country that if we do not buy there coal then they will cash in there bonds and bankrupt the uk goverment and US altogether!

I agree that greener energy sources are important in reducing our carbon footprint. But one large part of the equation has been forgotten: WHY AREN'T GOVERNMENTS PROMOTING THE REDUCTION OF ENERGY USE? Are they too addicted to the money from Big Oil, and in general, consumerism, which includes consuming energy and resources? David Suzuki wrote in his "greenology" (section of the Metro newspaper) article about the economy that no system is sustainable if it is based on constant growth.

All our power requirements are for lighting, heating, transport, and energy for such things as industry on down to exercise machines.

The lighting can be zero rated by building Buxton Geothermal Power Stations (BGTGs) which use the heat of the earth at depth by drilling ten kilometre deep holes.

The heating can be near-zero rated by installing Starlite coatings, which can prevent heat leaks, on the walls and ceilings of all premises.

Transport can be made near-zero in terms of carbon emissions by ensuring that all vehicles use BGTG electricity.

The carbon footprints of long range transport can be at least halved by having their fuels mixed permanently with water using an ultrasonic dibber.

Finally, the power needed for energy can be made entirely of BGTG electricity.

Mental illness costs the UK £100 billion per year, enough for the plan. The Kadir-Buxton Method can cure the ill in thirty seconds for free.

This worries me, the post above and some posts before hand seem to be using alot of misinformation like mixing water with fuel? this will only break the engine and wouldn't reduce emissions even if it didn't break the engine.

As for nuclear power, the issue is not that it is dangerous or that it has high carbon emissions (they are lower than wind) but that in the UK at least we have nowhere to put the waste and we can cut emissions faster and cheaper with wind, wave, tidal, solar and hydro.

Geothermal is not always emissions free, plus there has only been limited research into suitable UK sites.

Another problem is the fixation on recycling, it is generally a good thing but focusing too much on it keeps peoples focus off the broader, more difficult to tackle environmental issues facing us: overpopulation, climate change, habitat loss, extinction.

On the economy side of things the pre budget report does give indications of progress like going through with the 2p increase for petrol and diesel and further comitment to energy saving measures like money for insulating 600000 more homes over the next year. The £535 million of capital spending on energy efficiency, rail transport, and adaptation measures is a start but this isn't much when you consider how much help the banks have had.

JetG.

Hi transitioneggman/noam,

Thanks for your thoughtful comments. I think the first thing to say is that Greenpeace is obviously not and would never seek to be an alternative government - we are not in the business of demanding "exactly where we want the planet to go" - we're a pressure group focused on protecting the environment. As such we know that we as a species cannot over-exploit the earth's resources indefinitely without serious consequences - and that to prevent that happening we need to move towards a truly sustainable lifestyle.

Of course, nobody knows what 'truly sustainable' mass society will look like right now, but we live surrounded by examples of what it is NOT. Which is why we concentrate on the most important environmental threats and their solutions. At the moment the key changes which would help us all move towards sustainability would be to get policies and incentives in place to encourage:

  • converting to sustainable energy systems and massively improving energy conservation measures;
  • reducing the amount of waste we generate and far greater re-use of materials;
  • far greater biodiversity protection, both on land and in our oceans;
  • sustainable agricultural policies - Greenpeace is currently working hard in China and India to develop ideas around this.

In themselves these cannot provide the whole answer, but they are practical things we can be doing now, and once they are done we will have transformed the world economy, and be in a much better position see the next steps which we should be taking. And you are right that people generally repond better to positive motivations, which is why we try to focus as much as possible on solutions to problems, rather than just the problems themselves. Demanding that everybody give up their way of life immediately is unrealistic - demonstrating that they can live equally as well (or in many cases better) by choosing sustainable options is far more likely to find success as a strategy.

We have the Environmental Information Regulations and the Freedom of Information Act 2000 to get information about Government Departments but unfortunately these laws do not extend to all publicly owned companies. The public has a right to know how public money is spent.

At present Section 6 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 makes companies that are 100% owned by the Crown or by a single public authority subject to the Act.

The current law is not sensible - a company owned by one local authority is subject to the Act but a company owned by two local authorities is not.

A more sensible approach is to make all companies owned two thirds or more by any number of public authorities subject to the Act.

Please sign this petition if you agree http://petitions.number10.gov.uk/publiccompanies/

"We the undersigned petition the Prime Minister to support a change to the law to make companies owned two thirds or more by public authorities subject to the Freedom of Information Act 2000."

I don't feel that capitalism is the problem. Capitalism without a conscience is the problem. Unfortunately there are business people doing business not caring about anything except the bottom line where as there are some business people that do care, not many but some.

Hello jossc,

I see your point. No-one knows what a sustainable world would look like, what I was suggesting was a backcastable vision of what a sustainable world could look like, and then working towards trying to get there. In Greenpeace's case the only thing that I have a problem with is the climb-up-a-chimney-and-get-yourself-arrested activity, which seems to happen on a regular basis.

Gas prices may not be so high that it sends people running for payday loans, but the trends that started when the prices were high continued as the floor dropped out of gas prices. When gas prices started to climb over $3, there was a hike in the amount of people that were using public transportation, a trend that has continued even after the prices dropped again. People have just gotten used to buses, and it certainly is more convenient than driving – you don't have to deal with traffic as much, you don't have to fill up the bus, and you don't have to change the oil, filter, or the tires. The consumption of gasoline has fallen so much that the gas commissioner is considering raising the gas tax, because the revenue from gas taxes goes to pay for highway construction and repair projects, and the revenues have fallen far enough to worry them. Check out this article for more about payday loans and how gas prices have affected the country.

The promotion of Green Industry is going to be at the forefront of the Western World's concerns for some time to come - and it should be. The amount of pollution that has been the result of the fossil fuels that have been used in the US, Europe, and other countries like air pollution, and the sheer amount of chemicals that automobiles use and then discard is staggering and coupled with what their impact on the environment is...pretty messed up. A green revolution that is spearheaded by a good deal of governmental and private investment to create sustainable industry that is not only usable but also responsible is not just an ideal, it is vital for humanities' survival.

What we need is a long-term solution for us to totally free from this economic recession. Regarding to this matter only one thing is being considered and it is the money to be spent to save the declining economy. On the other hand, the class action suits in Pacific Northwest contended that the payday lender used improper collection techniques in order to collect on delinquent debts. A payday loan lending chain, has just reached a settlement to the tune of over $2 million to customers who had defaulted on their loan payments. And right now, payday loan lenders are under fire from this lawsuit. Granted, intimidation is unacceptable, but so is not paying off your obligations.

Hey, saying the planet is like totalled is exactly what Greenpeace campaigns are all about, except we offer solutions and paths of action...we say this in pubic at every opportunity..but guess what ?? most people are too wound up in their own affairs to take much notice or to feel empowered to take any action at all.... its better to ignore it and there will be a big technological 'fix' which will make it all better.
There area loads of technical fixes about, I like the Desertec Condensed Solar Power option myself for energy - and of course locally-fed biomass CHP, geothermal and wind and wave. How about we replace each power pylon with a wind turbine? but, guess what?? the Gov't is so bound up with Big Money Coal, Gas & Oil, Nuclear, Carbon Trading, that they won't invest in renewables. The British Gov't did not accept Guyana's offer of the facilities of their Rainforest, and our taxpayer's bail-out to RBS funded their loan to EdF for their purchase of British Energy from the Gov't - British Energy is the working company which ran Britains Nuclear industry.... but we gotta keep going..there's always the Age of Stupid to get people scared !!

I am not anti nuclear but I do think the government are rushing dangerously into the building of new stations without care. Having ignored the issue of our future power needs for ten years (choosing instead to feather their nests, pass bad laws etc) they are now doing a rush job. I live near Oldbury Power station which is on a raised 'hump' of ground by the tidal severn estuary. The proposed new station is nearby on flat boggy land at sea level. Locals have spoken to the contractors who are drilling to find the bedrock on which to put the foundations. So far they have found no bedrock despite having drilled to great depths. The feeling is that building will proceed regardless as the need to meet our energy needs is so pressing. As I say I am not anti nuclear but I think putting a power station on a bog with no foundations is a bit much even for this government. They tell us the sea level is rising then they want to put their power stations at sea level - MADNESS!

I'm beginning to think that Greenpeace has spent so much time lobbying against things that they've lost sight of where exactly they want the planet to go. Economic growth cannot be maintained with the current ecological situation, and it is a dangerous assumption that it can be sustained using "green" technology, because if that assumption is wrong, then the consequences could be catastrophic. What would be a good idea would be to promote, and facilitate, an "energy descent", and ann economic resurgance, albeit on a local scale. Another useful approach would be to harness the power of a positive vision, as I think you'll find that it's a lot easier to motivate people to take action with a vision of the future as enticing as the holiday of a lifetime, rather than using fear, guilt and shock as drivers for action. "Greenpeace Vision for 2030" anyone?

I agree with TransitionEggman. All the thoughts expressed in the article are nice, but they are all looking only at technology. We need a major institutional and cultural shift to less energy and resource use, not merely investing in green options. The financial crisis is an excellent time for change - people are buying fewer new cars, and in general less tat that they don't need, all of which is good for the environment. We need to rebuild the economy so that it's not dependent on people buying resource-rich luxury items. We need to take this opportunity to push for infrastructure and institutions which don't require people to use cars at all - rather than push for 'green cars' (don't believe there's such a thing).

We really don't want to "kickstart the economy" do we? I thought we needed to SOMEHOW get to a static zero growth way of living on account of the planet being LIKE TOTALLED otherwise? Zero economic and population growth are what's needed to save the earth. Someone has to say this in PUBLIC and get it discussed outside of activisty type gatherings where we all know what we have to do because we know how messed up the biosphere really is. The majority of the public are so far behind in their knowledge it's scary. I know we don't want to frighten them, but really, what's the alternative? Keep telling them that if they give their friends wind-up torches for christmas its going to be ok? I'm frightened. Greenpeace should tell it like it is. If not you, then who?

I believe that if we transfer to Green Energy we will no longer have the need to buy as much oil and natural gas as a country, this will give us more money to pump back into the economy in the long run. We need to be thinking for the long-term, rather than the short term. As long as people have the need for things, they will buy it. The banking system is still going to find it difficult to recover, even with the billions the government is using to bail them out. Tighter regulations should be brought into the banking sector and this should help to reduce the risk of further recession. If people want Green Energy, they will get it, even if they don't it's a fact that they will be using it eventually, so we might as well do it now, whilst most resources are cheap.

If there were a Green Investment Bank I, for one, would certainly support it. Why not make this a campaign issue? I am sure that the Government would like to look after even more of our money than they do already!

I'd like the government to wake up & realise that they do not want to be responsible for the bio-hazard of liquid, or any other type of coal business. No-one wants to make the world a worse place consciously. I'd like them to be brave & create a think-tank comprising of leading scientists on climate change, the best researched environmentalists, renewable energy innovators & eco-architects to work on a (more) sustainable redesign that supports sustainable industries and is brave enough to set up some kind of 'environmental crime' rule plus ban the building of any more non-eco housing. There is NO excuse any more. It is radical but ALL homes should be built from now on with solar panelled rooves & re-used water flushing the loos. This should be made law & there should be no tax/vat on any green home improvements. We should not allow ANY trade in wood etc with anyone involved in these 'environmental crimes'. We also need to find a solution to the whole plastic packaging thing-apparently the biodegradable corn-plastic is not the eco miracle we'd hoped for? Radical change is what we need.It is possible & there is a willing marketplace waiting to make correct retail choices. We have enough geniuses to find solutions, just not enough politicians who have the moral incentive, intelligence, imagination or wisdom to listen.

Now that the 'Greed is Good' Thatcher-ism/Reaganomics capitalism system has thankfully collapsed, it is high time the major economies of the world invested for a Green Revolution, where renewable energy technologies are implemented. This would create millions of jobs, while safeguarding measures to help protect and clean up the environment.

Surely Capitalism with its need for infinite growth and the way that in a capitalist society status is judged/awarded by wealth/posessions (our who dies with the best toys wins mentality) is the real problem, it drives our massive overconsumption which fuels climate change. We need to look at alternatives such as Kropotkin's vision in The Conquest of Bread or even Proudhon's mutualism although that shares many of the problems of wages

Quote "green is good Posted by planetfan on 24 November 2008. Zero economic and population growth are what's needed to save the earth." despite this being a very good point, there is no way at present of using a socially and economically viable method of population/economy control rolled into one; unless ofcourse your activist enough to impose communist rejemes or cull humans like we do deer or any other creature wityh no natural predator that poses a threat to the environment in which it lives. Telling it like it is may induce panic and that all unwelcome medai hype which follows of which there is no need for, i think its going to take a ground breaking idea or one that may have been stairing us bluntly in the face for quite some time to solve this appropriately. Remember that Peace is just as important as Green in the name Greenpeace! :) Eggmans idea for future visions of a great green world where we have no destruction on our conscience any longer is a great one but by rolling the idea you disagree with of guilt, in with one of hope and positive thinking, you can make people guilty of NOW and hope and aim for the FUTURE! Great comments guys keep it up!

I would agree totally that we need radical change! I do question how truly our elected representatives represent us? I think that one of the problems with a professional political class is that they end up representing/serving something else and doing whatever is needed to maintain their own power/status. I think we need to have a true democracy with direct involvement of people in the political process not just a token "vote" every few years to choose which end of the money party we want to govern us.

I agree, we will never consume our way out of climate change, our consumption is fuelling it.

About Tracy

I work for Greenpeace in the UK office. Most people in the office might describe what I do as "something to do with computers". That might be followed up with "and she is not a morning person". Clearly I think it is far more interesting than that. I have been helping Greenpeace organise and deliver online campaigns for more than 10 years (I’m going to stop counting) in Canada, Brazil, India and from our international headquarters. And then I realised my carbon foot print was out of control and have settled in the UK bought a boat and a solar panel and am now trying to make amends.

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