A bricolage of sound impressions from Arts Admin’s recent Two Degrees Festival of art on the theme: “Climate, Consumerism, Community…” Emphasising unconventional and participative work, the festival asked, “What is broken in our world and what can we do to fix it?” The programme features The Institute for the Art & Practice of Dissent at Home, Lewis Bassett, Mel Evans, Andrea Francke, Harry Giles, Mark Godber, Kamala Katbamna, Ruth Potts, Andrew Simms, Gonçalo Tocha, Sam Trotman, Platform, Mels van Zutphen and Sarah Woods. Assembled by Climate Radio’s Phil England for Arts Admin. Broadcast by ResonanceFM on 12 July, 2013.
Two Degrees (17-22 June) is a biennial arts festival taking a wide-framed and forward thinking look at climate change and possible futures. Live studio discussion between the programmers Mark Godber & Sam Trotman (Arts Admin) and artists Mel Evans & Sam Rowe (Platform), Andrea Francke and Lewis Bassett. More info & tickets: Two Degrees festival.
Climate Radio takes a look at the battle for the UK’s energy future: on the one side we have Chancellor George Osborne and the gas lobby whose key star is former CEO of BP, Lord “cost-cutting” Browne, now chair of the UK’s leading gas fracking company Cuadrilla Resources and who sits at the heart of government inside the Cabinet Office; on the other side are the communities resisting the threat of fracking on their land, the government’s own Committee on Climate Change, 21 people who occupied a gas-fired power station – and everyone else interested in maintaining a habitable planet.
- David Kennedy, CEO,Committee on Climate Change
- Dr John Broderick, Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research
- Vanessa Vine, co-ordinator, Britain & Ireland Frack Free (BIFF!) and Frack Free Sussex
- Dr Mariann Lloyd-Smith, Senior Advisor to the National Toxics Network, Australia
Chancellor George Osborne is planning to build up to 40 new gas-fired power stations even though the government’s own independent advisors warn that this would be illegal, expensive and crash our climate commitments. The Chancellor is also encouraging the polluting and landscape-despoiling process of gas fracking in the UK, while the Foreign & Commonwealth Office has been promoting this controversial technology internationally.
From a climate change perspective we already have more carbon in fossil fuel company reserves than we can safely burn before we add yet another source of unconventional fuel into the mix. Unless there is an effective global cap on carbon emissions or a global carbon tax, developing shale gas reserves by fracking will increase global greenhouse gas emissions.
The good news is that communities from the US to Egypt and from Australia to Algeria are fighting back against the threat of fracking in their area, and the Chancellor’s entire gas policy will be challenged by climate protestors in the UK when they return en masse to the site of the West Burton gas-fired power station for the Reclaim The Power camp 17-20 August this year.
Do we need to reform democracy in order to start getting the right response to the climate crisis? If corporate capture of government is the underlying problem confronting all progressive change, should we be switching from fighting single issue campaigns, to uniting behind a single campaign focussing on democratic reform?
In the studio we were joined by:
Why do scientists and civil society struggle to get government to respond to the climate crisis while the government’s default position is to side with powerful vested interests?
Why are millionaires getting tax cuts and bankers still getting obscene bonuses while ordinary people are facing cuts to jobs, wages, benefits and public services?
Are we effectively living in a corporate oligarchy or “corporatocracy” where power is exercised by the few in the interests of the corporations and financiers?
Do we, as former World Bank economist Joesph Stiglitz put it, have a government “of the 1%, by the 1% and for the 1%”?