Marxism 2017: Climate Change

An account of the three meetings at Marxism 2017 that focussed exclusively on climate change.

INTRODUCTION

Welcome to this latest post in my series about Marxism 2017. This post deals with three meetings from the event and also features some external links as well. This post features green body text because of the subject matter – headings still in red. This post features pictures in ’tiled mosaic’ form – to view them at full size left-click/ single finger push an image to open the gallery, and if you right-click/ two finger push you get a drop down menu that enables you to open a single image.

MEETING 1: FACING THE ANTHROPOCENE – JEFFREY HALL, SATURDAY – IAN ANGUS

The Jeffrey Hall is the second largest venue in the Institute of Education, with a seating capacity of 500. It was pleasingly full for Ian Angus’ talk about Facing the Anthropocene. This talk was accompanied by numerous slides. Here are the first few pictures:

From this start the speaker went on to define the anthropocene:

Before the Anthropocene the earth had seen five mass extinction events, and all evidence points to the fact that a sixth is upon us. Here are a few links to recent articles about this:

Now here are my remaining pictures from this meeting:

The website climateandcapitalism can be accessed here.

MEETING 2, SUNDA: A REDDER SHADE OF GREEN – MALET SUITE – IAN ANGUS

This was conducted in an informal style. Martin, chairing, asked Ian questions about his latest book (it is a good read btw) and Ian answered. After about half an hour questions were taken from the floor, and they were mainly excellent contributions. At the end of the meeting Ian signed copies of his book for those who were interested. Here are some photos:

Ian Angus and Martin EmpsonPostersPoster

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The book – the only one I purchased at Marxism 2017 (there were many others I looked at)

Martin Empson starts the meetingMartin asks Ian a questionMartin asking Ian a questionIan Angus speakingMartin Empson advertises the bookClimate Change poster

PART 3: BUILDING THE MOVEMENT AGAINST CLIMATE CHANGE AFTER TRUMP WITHDRAWS FROM PARIS – SUZANNE JEFFERY

This meeting was in the session immediately after the second Ian Angus meeting, and before the closing rally. This was a really excellent meeting, with many people speaking from the floor about campaigns they were involved in, and the mood generally confident. Here are some photos:

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Chair Jasmine and main speaker Suzanne before the meeting.
Jasmine introduces Suzanne
Jasmine opening the meeting.
Suzanne giving her talk
Suzanne giving her talk.

AFTERWORD

This post being about climate change and by extension nature I have decided to end with some links courtesy of Anna who has produced some excellent stuff about nature:

Marxism 2017 – Day 4: Outline

An outline of Dat 4 at #Marxism2017.

INTRODUCTION

Welcome to this latest addition to my series about Marxism 2017. This post covers day 4 up to the start of the closing rally, which will have a post of its own to close the series. Before that one there will be two others, a big climate change post featuring Ian Angus’ two talks and Suzanne Jeffery’s talk, and a post about Beth Greenhill’s talk on mental health.

THE START OF THE DAY

As I would be returning to King’s Lynn that evening, and Logan Hall is closer to King’s Cross than my accommodation was I took everything with me. As had been the case on Saturday, my first meeting as at Friend’s Meeting House, this time in the Sarah Fell room, so I had both bags with me for that, as the baggage room was in Student Central, where my second, third and fourth meetings of the day were due to be. Therefore I handed in my keys on my way out.

Keys

The fob gives access to the entire complex, by way of the reception building, the first of the three larger keys unlocks the particular block in which I was staying, the biggest key opens the flat in which my room was located, and the middle key of the three opens the door to the specific room I was staying in. The CG12 on the metal disc refers to the fact that this room is room 2 in flat 1 on the ground floor of block C.

On my way I photographed a building near my accommodation that had fascinated me:

Camden People's Theatre

MEETING 1: CLIMATE CHANGE
AND SCIENCE FICTION

This was very interesting, showing how science fiction writers approach’s track real world events. The first “cli-fi” (a back formation from climate change and science fiction) referred to ice and floods, with fire and warming coming later as apocalypse scenarios. Here are some photographs, which I am presenting as a ’tiled mosaic’ – to view as a gallery left-click (or single finger touch if you have a finger pad like mine):

OVER THE RAINBOW: LGBT+ LIBERATION IN THE 21st CENTURY – NICOLA FIELD

This meeting took place in the Malet suite at Student Central, so I was able to deposit my bigger bag in the baggage room which was across the corridor from this room. I picked it up just before heading to the Institute of Education’s Logan Hall for the closing rally. The speaker gave a history of the development of the LGBT+ movement going back to the Stonewall riots, and contrasted the complete commercialisation of the London Pride march (people having to pay to actually march!) with the recent launch of the UK’s 66th pride event, Lancaster Community Pride. 

CLIMATE CHANGE AFTERNOON

Both the meetings I attended in the afternoon were in the Malet Suite and both were about climate change, and I am covering both in a separate post. A solitary photo before moving on:

Book

THE CLOSING RALLY

I am giving this and my journey home another post. Suffice to say for the moment that it was an excellent finish to the event.

Marxism 2017 – Day 3: Outline

An outline of day 3 at Marxism 2017, setting the stage for two further posts.

INTRODUCTION

Wel come to this latest post in my series about Marxism 2017. The Saturday at Marxism is always the busiest day of the festival. For this reason I am doing three posts about the day, this one, one that covers the two disability themed meetings I attended and one which will also cover a meeting from Sunday devoted to Ian Angus’ two talks, “Facing the Anthropocene” and “A Redder Shade oif Green”. 

THE TIMETABLE

Here to show you the scale of the event is the timetable for thia day:

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IS A ROBOT AFTER YOUR JOB? MARTIN UPCHURCH – FRIENDS MEETING HOUSE

For the Saturday we were using venues at three locations, Student Central, The Institute of Education and Friends Meeting House. This meeting took place in the Hilda Clark room, which is on the first floor of Friends Meeting House. The answer to the question in the meeting title is “probably not”. As yet robots still require humans to watch them to ensure gthat they function as they are supposed to, and that is likely to remain the case for some time. Here are some photographs:

The Hilda Clark room (FMH)big screenFMH PRProductivity and microshipsPlatformProductivity did not grow with microchipBooksBar Chart 1Bar Chart 2Chair introduces meetingThe chairSpeakerIs a robot after your jobTechnology since 1900Robots, AI and singularitiesWorld Robot DensityChinese labour costs and robotsTuring;s two testsTentativbe conclusions2Clock

It was announced during this meeting that the main lift had failed in Student Central and gthat as yet the engineer had been unable to fix it. Therefore the panel meeting on disability was moved to a ground-floor location because the backup lifts only went up to the first and second floors (duh!). Barring a brief period at lunchtime this main lift did not work again during the rest of the event. 

DISABILITY AND RESISTANCE

I will be dealing with this meeting and the last one of the day in a separate post. For the moment here are a picture from the first and a couple of lunchtime pics:

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The woman in front of the banner is Paula Peters of Disabled People Against Cuts (DPAC).
Picnic
The Norwich & East Anglia picnic. A small donation buys you a meal – the guide prices are £3 waged and £1 unwaged, and as someone who is employed part-time I split the difference with £2.
Canary
The canary is the symbol of Norwich City FC, and this specimen can be seen at a fair distance.

HOW THE MEDIA LOST ON JUNE 8TH – IAN TAYLOR (STUDENT CENTRAL)

The mainstream media were virtually unanimous in predicting (and in most cases making it obvious that they wanted) a Tory landslide in the June 8th General Election. The fact that the Tories ended up without a majority at all, and that Labour increased their presence by 30MPs was one in the eye for MSM. Newspapers are losing readers at a vast rate, and readers are increasingly not taking their papers on trust.  Since this meeting happened we have seen Theresa May begging for policy ideas (“here is a copy of our manifesto!”), and a Prime Ministers Questions where both leaders were absent, and Emily Thornberry starred for Labour while Damien Green for the Tories managed the less than challenging feat of doing a better job than Theresa would have done. Here are some pictures:

Media MeetingThe chair introduces the meetingIan Taylor starts his talkIan Taylor

FACING THE ANTHROPOCENE – IAN ANGUS – INSTITUTE OF EDUCATION

I am covering this meeting and Ian Angus’ other meeting which took place a day later in a separate post. For the moment here are a few of the pictures from this one:

Geological timescale updated
The first seven pictures in this section provide the facts that show us tgo be in the Anthropocene.

Ice age to HoloceneIce age to Holocene 2Global Carbon Cycle800,000 years of CO2Earth ssystem trends 29 of 12 indicators beyond bounds of Holocene variability

Marx quote
150 years on this remains an excellent summary of our responsibilities tro our planet – and one that has been neglected shamefully.

HOW CAN DISABLED PEOPLE WIN LIBERATION? – RODDY SLORACH – SC

My final meeting of the day was back at Student Central, and as with the earlier panel meeting had been relocated due to the faulty lift and the fact that the backup only went as far up as the second floor. As I will be covering this meeting in more detail in another post, suffice to say that it was an inspirational end to the day. Here to end this post is the chair advertising Roddy’s book:

Chair plugging Roddy's book

The Anthropocene

A post created from my experiences at the Marxism and Nature day school which took place at Student Central, Malet Street, London on Saturday.

INTRODUCTION

This post is based on a day school organised by the International Socialism Journal titled Marxism and Nature which took place on Saturday. To set the scene, here is the timetable for the day:

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THE TRAVEL

The travel should have been straightforward, since Malet Street is walkable from King’s Cross, but engineering works intervened. The first effect of the engineering works was that I had to get the 6:54AM rather than 7:54AM train from Lynn. After getting the replacement bus service from Ely to Cambridge the next train to London turned out to be a stopper, so reckoning on saving a bit of time overall, I alighted at Finsbury Park and took the Piccadilly line line to Russell Square. Having a little time to spare, I avoided the most crowded route, opting for a slightly circuitous walk which had the bonus of taking in this splendid commemorative plate:

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This post will be followed by several on http://www.londontu.be focussing specifically on the public transport elements of the day.

THE EVENT: PHOTOGRAPHIC OVERVIEW

Here before getting to the real meat of the post are some photos taken at the event. The event took place at Student Central, formerly known as the University of London Union (ULU). The opening and closing plenaries were in the Upper Hall, which when I first visited the building was known as the Badminton Court (although these are both beaten in the changeability stakes by The Venue, which was Manning Hall when i first visited, and then became Room 101).

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THE ANTHROPOCENE IN SLIDES

The pictures produced below come from all across the day…

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These slides are not presented in the order in which they were shown – the first 14 are from Ian Angus’ talk in the closing plenary, before we have some the workshop session I attended during the early afternoon and then back to Ian Angus’ talk.
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The derivation of the word Anthropocene.

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These six slides, starting with this comparison between the instability of the Pleistocene and the stability of the Holocene and ending with the indicators that prove to all who will see (remember, there are none so blind as those who will not see).

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THE WORKSHOP SESSION

I have included some of Ian Rappel’s slides above, so this section will focus mainly on the other speaker at the workshop, Sarah Ensor, who is researching the history of class struggle in Iceland and whose blog can be found here.

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MORE ON THE CLOSING PLENARY

The closing plenary featured Ian Angus, many of whose slides I have already shown, and Camilla Royle, deputy editor of International Socialism Journal, who had played a key role in organising the event. The event ended with a show of solidarity with antu-fracking campaigner Tina Rothery.

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Sally Campbell introduces the closing plenary.
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Ian Angus, who travelled all the way from Canada to speak here.

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Camilla Royle following Ian Angus.

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HOMEWARD BOUND

Knowing that a non-stop train to Cambridge would be leaving Kings Cross at 17:44 I headed that way in no great hurry, and was comfortably aboard the train. Here are some final photographs…

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The southbound London Underground routes from Finsbury Park.

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Excellent combined route map of these three lines, Kings Cross.

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