It’s hard to ever miss out on any opportunity to share footage of Boris Johnson stuck on a zip wire. But I’m not sure if this, or the evidence of his many other blunders (him falling over into a river was particularly enjoyable) can really be used to show the kind of idiot he is. Truth is that the people of London (who refer to him simply as “Boris”) have twice chosen to elect a clownish mascot for their mayor, and for years he has cunningly used his own clumsiness to further his political career.
Most of us know St Louis as the home of the Gateway Arch, of Budweiser and of the Cardinals baseball team. But the city also serves as the headquarters for Arch, Peabody and Patriot, which rank among the most environmentally and socially destructive coal companies in the US.
It’s hard to listen to reports on the UN climate conference in Doha without feeling like I’m listening to a broken record. Properly dealt with, climate change presents us with an opportunity to make the world a safer and fairer place. This is why much of the global justice movement (notably Naomi Klein) has diverted much of its efforts to climate activism. But UN Conference of Parties (COP) summits represent how not to react to the climate crisis. It’s clear where priorities lie, not just for the United States, but also for many of the other countries at the table: with the oil and gas industry.
“What will it take to wake people up about climate change?”
This is the question that was asked of Sir David Attenborough (the aging, well-loved British naturalist and TV presenter known for documentary series like Planet Earth) during an interview published in The Guardian on October 25. His answer? “Disaster.” To this, he added, “[But] even disaster doesn’t do it. There have been disasters in North America, with hurricanes and floods, yet still people deny and say ‘oh, it has nothing to do with climate change’”.