Archive for December, 2015

Privatization has taken away power from the commons

December 14, 2015

The idea of capitalism has increased the inequity in the whole world it has taken away power from the commons. Oxfam thinks the Richest 1% will have more money than the rest 99% of the population by the year 2016. Privatization and the very idea of “new public management” has taken away power from the general people. Even sometime the government is helpless to those big fish. Farmers are forced cultivate plants according to the wish of the certain company, workers in the factories are bound by certain terms and conditions that never enjoy the achievement of that company rather they keep working months after months still don’t feel part of the family. General people are marginalized, only winner is the private company and the rich. Well, the government can’t say much because their election campaign is funded by those big fishes. It is not by the people for the people anymore, it is by the rich for the rich actually. Multinational companies are always finding a loophole to patronize the government to deregulate the rules and regulations. In the human history never so much power was given to so few. Big oil companies are destroying the planets and making money out of it. But who is being victims here? The general people. The government is the pocket of the multinational companies who is funding its ministers to tour around the whole world during their holidays.

Starting from agriculture to factories, everywhere the general people has been diminished. This attitude of “having it all and wanting more” has made us so vulnerable. Some ignorant supporters of privatization may claim that current government system is too corrupt to trust with any project but is it not the big private companies who are continuously bribing the politicians in order to get their business deal done? I am not totally against privatization but I think general people should have a stake and say in the profit of those multinational big corporation otherwise this will increase inequality and obstruct any social mobility.


It’s not sex, it’s money; it’s not the poor, it’s the rich, who is causing climate change

December 14, 2015


Some folks may consider climate change is an overrated topic, but clearly it isn’t. In fact unless very recently, we haven’t seen much effort from world leaders or global corporations to tackle climate change. Oxford Professor James Martin was very good in predicting future. Well, of course his prediction was based on scientific facts and evidences. He listed 16 mega problems that 21st century will face, climate change/global warming was top of the list.


But is it not just recently that politicians started talking about it as USA & few other western countries were hit by tornados & cyclones? After reading my blog, we will have clear understanding why I am blaming the rich for climate change. According to an article published in BBC website back 2012, it was calculated that almost 1.3 billion people earn less than a dollar every day, meaning struggle to afford basic foods and commodities. These people without almost no electricity, no modern life facilities, how they are contributing to climate change? Well, they are not playing any major negative impacts in climate change. They are struggling to survive day to day. 47.5% population of Sub-Saharan region live below poverty line, 36% in South-Asia, can we see a single country from these two regions among 20 top countries in carbon footprint league table? Answer is no. Then why blaming the poor? People like Maurice Strong suggested us (indirectly African and Asian people) to stop breeding or else nature with destroy us brutally. Well, of course we need to control and balance population growths in order to have a sustainable planet but it is absolutely unfair to blame the poor for climate change. It is strongly speculated that one additional British person leaves carbon footprint which is equivalent to more than 22 Malawians. Yes, the birthrate of British women in the year 2012 was 1.90 and same for Malawian was 5.47 but 1.90 additional British produces carbon footprint which is equivalent to 40 Malawians. So whom should be named and shamed? The poor or the rich? The tenancy to have more kids or the tendency to lead a notorious western consumer style life?

The livestock raised for meat causes 18% of total earth’s carbon emissions; it also covers 80% agricultural land. Evidences strongly show that meat produced this way is used either by global fast food company or by chain retailer in rich countries. Now those 1.3 billion people who sometime can’t afford to have healthy food everyday, do you think they would be able to buy a burger from those fast-food shops? I think there is hardly any chain fast-food shops in county side of these developing countries, let alone buying the burger. It is suggested by George Monbiot that almost 70% of world population growth happened in areas with very less carbon emission. So, it is not the poor, it is not the habit of having sex that is to be blamed for climate change. It is rather the notorious consumer style life-style of west that is to be blamed for. What is also astonishing is that even the  portion of carbon emission in Africa is actually caused by the American and British fuel company.


Newspaper like the Guardian claimed that Paris climate talk-2015 is the greatest diplomatic success in human history. I think such journalism is absolutely naïve. The politicians are not honest enough to take the blame and solve the problem. System needs to be changed not climate. Yes, ministers from 196 countries signed the deal but what will happen practically on ground? Will the people in Canada & Australia start checking their electric and gas meter and feel ashamed of the damage they have just done to the planet by keeping their heater or AC on  for addition one hour  without absolutely no necessity? Perhaps not. Will the high profile multi milliners stop using their private jet that consumes almost 800 liters of fuel per hour? Probably not. Then why so much drama? Why wasting taxpayers money on meeting and end up having expensive champagne?


The west needs to come clean and stop blaming the poor for climate change rather they should take their own blame and try to resolve the consequences bringing everyone together.




Will developing countries agree that the Paris climate deal was the “best chance we have” to save the planet?

December 14, 2015

Campaigners take to the street of Paris to warn that failure to act to curb temperature rises will cross a red line. Source: BBC News online

Saturday 12th December 2015 marked the climax of the world’s first climate deal to limit global warming to no more than two degrees centigrade above pre-industrial levels. Furthermore, 196 countries attending the COP21 talks in Paris made the ambitious agreement to “endeavour to limit” the rise in global temperatures to 1.5 degrees, and beginning at some point between 2050 and 2100, to limit the amount of greenhouse gases emitted by human activity to no more than the planet can absorb naturally, therefore effectively “neutralising” CO2 emissions. Hailed by the US President as “best chance we have” to save the planet, how feasible is this [partly] legally binding agreement and how will the reductions in greenhouse gas emissions to meet this goal be apportioned between the developed and developing countries?

First of all, the COP21 agreement hasn’t yet been signed and sealed. In order for the deal to go through, no less than 55 countries representing at least 55 per cent of global emissions now need to ratify the agreement. Beyond that, according to scientists, to meet these goals, the world would have to stop emitting greenhouse gases (that is, burning coal, oil and gas for energy) entirely within the next 50 years. This sizeable shift would require a complete reform on how people obtain energy which many critics argue most countries cannot afford and are not ready for. Climate researchers have also warned that even if all the initial targets set in preparation for COP21 were met, global warming would still exceed the two degrees threshold (see image below).

UK Prime Minister, David Cameron posted on his Facebook profile that, “I said it would have to come with regular reviews; help for the poorest in the world; and a transfer of technology from the richest to the poorest nations. It does all those things.” So how have these “things” been met as part of the agreement?

It was agreed that each country’s proposed reductions in emissions would have to be reviewed every five years in order to establish their individual progress. Rich countries would also be required to help poorer countries by providing “climate finance” to help them adapt to climate change and adopt renewable energy. This figure was agreed at a conservative $100bn a year by 2020, which when put into context, is only equivalent to 8% of the worldwide declared spend on military each year. Direct compensation for developing countries taking the brunt of climate change was categorically ruled out.

With so few details on “climate finance” available at this stage, contrary to my previous blog, my view is that we should be a little sceptical about expanding the concept of such finance. Could this simply be enlarging an existing finance scheme governed by developing countries to rack up unmanageable debt in the developing world? How accessible will these “funds” be and with what strings attached, and who knows how much of the budget will be taken up by corruption failing delivery on the ground? As the system currently stands, there is no internationally consistent definition of what “climate finance” is or how it is tracked both in terms of monitoring outcomes and financial flows.

Specific targets for individual countries have been omitted from the agreement for the reason that certain countries which could be considered to be developing for example China, India and South Africa refused to sign up at the Copenhagen talks in 2009 for fear that the targets would stall economic growth and development, as discussed in my previous blog. Instead, the pledges are voluntary and although the obligation on individual countries to set an emissions-reduction target under five-yearly reviews is legally binding, the COP21 deal so far does not insist that the targets themselves will be legal binding but are instead in control of each individual country, which leads me to believe that the whole concept could be ineffective. How will the impact of climate finance be measured? Who will enforce the pledges that each country declares at the five year intervals? Quite apart from these and other issues, the pledges made prior to COP21 aren’t, according to Climate Change Tracker (see image above), enough to keep global warming below the 2-degree centigrade threshold (above pre-industrialisation levels), so the agreement to “save the planet” is already a fallacy.

Despite what feels to me like a new global trend for renewable energy and a patriotic approach towards the planet in which we all live, I believe the COP21 was an historical step towards protecting the earth for future generations to come. In practical terms however, I am convinced that substantially more needs to be done at the community and household level to sustain such ambitious and unpredictable goals. We need to fundamentally change the way in which we live and utilise energy for any of the COP21’s grand plans to become a reality. With the next progress report due to take place in 2018, it seems unlikely that the urgency of global warming has truly been appreciated on the world stage and could perhaps already be too late. As the co-founder of, Bill McKibben put it, “This didn’t save the planet. But it may have saved the chance of saving the planet.”

I believe that it is more likely that we will see the effects of climate change intensifying, particularly for those that have done little to cause it, than a global shift in the way we utilise energy. Rather than sitting and waiting to see what happens next, you and I, as individuals should take up our responsibility of global citizenship and investigate the ways in which we can play our part in taking on board’s message to look beyond the COP21 agreement and do as much as we can to strive for “a just and liveable planet” each and every single day. By being given more information, which must come from the world leaders, we can also all adjust our behaviours accordingly.

Paris Talks, renewable energy and Norway: An example of the ecological and socioeconomic impacts of climate warming ‘solutions’

December 14, 2015

Saturday December 12th marked the end of the 2015 UN Climate Change Conference, where the leaders of nearly 200 nations, committing to a universal agreement to cut greenhouse gas emissions to remedy climate warming, signed up to end of fossil fuel era. In its place are ambitious national plans for solutions including energy efficiency and renewable energy deployment. But is renewable energy really a feasible climate change solution? Let’s takes a look at Norway for example.

Norway’s geography is ideal for hydropower and in 1970, the Norwegian government announced its plan to build the Alta River Hydro Power Plant, to increase energy security. This caused the Alta Controversy, a decade long conflict between the indigenous Sami people – a reindeer herding community – and the non-indigenous population, concerning land rights. What had long been considered as worthless and unusable land could potentially become a gold mine for the state and industry, thanks to its natural resources. But the land has vital social, economic, and cultural functions for the Sami community.

Sami have a strong reliance on reindeer and the natural resources needed to herd them as survival in extreme arctic environmental conditions rule out many other forms of livelihood. The reindeer aren’t just substantial as food and income from trade, but they serve important traditional and cultural purposes, with reindeer herding having been carried by Sami for thousands of years. Herding is a way of life.

sami-reindeer-herder-615.jpgThe government of Norway did not include the Sami in the decision-making process for the dam, disregarding local knowledge of the environment and the potential negative impacts. In a way, ethnic discrimination occurred. The conflict lasted more than a decade with protests, hunger strikes, blockades and attempts to blow up the dam by the Sami delaying the construction of the dam for three years. Eventually, a modified version of the dam was built.

Unfortunately, to this day, the dam is having negative impacts on the environment and on the local Sami communities’ livelihoods. Displacement and a loss of land have pushed Sami people into ever more fragmented areas, making reindeer herding more difficult. Socioeconomically, this causes loss of livelihood and traditional knowledge and practices, whilst increasing social problems such as drug use. It is a struggle for the Sami to continuously fight for their rights to land and water.

The hydropower facility and equipment are also having ecological impacts. Potential direct environmental impacts include floods, loss of biodiversity and soil erosion. In fact worldwide, dam building and other factors have caused freshwater ecosystems to lose approximately 76% of their populations since 1970. Moreover, while it’s true that the actual production of electricity from hydropower doesn’t release any greenhouse gases, the production of them undoubtedly does.

Whilst affecting the domesticated reindeer owned by Sam
i, wild reindeers are also impacted by the hydropower. The Renewable Reindeer Project has started quantifying the cumulative impact caused by infrastructures on wild reindeers. Hydropower has resulted in a 40% redu
ction in the habitat of reindeers, causing the population to split into 26 detached and mainly non-interchanging sub-populations s the reindeer tend to avoid areas with infrastructure by between 2.5-5km. Research by UNEP indicates that
further hydropower development will put wild reindeer at great risk, as further loss of habitat and fragmentation will leave stretches of land that are too small to viably hold the populations.


Decrease of wilderness areas in Norway from 1900-1998

This is worrying as reindeers are important in efforts tackling global warming. Research by the Arctic Centre of the University of Lapland indicates that reindeer grazing is an important determinant in counteracting climate warming, as the amount of reindeer grazing determines how much greenhouse gases will be released into the climate, directly effecting temperature rises. Long-term light grazing causes less gas to be released, but long-term over-grazing has no effect and will therefore not be beneficial in combatting global warming. Long-term over-grazing will continuously occur as more land is out of use for domestic and wild reindeer.

It is quite clear that renewable energy will not solve the climate crisis. Restoring biodiversity and natural systems through methods such as reforestation, grassland restoration, regenerative agriculture should really have been the main priority of the 2015 Climate Change Conference. Lastly, as Global Justice Now stated,

“what is needed is system change, not climate change. This change will not be made by corporations or world leaders. Rather it will be made by us as a global movement of citizens.” How is this possible when the communities which are affected aren’t invited [to the talks] and are evicted by the French police?

Britain joining bombing Syria won’t help destroying Daesh

December 12, 2015

syria1_2216336bDealing with NHS, deficit, economy, welfare can be tedious sometime. May be this is why British PM David Cameron wanted to become war time Prime minister, trust me he is trying hard. In 2013, he wanted to bomb Bashar-Al-Asad and now it’s Daesh. Yes, no doubt Bashar-Al-Asad killed his own citizens brutally but bombing him wasn’t the right measure. The Labour party under Ed Miliband didn’t support that motion, so it failed. But 66 Labour MPs voted to bomb Syria this time, so Cameron had the majority. The civil war in Syria is very complex. It can be called proxy World War III. If it was a joint coalition of USA, UK & Russia against Daesh ( so called Islamic State) or Bashar-Al-Asad, Military action may be, I am saying just may be a solution. But sadly it’s not a coalition among Russia, USA and UK like World War II. Russia is working as Bashar’s ally from the very beginning for this bloody civil war.

Of course Daesh possess a terrible threat but bombing them won’t destroy them. We shouldn’t forget that America was already bombing in major areas captured by Daesh but the impact wasn’t that impressive. With every bomb dropped in Syria, it seems Daesh managed to recruit more terrorists with their hateful ideology. Last year there were about 15,000 new recruits to ISIS from 18 countries. This year after bombing by USA and France this has increased to 30,000 new recruits. No doubt USA and UK are the biggest allies to each other but UK could play the role of mediator here bridging the gap between USA and Russia in this particular scenario. By joining bombing Syria, Britain has entered into a complex war which will put life of British military personnel into risks and the threat level of Britain being attack by terrorists has increased too. Not only this, innocents Syrian will be killed and Daesh will use this bombing as to brainwash more young people around the world, particularly in Europe and America. Bombing isn’t a piece of cake, Britain spent almost 360 million GBP by bombing Libya and as according to PM David Cameron this bombing campaign in Syria will last for years, meaning this will cost the tax-payers a fortune. Just to let the readers know a 6 hours tour by Tornado fighter jet costs 508,000 GBP.

Daesh killed 130 people in Paris and 38 Brits in the beach of Tunisia, definitely that played the emotion of few MPs to vote for bombing Syria. But we shouldn’t forget this bombing will also cause death, displacement of many innocent Syrians. Certainly, USA is already very happy to see its biggest ally UK joining in bombing campaign but till today majority of bombing is carried out by USA.

Only way to solve the complex civil war of Syria is through diplomatic and political solution. Only way to destroy Daesh and its evil ideology is through diplomacy and conversation among everyone fighting against Daesh. The role of Turkey is still not very clear, many critics suggest that Deash is getting its fund, weapon, new members through Turkey. There is no way it can be denied that the very Kurds who are fighting against the Daesh are enemy to the Turks. It is suggested by Russia that Turkey is buying the oil sold by Daesh. Recent shot down of a Russian fighter jet by Turkey in the name of territorial integrity says a lot.

Britain’s involvement in Syrian civil war through bombing won’t do much except wasting taxpayer’s money and this whole saga will make Britain more fragile.


Will the COP21 negotiations in Paris on climate change really work?

December 12, 2015

The Paris negotiations started in mid-November and are expected to reach a conclusion on the 12th of December. What are they for? Who will attend? And who will influence the decisions that are made?

So far, the talks appear to have only been dominated by corporate organisations and world leaders. According to Democracy Now, “the U.N. climate summit has come under scrutiny for its unprecedented level of corporate sponsorship — more than 50 companies, with some of them counted by climate activists as being among the world’s worst industrial polluters. Last Friday [4th December], climate activists gathered at the Grand Palais in Paris protesting the COP21 “Solutions” exhibition, where businesses were pushing for corporate and privatised responses to climate change. Several protesters were evicted from the premises by the large security presence at the event.” What has been the reaction to this?

Global Justice Now, stated “We believe that what is needed is system change, not climate change. This change will not be made by corporations or world leaders. Rather it will be made by us as a global movement of citizens.” How is this possible when the communities which are affected aren’t invited and are evicted by the French police?

2504 posters for COP21. Photograph:

With the Paris terrorist attacks so recent, does it make the climate protests more or less significant; and does this affect the agenda of global leaders? Have the series of protests and demonstrations been held back as a result? In absolute terms, the answer is yes; demonstrations have been banned and security has been tightened. However, over 130 heads of state and government that were due to attend have not pulled out. This is a positive. Environmental activists appear to be more mobilised than ever, stating that COP21 is “The Climate Games”. On the last day of the summit, thousands of people are expected to converge around the Le Brouget summit. “Red lines” have been set up, namely ten different blockades dividing the cause upon which protesters feel are the most important for example equitable climate finance for poorer countries, or meaningful emissions reductions.

“It is going to be the largest mass civil disobedience climate justice action that we have ever seen in Europe,” said Prayal Parekh, a campaigner with “We’re sensing a lot of excitement and appetite. It’s going to be colourful.”

The goal of the talks is to achieve a new global deal to curb emissions from 2020 and prevent the planet from catastrophic overheating (that is, over two degrees centigrade above pre-industrial levels resulting in irreversible changes to the weather, including droughts, floods, heatwaves, fiercer storms and sea level rises). So far this decade, every year has been hotter than every year before 1998 (see image below).


Climate change in graphics: The state of the planet (

Do the COP21 invitees have an impact on the destiny of our planet? Let me briefly present the proposed situation and you can decide.

According to The Economist, the politicians have set an impossible task which is to persuade developing countries that controlling climate change is more important than, potentially, the economic growth of their country. Heads of state are gathering with what appears to be different agendas. On the one hand those that have been through industrialisation and emerged out the other side, and on the other those who are still experiencing that process. Why should developing countries buy-in to an agenda that suits those that have already experienced this? The argument of the developing world is that there should be a two-fold process: one for those that acknowledge the need to reduce their historical carbon emissions based on their industrialisation experience, and those that are now experiencing such levels of industrialisation. Who is correct?

Now is not the time to be cynical, but to acknowledge the differing economic pressures of the parties involved. Protests are coming exclusively from the developed world, and yet there would possibly be protests from the developing world if these carbon emission restrictions were to be applied across all jurisdictions leading possibly to restrictions on growth, for example power cuts. An answer needs to be found that is satisfactory for all those involved but only the stakeholders in Paris are currently in the position to decide the policies.

So what can we do? How can we influence policy on a global scale and prevent a continued myopic view of the position? Is putting an internationally-accepted price on carbon the answer when the developed world has already taken its fair share? Should we, those who truly care about climate change sit on the side-line awaiting the outcome? Well, yes and no. The real policy-makers in this field are the developed world governments that are voted in by us. We, and those of the populace of the developing world, have a voice and an ability to influence, maybe not the meetings in Paris, but those meetings that follow. We have the ability, as a cross-jurisdictional voting group, to insist that carbon dioxide emissions will shortly reach unsustainable levels, and acknowledge that people, food sources and livelihoods are dying as a result. We that care about such issues have a responsibility to ensure that we at least inform ourselves as to the issues and the implications of doing nothing.

In my next blog I will be looking at how the decisions taken by COP21 impact those of the developing world.

The homegrown Jihadists in Britain & Europe are the result of post-colonial era & cultural assimilation

December 9, 2015

7de5baea-3d0b-11e4-_768846cWhen we think of Europe, we think of how lucrative life can be! We think of big glittering houses equipped with all sorts of 21st century modern life facilities, BMW or Mercedes Benz or Range Rover parked outside, day to day life is full of entertainment, in one word “perfect consumer lifestyle of Western world”. No doubt the transport system is great, education system is excellent, health care is dynamic & life is full of entertainment with all contents of 21st century, yes of course society is much more liberal & progressive but one think is common in all countries , particularly in Britain, France, Belgium & in Germany, that is lack of cultural assimilation among ethnic minorities and  pockets of poverty. Britain, particularly performed well in terms of breaking the ice & bridging the gap between the native & the immigrants. This isn’t the case for many other countries. Son of an  immigrant  bus driver has been selected from Labour Party recently to run to become Mayor of London. There are number of MPs & Lords in British Parliament from ethnic minority but it’s not common in rest of Europe.


Let’s look into France. “The Glory has come”, with this national anthem France has ruled almost half of Africa. Many people have migrated from Algeria to France, a former colony of France. But isn’t the Algerian immigrants still considered as second class citizen in France? Modern France has a divisive way of treating people where immigrants are never considered as bone fide citizens. Some critics also think France society is colorblind in terms of indentifying racism and alienation, a problem.


Majority of homegrown terrorists sadly come from ethnic minorities or immigrants background in UK & rest of Europe. Abdalhamid Abaaoud , the mastermind behind Paris attack happened to be from a very deprived and disfranchised area of Brussels named Molenbeek. Molenbeek is known as the capital of Jihadis. Molenbeek is just located in Brussels but young people like Abdalhamid grew up with no sense of community belongings, may be his childhood was full of poverty, racisms, disfranchisement.


For the last century when world has witnessed the fall of colonialism, many immigrants made their way to Europe to resettle & start life afresh. The contribution of immigrants is huge in building the Europe after two world wars. Immigrants are still significantly contributing. But life isn’t bed of roses for immigrants in Europe. Children of immigrants still find it difficult to get admission into good European universities after having excellent result. Even after having excellent result from university, not many can made it to the jobs. After the end of colonization, many people from ex-colonies made European their home. But still they struggle to find their place in western society. And if the society is colorblind to tackle inequality, poverty, racisms & cultural disfranchisement the ethnic minorities face day to day from school, university and job place, this will create more Abdalhamid Abaaoud. So these homegrown Jihadists like Jihadi John or Abdalhamid  is the result of post-colonial era & lack of cultural assimilation.

Britain loses top AAA energy rating

December 3, 2015

This week (8-14 November) has been marked by the announcement that the UN accredited World Energy Council has downgraded Britain from its AAA energy policy rating to AAB. This came after “after the government prematurely cut some renewable energy subsidies, creating uncertainty about how it will address support in future.

Earlier this year Britain scrapped subsidies for onshore wind farms, closed support for small-scale solar projects and changed the way other renewable energy projects qualify for payments, saying they were becoming too costly for taxpayers.  In the light of this statement, were the tax payers ever consulted if their taxes should be invested in clean energy in a bid to halt global warming or the government had “better” ventures to fund using the taxpayers’ money? This move has a cost to the taxpayers as their energy bills will keep rising whilst he country’ energy companies get even more profits from the sale to energy to consumers who have no option but to pay. The cut on small scale solar-projects is a big blow on the production of energy from renewable sources and puts Britain at risk of failing to reach set energy targets. This is just a clear picture of how little developed countries are committed to the provision of cleaner energy in order to cut CO2 emissions.

The government is struggling to commit funds in order to aid renewable energy production yet the privatised energy companies are enjoying millions of pounds worth of profits through the use of energy infrastructure that was passed on too then in the name of neoliberalism. There is indeed something really amiss with this. Perhaps, it is high time the state retuned to energy provision for its people. This is indeed necessary to ensure that the state’s commitments to developing green energy technologies and combating CO2 emissions are met. Capital is not corned much with these ventures because they do not necessarily increase their profits.


If Britain fails to meet the set renewable energy targets, there are hefty fines to be paid to the regulators. The big question that rings in my mind is; will these fines repair the damage to the environment and whom do they really benefit? These fines will be paid using the tax payers funds still so why should the taxpayer this burden? Perhaps it will be beneficial if energy companies are to use their profits to fund renewable energy sources and if that is not sustainable for them the state should take responsibility for this industry as it was in the olden days. This will ensure that the energy industry sorely survives to serve people’s energy needs and all surplus is for investment in order to address the global CO2 crisis which is putting the entire humanity at risk of catastrophic climate problems.

We await to see the outcome of the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Paris later this month and if anything really changes in relation to the developed countries’ commitment to cutting down CO2 emission. Will the wealthy countries propose a shift in the current state of affairs in relation to the provision of clean energy?