Stuart Jeffery

Category: Uncategorized


So I’ve been writing fiction for a few years but I have not put any of it out there. While I parade my novel round agents trying to get a bite, I thought I’d write a short story, a prequel to the novel. It’s a short read and I hope you like it!

Read it here:

https://www.wattpad.com/story/241656641-hostage-to-fortune


My response, albeit brief, to the proposed extension to Allington Incinerator:

  1. Do you have any comments on the design of the proposed extension of the Allington IWMF?
    • None
  2. Do you have any comments on our environmental impact assessments or our proposed environmental mitigation strategy?
    • While it is good to see that you have considered the natural world with the planting of native trees, this does not offset the overall impact of the site.
  3. Do you have any comments on the operation of the proposed extension to Allington IWMF?
    • I object to the concept of needing incineration. Society should rapidly work towards zero waste and a fully circular economy
    • I object to the additional lorry movements
    • I object to the building of unnecessary infrastructure given the current climate and ecological emergencies.
  4. Do you have any comments on this consultation process?
    • I downloaded the questionnaire to complete and email back to you per your instruction however the questionnaire is a pdf and not editable. You may wish to make it easier for people to respond.
  5. Do you have any other comments?
    • No

Letter to The Telegraph:

Sir, Last week you published a series of articles attacking Extinction Rebellion and a letter from 44 Conservative MPs expressing similar anger. You contend that the actions of XR are criminal whereas XR are calling on the press and politicians to “tell the truth”.

For example, is the inability to acknowledge the media’s failings in environmental reporting really so ingrained that The Telegraph then failed to report on the WWF’s Living Planet Report which highlighted the loss of 68% of the animal population over the past 50 years?

It is no wonder that those of us who understand the true scale of the ecological emergency are so unhappy with your paper’s attempt to hide it.

 

Stuart Jeffery


This letter has gone to all 44 signatories to the recent letter in The Telegraph…

Dear Xxxxx

Last week you wrote to The Telegraph condemning the actions of XR in holding the press to account for their complicity in the climate and ecological emergency.

You published your letter during the week that the WWF published its Living Planet Report which highlighted the loss of 68% of the animal population over the past 50 years, a report that The Telegraph decided not to cover. It is really any wonder why those of us who understand the scale of the emergency do not feel that The Telegraph “tells the truth”.

You claim in your letter that protestors disrupted life-saving work of the emergency services. All XR blockades allow for the passage of ambulances and the only ambulance that I am aware of that was turned around was done so by the police, not the protestors.

Your Home Secretary accused XR of criminality in the same week that your Northern Ireland Secretary admitted your government’s criminality, albeit in a “specific and limited way”. One action is to ensure a future for our children, the other is for commerce. I wonder about the importance of these goals and how they are prioritised.

While I welcome some of the energy initiatives that you refer to, the scale and challenge of the emergency is such that these do not go anyway near far enough and are certainly not rapid enough to prevent ecological collapse in the very near future. I would have hoped that members of the Conservative Environmental Network you would be aware that carbon neutrality by 2050 will be a death sentence for our children and the planet.

The world is on track for the “hot house” scenario and without immediate action you and your government are condemning future generations to a version of hell not seen on the planet for 50 million years. The concept that business as usual politics can continue is absurd.

I implore you to look at the science and to truly understand the scale of the emergency facing us, one that is already affecting the planet and humanity and one that will escalate rapidly over the coming decades.

 

Yours sincerely

 

Stuart Jeffery

 

cc. the other 43 signatories to the letter to The Telegraph


Maidstone Greens have sent a petition with over a thousand signatures to KCC’s environment chief, Cllr Carey, calling for an end to glyphosate use by the council. The petition comes just a day after the latest WWF report showed that two thirds of the animal population has been lost over the past 50 years. Despite being labelled as a herbicide, glyphosate is harmful to animals, particularly bees and is potentially carcinogenic to humans according to the World Health Organization.

KCC’s actions to support their Pollinator Action Plan also comes under criticism from the Greens. The plan pledged to improve the environment for bees but the Greens point out that the rhetoric in the plan is being ignored by the continues use of glyphosate.

Stuart Jeffery, Maidstone Green Party campaigner and Co-Chair of Kent Greens: “Despite the rhetoric of KCC’s Pollinator Action Plan, they continue to use one of the nastiest chemicals to control weeds across the county. Glyphosate is known to harm bees and the World Health Organization have stated that it is probably carcinogenic to people.

“There are alternatives to glyphosate and some councils have banned it use already. Hot water, manual weeding and concentrated vinegar are being used to control weeds elsewhere and these measures are not harmful to animals or people. While it may cost a little more in the short term, should the lawsuits in the US be replicated here, glyphosate’s use would be far more expensive.

“In addition, the news that two thirds of the global animal population has been wiped out over the past 50 years is beyond shocking and is clear evidence of the environmental catastrophe that humans have created. There is an urgent need for KCC to review it policy on glyphosate, and many other areas, and to start being part of the solution to the problem.”

Martin Whybrow, Green Party KCC Member for Hythe West: “Having brought the motion in 2019 to create a Pollinator Action Plan, too little has been achieved since then, including in relation to KCC’s use of pesticides. Even now, the working group that has taken this forward is merely talking about getting round to “reviewing the use of pesticides on the KCC estate” and “identifying opportunities” to reduce them in the third quarter of this year. Despite the best intentions of officers and a few good initiatives, the pace of change in the face of the biodiversity emergency has been poor. This needs proper leadership and urgent action from KCC.”

Sign up to our campaign here: https://actionnetwork.org/petitions/bee-happy-in-kent


The Earth’s population of animals has fallen by two thirds during my lifetime according to the latest Living Planet Report including a fall of 8% in the past two years alone. The environmental crisis that defines our time just gets starker by the minute

Wildlife populations are in freefall around the world, driven by human overconsumption, population growth and intensive agriculture, according to a major new assessment of the abundance of life on Earth.” – from the Guardian.

If ever there was a time to act it is now. Sadly we have a criminal government which accuses peaceful campaigners, who are trying to protect the Earth for future generations, of being criminals.

This is from the WWF (and ZSL) report: “biodiversity is fundamental to human life on Earth, and the evidence is unequivocal – it is being destroyed by us at a rate unprecedented in history”

The WWF and ZSL are not radical organisations but their statement is truly shocking. They are saying that humans are destroying something that is fundamental to our existence. This is why we are protesting, why we are disrupting, why we do what we do.

The idea that disrupting the “free” press from printing their lies is somehow an affront to democracy is laughable. The press are not free. They are biased, owned by billionaires and they push their own interests.

44 Tory MPs signed a letter published in the Telegraph criticising XR. Inspired by Jonathan Fuller, I will be writing to each of them with the truth out the environmental emergencies that we face and why they should be backing real action rather than business as usual.

 

 


This appeared in the Downsmail this week:

Already this has been the toughest year of most of our lives. Covid has changed the lives of almost everyone. Alongside the deaths, isolation and unemployment there were some positives such as the freshness of the air and resurgence of Nature. Some of us hoped for a recovery from lockdown that could bring a positive ‘new normal’. A recovery that, for example, eliminated the appalling air pollution in Upper Stone Street which is currently the 12th most polluted street in the country.

Many of us felt this could be an opportunity for change and most of us didn’t want to return to business as usual. For example, the ability to work from home negating the need to travel has been revolutionary for some. But wider than that was the realisation of what is essential in life.

Essential workers, NHS staff, supermarket staff, bin men, farm workers, delivery drivers and many many others, have shown their worth, worth that most have never seen in their pay packets. Essential supplies, care and support for those who were shielding. Essential services for the rest.

There was, and still is, a real opportunity to make momentous changes but it requires political will and trust in the country’s leaders.

Firstly, a change of priority. A need to properly recognise and invest in the jobs that are essential. No longer should these be low paid jobs, they should be at the heart of our future.

Secondly, support for those who need to find new work, those staying at home to keep safe and those starting in new careers. A universal basic income is being provided in other countries and gives a level of security that would see us all through these difficult times and into the future.

Thirdly, properly tackling the underlying problems that have exacerbated covid such as air pollution, poor housing, inequalities and excess consumption.

Finally, building strong communities and connecting with the world around us. Communities started to come together during covid, we looked out for our neighbours and people across Maidstone clapped key workers loudly and proudly.

There is still time for change. Stay safe everyone.

 

 


Two disappointments:

  1. The abject failure that is our prime minister. He continues to insult, bluster and fail to answer any question put to him. He is easily the worst PM the country has ever had. Even the right wing Spectator is disgusted by his performance.
  2. On a day when XR are protesting outside Parliament and a day after the Climate and Ecological Emergency Bill got its first reading, where was the question on climate change from Starmer? Labour are continually weak on the environment yet we have almost no time left to prevent catastrophic, runaway climate change that will devastate the future for us and our children.

In case you missed the disappointments, here they are:


As we leave the hot summer months and head into a stormy and cooler autumn in the most turbulent year that I have ever lived in, the need for connection with Nature could not be stronger yet humanity’s willingness to do so grows weaker by the day.

Coronavirus infections are on the rise again in the UK it feels like there is a real division in life. Younger people seem less concerned and us slightly older folk are a little more wary – obviously this is a generalisation. But as coronavirus is more harmful to older people, that is not surprising.

Nature is not vindictive, it is just practical. Every so often a new disease appears that kills off weaker, older people. This is the way of Nature. The stronger people survive and develop immunity until they grow old and a new disease takes them.

We are the apex predators on the Earth, allegedly, but even we have to die. We may think our position is above Nature, that we have dominion over it as some religions might suggest, but in truth we are part of Nature and it had a role in maintaining balance on Earth.

Maintaining balance has been difficult for Nature in recent centuries. Our discovery of energy sources has seen a rapid rise in power and technology but also in resource depletion and pollution. But Nature needs to restore balance and pandemics are one way of doing this, although not the only way. There are Limits to Growth as the Club of Rome explained prophetically in 1970.

Humans have a responsibility to Nature but we have ignored that and claimed rights instead. That separation of rights from responsibilities is evident in so many areas of society but is one of the biggest failings of modern times.

Responsibility needs to take centre stage now if we are to avoid further chaos, bit we also need to learn to deal with the encroaching storm. There is much to learn.

We are going to need to deal with bereavement at a variety of levels. Not just the impact of the deaths of friends and relatives from Covid but from the wider changes that humanity either brings in voluntarily or the Nature will impose on us.

It is that latter aspect of bereavement that will become increasingly important over the next few decades. Learning to cope with less. Learning to pollution less. As JMG has said many times, the future is LESS: Less Energy, Stuff and Stimulation.

It is time for LESS if we are to work practically with Nature rather than simply letting Nature sort out our mess.

Just a reminder of the current trajectory, this is the BAU scenario from Limits to Growth:

Reposted from my other blog…


Dear Cllr Carey

We read with interest your views on Manston and the lorry parks in relation to the climate emergency in a piece in Kent Online this week. We are quite aware of KCC’s view that there is no need for carbon neutrality until 2050 and we wanted to urge you to reconsider this view.

The science is becoming increasingly clear that we have almost no time left to avert the climate crisis or to prevent climate tipping points where feedback loops drive climate change further and faster. The UN IPCC[1] warned the world in 2018 that there were just twelve year left to prevent catastrophic climate change and that the current Paris Agreement trajectory was insufficient to limit global heating to 1.5C. The IPCC report stated that “Avoiding overshoot and reliance on future large-scale deployment of carbon dioxide removal (CDR) can only be achieved if global CO2 emissions start to decline well before 2030”.

While the UK continues to argue that territorial based CO2 emissions have fallen over the past 30 years, the real story is one of outsourcing of emissions. The total carbon footprint based on consumption[2] which includes carbon emitted in the production of goods produced abroad and consumed in the UK shows that our footprint is roughly the same as it was in 1990, i.e. there has been no progress.

In your role as Cabinet Member for the Environment we hope that you will be focused on the scientific evidence combined with the needs of the environment, and that you will put these considerations ahead of other needs such as economy. There is, after all, no economy on a dead planet.

Also, in terms of humanity 1.5C is considered the maximum temperature rise for a safe future for our children and descendants. Anything beyond this is likely to significantly reduce the chance of humanities survival, as described in recent studies[3].

Transport accounts for 34%[4] of the UK’s carbon emissions, a figure which excludes international flights and shipping. This is a significant and relatively well understood area to tackle, solutions to which would also provide significant benefits to air quality.

Given the magnitude and likelihood of the risk, it therefore seems wrong to delay reductions in emissions and even worse to consider measures that would increase emissions, such as increasing the number of flights to and from Kent.

We therefore urge you to reconsider your position on carbon emissions and instead consider what steps might be taken to rapidly and drastically reduce emissions across Kent in order to contribute positively to the fight to prevent catastrophic climate change that will devastate the lives of our children.

 

Yours sincerely

 

Stuart Jeffery and Mandy Rossi

Co-Chairs of Kent Greens.

 

Notes:

[1] https://www.ipcc.ch/sr15/chapter/spm/spm-d/

[2] http://www.emissions.leeds.ac.uk/chart1.html

[3] https://www.pnas.org/content/115/33/8252

[4] https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/875485/2019_UK_greenhouse_gas_emissions_provisional_figures_statistical_release.pdf