Link to this page: https://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/924/23921
From The Socialist newspaper, 9 November 2016
Court slams Tory air quality plans
Only socialist planning can stop toxic air
Air pollution kills tens of thousands every year in the UK, photo Simone Ramella (Creative Commons) (Click to enlarge)
Simon Carter, East London Socialist Party
It's supposed to be safe but it kills more people than obesity or alcohol - the air we breathe.
Second only to smoking in its harmful effects, particulates (soot) and nitrogen dioxide - emitted largely by diesel vehicles - kill 30,000 and 10,000 people respectively in the UK every year.
Yet the government is doing nothing to curb this invisible killer. Recently a green campaign group won a court judgement which said the environment secretary's 'Air Quality Plan' for cleaner air in the UK by 2020 (2025 in London) was flawed.
This followed a ruling won by ClientEarth in 2015, in which Supreme Court justices said "immediate" action was needed to address harmful air pollution.
Theresa May and her ministers accepted the judgement, but that doesn't mean any progress on improving air quality. The Tories' decision to press for a third runway at Heathrow will only worsen air pollution in London and the south east.
The car industry is equally guilty. Data on emissions from 'cleaner' exhaust systems were recently found to have been falsified by the likes of manufacturer VW.
The only realistic way of reducing air pollution is to drastically reduce road vehicle traffic. But without a massively expanded, cheap, safe, and fully integrated public transport system alternative, then people have little option but to continue to drive their cars.
To clean up the environment requires huge investment in green technology and transport systems. This is something that capitalists, motivated by the pursuit of profit, aren't prepared to make.
We have to fight instead for a workers' government that would introduce environmentally friendly socialist measures, as part of a democratically decided economic plan.
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The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.
The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.
The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.
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In The Socialist 9 November 2016:
High Court Brexit bombshell
Bosses' government, bosses' EU...fight for socialism
High Court bombshell on Brexit decision
Socialist Party news and analysis
Stop the 54,000 yearly maternity sackings
Build housing for the kids without homes this Xmas
Unions must act on pay restraint!
Court slams Tory air quality plans
Them & Us
Socialist Party reports and campaigns
Build the education fightback
Read the Socialist
Over a thousand march to fight museums and libraries cuts
Library cuts: working class kids suffer most
Momentum left meeting excludes socialists
New Socialist Party pamphlet: Fight racism, fight for socialism
Far-right given short shrift in Darlington
Obituary: Hilary Mooney 1945-2016
Socialist Party workplace news
Action needed to defend workers at the sharp end of prisons crisis
Courts and tribunal services face huge cuts
Newcastle council cuts: opportunity for trade union fightback
Birmingham's Labour council freezes workers' pay
Hackney Picturehouse strike
International socialist news and analysis
Turkey: Erdogan tightens repressive screw
Ireland: Gardai strike threat
South Africa: State victimises #OutsourcingMustFall activists
Socialist Party comments and reviews
Horror of health-wrecking toil for Polish migrants
HyperNormalisation: Arbitrary selection of ideas to confirm feelings of powerlessness
The Socialist 9 November 2016 |
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