End Times for Humanity, With the West Fully Committed to Israel’s Genocide of the Palestinians and to Complete Climate Collapse

A poignant message on the massive March for Palestine in London on November 11, 2023 (Photo: Andy Worthington).

Please support my work as a reader-funded investigative journalist, commentator and activist. If you can help, please click on the button below to donate via PayPal.





 

Over the last few weeks, I’ve been suffering from a state of exhaustion that made me wonder if I had some undiagnosed terminal illness. I’ve been unable to concentrate, and, as soon as I woke up, I was wondering when I could go back to bed again.

Yesterday, the fog finally lifted, and I realized that my exhaustion was almost certainly a result of the dire state of the world right now — primarily related to Israel’s ongoing genocide in Gaza (still, after the murder of over 37,000 civilians, largely supported by western politicians and the mainstream media), but also to the cascading climate collapse that these same politicians and media outlets don’t want to talk about.

On Gaza, I suspect that my exhaustion was primarily related to an overwhelming sense of futility and powerlessness regarding any hope that the relentless genocide might be stopped. For those, like myself, who have been watching this grotesque live-streamed genocide unfold for over six months — ever since Hamas militants and other Gaza-based militants broke out of the “open-air prison” of the Gaza Strip on October 7 and killed 695 Israeli civilians, 373 members of the military and the police, and 71 foreign nationals — there have only been a few moments when hope appeared to be in the ascendant, and on each occasion the aftermath, when that hope was crushed, has been difficult to negotiate.

Read the rest of this entry »

As the Planet Burns, Why Is the Media Still Downplaying the Severity of Climate Collapse?

A speculative, but not far-fetched image of the reality of climate collapse.

Please support my work as a reader-funded investigative journalist, commentator and activist. If you can help, please click on the button below to donate via PayPal.





 

The world is on fire, like never before. As the author Gaia Vince explained in the Guardian on July 18, “This June was the hottest ever recorded on Earth. July led with the hottest ever day, swiftly followed by a hotter hottest ever day, then the hottest week — and, possibly, the hottest month. A few years hence, during the ceaseless climate catastrophes of the 2030s, as my kids’ generation reaches adulthood, they might ask about that terrifying summer of 2023 when 120,000-year-old heat records were smashed day after day: how did everyone react?”

For the ever-growing number of people who are aware of the scale of the crisis, in which catastrophic climate collapse is happening much quicker than even the most pessimistic climate scientists predicted, our options, sadly, are severely limited.

While brave protestors take to the streets, and interrupt significant events to try and raise the alarm, they face arrest, often through draconian new laws introduced specifically to try to prevent them from raising the alarm, and often face hostility, from mildly inconvenienced drivers, for example, whose disproportionate rage is often genuinely alarming, or from a wide array of ‘commentators’ — some ‘professional’, some not — who seem to regard interrupting a major sporting event for a few minutes, to highlight the suicidal nature of our collective inaction — as some sort of unforgivable crime.

Read the rest of this entry »

The IPCC’s “Final Warning”: Only Rapid, Deep and Immediate Greenhouse Gas Emissions Cuts Can “Secure a Liveable and Sustainable Future For All”

Photos of the climate crisis in 2022: wildfires, floods and drought.

Please support my work as a reader-funded investigative journalist, commentator and activist. If you can help, please click on the button below to donate via PayPal.





 

On Monday, the frenetic gossipy world of nonsense and distraction that, rather sadly and shamefully, constitutes most of what passes for news and culture these days paused for a moment to reflect upon the publication of the most significant document that will be published this year — the latest climate change report prepared by the climate scientists of the IPCC (the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change), the United Nations body founded in 1988 by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) to provide “regular assessments of the scientific basis of climate change, its impacts and future risks, and options for adaptation and mitigation.”

This latest report — rather functionally known as the ‘AR6 Synthesis Report: Climate Change 2023’ — is the final outcome of the IPCC’s sixth reporting period, which began in 2017, and which synthesises the findings of three working group reports, published in 2021 and 2022, as well as three special reports, published in 2018 and 2019.

The IPCC’s latest report establishes, as its ‘Headline Statements’ summary states, that “Climate change is a threat to human well-being and planetary health”, and that “There is a rapidly closing window of opportunity to secure a liveable and sustainable future for all.”

Read the rest of this entry »

Climate Change Heroes of 2022: António Guterres, Just Stop Oil, Greta Thunberg and Climate Scientists

The most widely reported climate change action ever? On October 14, two Just Stop Oil protestors, Phoebe Plummer and Anna Holland, threw tomato soup at Vincent van Gogh’s ‘Sunflowers’ in the National Gallery in London. Just one video of the action on Twitter, via the Guardian‘s environment correspondent, Damien Gayle, had 50 million views, but did the action help or hinder the message that urgent and unprecedented action is required to tackle catastrophic climate change?

Please support my work as a reader-funded investigative journalist, commentator and activist. If you can help, please click on the button below to donate via PayPal.





 

As 2023 begins, with new January heat records already established over much of Europe, 2022 ought to be remembered as the year that the reality of catastrophic man-made climate change became undeniably apparent, along with the shocking realisation that the degeneration of a balanced atmosphere that is conducive to our continued existence is happening much quicker than expected.

It appears, however, that, despite unprecedented floods, wildfires and droughts, melting polar ice and glaciers, and temperature records being broken around the world (including, for the first time ever, 40°C in the UK), the momentum required to bring about urgent and necessary change to our suicidal economic systems simply doesn’t exist.

As the mainstream media fails to adequately convey the urgency of our plight, and most national politicians also fail to recognise that their only purpose now is to bring to an end the predatory and largely unfettered pursuit of profit that is already making even the short-term security of humanity appear unviable, confronting the crisis has been left to relative handful of people around the world — primarily, climate scientists and environmental activists.

Read the rest of this entry »

Our Climate Crisis Paralysis: How, in the Face of Unprecedented Signs of Climate Collapse, We’re Still Being Failed by Politicians, the Media and Ourselves

On the hottest day ever in London, fires broke out at numerous locations, including the village of Wennington, in the London Borough of Havering.

Please support my work as a reader-funded investigative journalist, commentator and activist. If you can help, please click on the button below to donate via PayPal.





 

Last week, as the mercury started to rise in the UK, and sober weather-watchers warned that, for the first time ever, temperatures might reach 40°C in the UK, the default position of TV’s weathermen and women was to talk of records being broken, as though extreme heat was some kind of Olympic sporting event, and the plucky British weather was some sort of super-athlete, whose ‘achievement’ was to be celebrated.

Let’s be clear: there’s nothing to celebrate about temperatures reaching 40°C in the UK, as was recognised when Grahame Madge, a spokesman for the Met Office, said, “We’ve just issued a red warning for extreme heat for Monday and Tuesday which is the first such warning ever issued. The warning covers an area from London up to Manchester and then up to the Vale of York. This is potentially a very serious situation.”

While the news triggered widespread warnings about the impact of the heatwave on people’s health, almost none of the coverage focused on the underlying reasons for the heatwave, and it was only the severity of the forecast that, for a few days at least, stopped tabloid newspapers from running the ‘Scorchio’ headlines that they usually resort to when summer heat hits the UK. Perhaps they had finally recognised the severity of the situation via a comment by Penny Endersby, the chief executive of the Met Office, who said, “Here in the UK we’re used to treating a hot spell as a chance to go and play in the sun. This is not that sort of weather.”

Read the rest of this entry »

Act Now or Face Extinction: My Birthday Present From the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change

A car driver in California watches a wildfire spread on December 6, 2017 (Photo: Noah Berger/AP).

Please support my work as a reader-funded investigative journalist, commentator and activist. If you can help, please click on the button below to donate via PayPal.





 

Today is my birthday.

59 years ago, in Salford Maternity Hospital, my mother brought me into this world during one of the coldest winters in modern history, believed to have been the coldest since the winter of 1739-40.

59 years on from my birth, as I reflect on all that has happened to me in the 21,550 days of my life — all my struggles, my achievements, my loves, my joys, my sorrows, and my persistent inability not to question what those in authority tell me — and as I also reflect on the political and cultural changes of these many decades, I am struck by how this is all in the past, and how the pulse of life itself, which inhabits a continuous present that so many of us struggle to accept, is now located in a world in which bleak winters, like that of 1962-63, will never happen again.

When we look at why that is, one abiding truth becomes clear. Life on earth is a chemical miracle, one that requires a fine balance between its various components to maintain an atmosphere in which life is abundant. We know of nowhere else in the universe where life teems as it does on earth, and yet, because of capitalist greed and hubris, and a dangerous disconnection from nature, we are undermining the miracle of life, changing the atmosphere, primarily through our use of fossil fuels, into one that that will make the world inhospitable.

Read the rest of this entry »

2021 is the Year of Catastrophic Climate Change, But Capitalism Doesn’t Care

A photo from Twitter that may or may not be real, but that, I believe, expresses a profound truth about the nature of climate change, in this year of unprecedented wildfires and floods, and, in general, human beings’ inability to deal with its ramifications.

Please support my work as a reader-funded investigative journalist, commentator and activist. If you can help, please click on the button below to donate via PayPal.





 

Since I first saw it on Twitter last week, I’ve been haunted by the photo above, showing holidaying diners by the sea, or by a lake, seemingly oblivious to the wildfires engulfing a forest on the hills behind. It may or may not be from Turkey, recently ravaged by uncontrollable wildfires. Or it may be, as one commentator suggested, from similar wildfires in Oregon four years ago. It may even be photoshopped, but in the year that wildfires have engulfed forests in country after country across the globe to an unprecedented degree, in yet another year of record-breaking heat in numerous locations, and in its juxtaposition of this disaster with the people blithely, self-obsessedly asserting their right to enjoy themselves, it vividly captures an uncomfortable truth about our collective inability, as human beings, to put aside the allure of self-gratification that is so engrained in so much of our culture, when faced with an existential threat that is largely of our own making.

In that sense, it is as profound as the photo, from 2017, of US golfers continuing their pointless game, in Washington State, while the world around them was consumed by flames, which prompted me to use the photo to accompany an article I wrote in May 2019, entitled, I Pledge My Allegiance to the Struggle for Survival Against Catastrophic Climate Change, inspired by the campaigning of Greta Thunberg and Extinction Rebellion, and by the the publication in 2018, by the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, of a landmark report in which, as the Guardian described it. the world’s leading climate scientists warned there was “only a dozen years for global warming to be kept to a maximum of 1.5C, beyond which even half a degree will significantly worsen the risks of drought, floods, extreme heat and poverty for hundreds of millions of people.”

Unfortunately, while not being oblivious, or in denial, or still enslaved, like so many of my fellow human beings, by simply trying to survive in a harsh capitalist system that exploits so many for the benefit of the comparatively few, my fine words in 2019 haven’t translated into reality. I have continued to work towards the closure of the prison at Guantánamo Bay, to raise money to live on, to play music and to chronicle London in photographs on daily bike rides.

Read the rest of this entry »

The Four Fathers Release New Eco-Anthem, ‘This Time We Win’, Recorded with Charlie Hart

The cover for ‘This Time We Win‘, the new single by The Four Fathers. Designed by Brendan Horstead.

On Earth Day (April 22), The Four Fathers released ‘This Time We Win’, a new online single on Bandcamp, produced by Charlie Hart, who also plays Wurlitzer piano on it.

This Time We Win’ is an eco-anthem that I wrote last year in response to the unfolding, man-made, global environmental catastrophe that we all face, and the powerful efforts to highlight it that have been made by the Swedish teenager Greta Thunberg and her Fridays For Future movement of striking schoolchildren, and the campaigning group Extinction Rebellion, who occupied central London a year ago.

We were planning to release it this spring, to coincide with what we anticipated would be renewed environmental activism, but what we couldn’t have foreseen was the arrival of the highly infectious novel coronavirus, COVID-19, and the complete shutdown of all significant gatherings of people, including political protests, to try and stop its spread.

Read the rest of this entry »

In the Midst of the Coronavirus Lockdown, Environmental Lessons from Extinction Rebellion, One Year On

Extinction Rebellion’s ‘Tell the Truth’ boat in Oxford Circus on April 18, 2019, during a week-long occupation of sites in central London to raise awareness of the environmental catastrophe that is already underway, and the need for urgent change to combat it (Photo: Andy Worthington)..

Please support my work as a reader-funded investigative journalist, commentator and activist. If you can help, please click on the button below to donate via PayPal.





 

As we all continue to try to make sense of — and live with — the extraordinarily changed world in which we find ourselves, I’m reminded of what a different place we were in a year ago, and also how some of our insights from that time so desperately need to be remembered today.

One year ago, we were five days into Extinction Rebellion’s occupation of four sites in central London (Parliament Square, Waterloo Bridge, Oxford Circus and Marble Arch), which largely brought the traffic to a halt for a week, and enabled anyone paying attention to directly appreciate what a city not dominated by the choking fumes and noise of relentless traffic felt like, and what that, in turn, said about so many of capitalism’s priorities in a major capital city.

It was, to be blunt, something of revelation, as I explained in an article at the time, Extinction Rebellion’s Urgent Environmental Protest Breaks New Ground While Drawing on the Occupy, Anti-Globalisation and Road Protest Movements, in which I also related XR’s efforts to those of earlier protest movements, and noted how we had, it seemed, all become so accustomed to how loud and dirty London was, with its relentless traffic, the incessant din of its numerous building sites, and the lorries servicing those sites, which were the most unpleasant of all the vehicles incessantly filing our streets — other huge lorries, buses, taxis, white vans, and an inexplicable number of cars — that the sudden silence and clean air was astonishing.

Read the rest of this entry »

Health Not Wealth: The World-Changing Lessons of the Coronavirus

A composite image of a doctor and the City of London, photographed by Andy Worthington during the coronavirus lockdown, on April 2, 2020.

Please support my work as a reader-funded investigative journalist, commentator and activist. If you can help, please click on the button below to donate via PayPal.





 

Yesterday marked 100 days since the coronavirus (COVID-19, or SARS-CoV-2) was first reported by the Chinese authorities, and, as now seems to be becoming clear, this highly infectious disease, which, in just three months, has reached almost every country on earth, and has so far killed nearly 100,000 people, is changing our lives — and our world — forever.

To put it simply, we have discovered that health is more important than wealth, and in a world dominated by the profit motive of capitalism, this is a profound lesson to learn, and one with consequences that will affect every aspect of our lives from now on.

Just a few weeks ago, we still raised up, and were obsessed by, the pin-ups of the celebrity world, one of capitalism’s many fronts for its almost complete domination of our lives, with its vacuous models, pop stars, footballers and film stars — all obscenely overpaid, and all dutifully obeying the requirement that, for fame and money, they had to allow themselves to be put on pedestals, to dazzle us into subservience.

Read the rest of this entry »

Back to home page

Andy Worthington

Investigative journalist, author, campaigner, commentator and public speaker. Recognized as an authority on Guantánamo and the “war on terror.” Co-founder, Close Guantánamo and We Stand With Shaker. Also, photo-journalist (The State of London), and singer and songwriter (The Four Fathers).
Email Andy Worthington

CD: Love and War

The Four Fathers on Bandcamp

The Guantánamo Files book cover

The Guantánamo Files

The Battle of the Beanfield book cover

The Battle of the Beanfield

Stonehenge: Celebration & Subversion book cover

Stonehenge: Celebration & Subversion

Outside The Law DVD cover

Outside the Law: Stories from Guantánamo

RSS

Posts & Comments

World Wide Web Consortium

XHTML & CSS

WordPress

Powered by WordPress

Designed by Josh King-Farlow

Please support Andy Worthington, independent journalist:

Archives

In Touch

Follow me on Facebook

Become a fan on Facebook

Subscribe to me on YouTubeSubscribe to me on YouTube

The State of London

The State of London. 16 photos of London

Andy's Flickr photos

Campaigns

Categories

Tag Cloud

Abu Zubaydah Al-Qaeda Andy Worthington British prisoners Center for Constitutional Rights CIA torture prisons Close Guantanamo Donald Trump Four Fathers Guantanamo Housing crisis Hunger strikes London Military Commission NHS NHS privatisation Periodic Review Boards Photos President Obama Reprieve Shaker Aamer The Four Fathers Torture UK austerity UK protest US courts Video We Stand With Shaker WikiLeaks Yemenis in Guantanamo