Upcoming Events

International | Environment

no events match your query!

Blog Feeds

Public Inquiry
Interested in maladministration. Estd. 2005

offsite link Alison O’Connor and professional deceit

offsite link Educating Marian Finucane Anthony

offsite link Denis O’Brien: Are the sharks closing in? Anthony

offsite link Kathy Sheridan: Afraid to speak truth to power? Anthony

offsite link Una Mullally: The youth of Ireland are on the march Anthony

Public Inquiry >>

The Saker
A bird's eye view of the vineyard

offsite link Chemical Weapons Warehouse Exploded In Western Aleppo Tue Apr 23, 2019 03:11 | Scott
Syrian War Report ? Apr. 22, 2019: Chemical Weapons Warehouse Exploded In Western Aleppo https://southfront.org/syri... A supposed chemical weapons warehouse of Hay?at Tahrir al-Sham (formerly Jabhat al-Nursa) near city of

offsite link Lavrov?s interview for Zvezda network Tue Apr 23, 2019 02:56 | Scott
Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov?s interview for Glavnoye with Olga Belova programme on Zvezda network, Moscow, April 21, 2019 http://www.mid.ru/ru/foreig... Olga Belova: Mr Lavrov, thank you so much for agreeing to

offsite link Russian Embassy in the USA official reaction to the Mueller Report (MUST READ) Mon Apr 22, 2019 17:22 | The Saker

offsite link Putin Won ? Time Magazine Annoyed That He Does More Than Superman Sun Apr 21, 2019 20:39 | Scott
by Angelina Proskurina Translated and captioned by Leo.   Hello friends, with you is Angelina Proskurina, and today I would like to talk about latest issue of the popular American

offsite link Moveable Feast Cafe 2019/04/20 ? Open Thread Sat Apr 20, 2019 18:30 | Herb Swanson
2019/04/20 17:30:01Welcome to the ‘Moveable Feast Cafe’. The ‘Moveable Feast’ is an open thread where readers can post wide ranging observations, articles, rants, off topic and have animate discussions of

The Saker >>

Human Rights in Ireland
A Blog About Human Rights

offsite link China?s LGBT Community Mon Apr 15, 2019 19:19 | Human Rights

offsite link Declaration of Human Rights at Sea Mon Apr 08, 2019 07:31 | Human Rights

offsite link NZ Watchdog On Limits Of Free Speech Thu Mar 28, 2019 11:44 | Human Rights

offsite link US Abortion Restrictions Violating The Human Rights Of Women Thu Mar 14, 2019 15:33 | Human Rights

offsite link Human Rights Watch Urges the Human Rights Council to Renew and Strengthen Mandate of UN Commission Tue Mar 12, 2019 21:51 | Human Rights

Human Rights in Ireland >>

Cedar Lounge
For lefties too stubborn to quit

offsite link Left Archive: The Easter Rising as History: Our History, September 1966, History Group of the Commun... 06:01 Mon Apr 22, 2019 | WorldbyStorm

offsite link Weekend polls 09:54 Sun Apr 21, 2019 | WorldbyStorm

offsite link Sunday and the Week?s Media Stupid Statement 09:45 Sun Apr 21, 2019 | guestposter

offsite link Indifferent futility 07:53 Sun Apr 21, 2019 | guestposter

offsite link SP Euro Election Poster 15:41 Sat Apr 20, 2019 | irishelectionliterature

Cedar Lounge >>

The Greek Wildfire Catastrophe – Climate Change And Austerity Combine

category international | environment | opinion/analysis author Monday July 30, 2018 23:04author by pbp - People Before Profit Report this post to the editors

The wildfires that struck Rafina, north east of Athens, have now claimed at least 80 lives with the number set to rise as many are still missing. This terrible catastrophe shows the interaction of climate change and austerity, both the result of a society that puts people before profit.

The fires in Greece take place in the context of an intense heat wave that is global in scale and has produced fires not only in Greece but in Northern Sweden above the Arctic Circle. Brid Smith TD visiting her sister in Sweden reports temperatures of 32C in the shade and 40C in the sun. In hotter parts of the world such as Algeria and Iran they are soaring well over 40C and approaching the limits of human habitability.

Fires, floods , droughts and intense storms – extreme weather in all its different forms – is what climate change means, not just rising sea levels in the future, and they are happening now.
greecefires.jpg

The world’s governments have known this was coming for at least 30 years, since the establishment in 1987 of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), if not before. But because of the commitment to short term profit and hence to the oil and gas industries and to fossil fuels, they have chosen to fiddle while the planet burns and now we are starting, only starting , to reap the whirlwind.

But there is another crucially important factor in the Greek disaster – the crushing austerity programmes imposed on the Greek people by the EU and slavishly implemented by the Syriza government.

As a result the fire service budget has been cut by over €100 million since 2007. And this in a country where wildfires are a regular phenomenon. 4000 fulltime fire fighting posts have been cut since 2011. At the same time 700 firefighters have been made available for privatised airports and roads.

This criminal social vandalism is just part of a much wider cuts programme that has decimated all the social services to which victims of the fires will now have to turn.

Another feature of the catastrophe worth mentioning is the fact that migrant community organisations have issued calls to their members to rally round and come to people’s aid, and among the heroes of the rescue operations, lifting people from fire threatened beeches were Egyptian fishermen. These are precisely the people who have been targeted by the Golden Dawn fascists, some of whom are currently on trial for the murder of an Egyptian fisherman.

At the same time the Turkish Firefighters Union has issued a statement of solidarity and offered assistance – an important stand in a situation where Turkey is the traditional ‘nationalist’ enemy.

Finally the parallels with Grenfell are all too obvious.

All these things- the refusal to tackle climate change, the decimation and privatisation of public services, the disproportionate impact on working class communities – have a common root in the capitalist system’s relentless pursuit of profit over the needs of ordinary people.

Related Link: http://www.pbp.ie/the-greek-wildfire-catastrophe-climate-change-and-austerity-combine/
© 2001-2019 Independent Media Centre Ireland. Unless otherwise stated by the author, all content is free for non-commercial reuse, reprint, and rebroadcast, on the net and elsewhere. Opinions are those of the contributors and are not necessarily endorsed by Independent Media Centre Ireland. Disclaimer | Privacy