Extinction Rebellion have continued their campaign with protests in cities across the UK, targeting London, Cardiff, Leeds, Bristol and Glasgow, by using brightly coloured boats daubed with slogans to block roads, disrupting traffic.
“I’m involved because I have children and I want them not to starve and die in social collapse. If you look at what scientists are saying, that’s what’s coming,” Roc Sandford, 61, one of the participants, explained.
Global warming manifesting itself in the hottest summer ever, wreaking havoc on agriculture and weather patterns. We hear many pretty words and media-capturing initiatives from the top as they express their concern about the environment. Capitalist politics mean politicians generates a lot of noise with little attention devoted to understanding, analysing and fixing the causes of the climate crises. The global media give precedence to the by statements made by politicians and aspirants to power, designed to draw support. Their pronouncements rarely deal with the real threat facing society. It's simplistic politics for the campaign trail. Sane, scientifically voices have called for urgent action. The sheer abdication of governance is appalling and shameful, calling into question the essence of why governments are needed at critical times in human history. While scientists have produced compelling evidence for decades, the recent impact of climate change is difficult to refute for even the least educated person. When Greta Thunberg called for urgent action she receives patronising applause, but no government has yet responded with the urgent action she calls for. Politicians around the world appear to accept the realities of climate change, but it as an issue for the future – actual action affects their concern of retaining or acquiring political office.
The capitalist mode of production is the cause of climate change, the one thing that the politicians cannot go against. Only world socialism can overturn this mode of production. Many see the future promise of socialism merely as a technical system to satisfy basic human needs but it is also a radical change to social relationships. The campaign against climate change is the struggle against capitalism. Challenging climate change means demonstrating that the solution requires the reorganisation of society. It is also about battling capitalism to reshape our our economics to improve people’s quality of life and to reduce CO2 emissions. There is an alternative with a different vision. The solution is radical but the barriers are not technology but rather the the system of capital accumulation and its dominant economic vested interests. Stopping climate change requires a change more fundamental than a change of lifestyle choices or protests to make governments adopt effective policies. The vast extent of global warming is the result not of individuals at all, but by corporations driven by profit. Regulatory departments don’t do their jobs because they were bribed, or complacent, or powerless, or all three.
The threat climate change poses to the environment brings closer the possibility of human life of this planet ending. The most serious issues facing our world are the capitalist parties, those most devout missionaries for the oligarchs and the plutocrats. Despite concerns about what future generations might inherit little is said about the connection between the logic of capitalism and the current environmental destruction. Without an alternative to capitalism, climate crises can only recur and proliferate. This ‘best of all possible systems’ is destroying the environment we depend on for existence. Capitalism has always functioned by grabbing the cheapest raw materials and dumping waste products, leaving behind toxic water and poisoned soil.
We urge all our fellow-workers to become active participants in the great struggle for a world of freedom from exploitation. The capitalist system is global so the devastation is global too. Business as usual means the suicide of civilization and world socialism is vital for the survival of a society we can live in and unless we can clearly name the enemy as the capitalist system, and join and connect the worldwide struggles against it, achieving the political power to overthrow capitalism will elude us. So long as it proves profitable, Exxon is not going to stop despoiling the planet to extract hydrocarbons, whoever is appointed CEO. Exxon could never appoint a “nice” CEO in the sense of someone prepared to forgo profit and shareholder value – not so long as the capitalism dominates. Even were a ruthless CEO to have a Damascene conversion in the job, suddenly becoming a serious environmentalist, he or she would be removed before they could take any decisions that might jeopardise the corporation’s profits. That is why the Socialist Party is much less interested in who becomes the figurehead of a corrupt and corrupting political system than they are in finding ways to challenge the system and thereby highlight how power operates in our society. Each of us have a responsibility not be drawn into meaningless games that maintain the power of the few over the many. If socialism to cure climate change is not the priority on your agenda, it ought to be, and you must act politically to make sure your voice counts.