Friday, August 09, 2019

To Stop Climate Change, We Need Socialism

The climate crisis is damaging the ability of the land to sustain humanity, according to a UN report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, compiled by some of the world’s top scientists. Global warming will lead to unprecedented climate conditions at lower latitudes, with potential growth in hunger, migration and conflict and increased damage to the great northern forests. Continued destruction of forests and huge emissions from cattle and other intensive farming practices will intensify the climate crisis, making the impacts on land still worse.

Healthy land provides the food, timber and fresh water essential to humanity’s survival, but a UN report says the climate crisis is damaging this precious resource with potentially irreversible consequences.

David Viner, a professor at the University of East Anglia and a senior IPCC author, said: “Land is a vital resource and we have to look after it if we are going to have a sustainable future.”

Clare Oxborrow, of Friends of the Earth, said: “The way land is being used and abused is rebounding on us. The scientific evidence is clear: political leaders must transform the way land and resources are used, otherwise life on Earth just won’t be possible.”

Prof Pete Smith, of the University of Aberdeen, who was one of the report’s authors, said, Going into a world where we are way above 2C has massive implications for the food system and production in particular. We get more droughts, more people going without food and who need more disaster relief. It’s a place we don’t want to go.”

Within the environmental protests, we find a mixture of misconceptions, myths, and mystical New Age beliefs. A number hold Malthusian misanthropic anti-human dogmas blaming the climate crisis upon too many people, particularly the poor. Out of their concern about the environment, they draw the mistaken conclusion that it is ordinary people like ourselves, interfering with “Mother Earth” and not the economic structure, capitalism, which leads to possible ecological extinction. Thus our epoch is called the Anthropocene period and not the more accurate term, Capitalocene.

A number in the ecology movement fail to acknowledge the inevitability of human action on changing nature and consequently fail the logic to demand the rational and democratic organisation of the economy. It is why the Socialist Party is not prepared to place the socialist idea secondary to the urgency of doing something that will be inadequate right now about global-warming. What is needed is a unified movement against capitalism. We need to win over environmentalists to our perspective to ensure that things are not viewed in isolation and to dissuade the climate change protesters from becoming co-opted into campaigns for regulations and legislation which leaves capitalism itself intact. Nothing is going to change about the system by pleading to Parliament for palliatives.

The Socialist Party will engage with activists in the environmentalist movement and carry the socialist case to them. We will not be marginalised we will communicate our vision of our future world, answering clearly the concepts of “carrying capacity” and “sustainability” and how these can be compatible with our goal of a society of abundance. Our promise of a good life for all people is credible and that is our message.

The Socialist Party is devoted to shining a light upon the realities of capitalism. Capitalism—the pursuit of profit—is a global system; the entire world is under its control. This relatively recent and unnatural system of social relationships, which pits capitalists against the rest of humanity, is lurching towards the destruction of civilization, destroying the ecological fabric of the planet. Capitalism cannot be reformed and must be replaced. It is impossible to humanise it; one must dismantle it, instead. We would like to see an institution of genuine socialism, run perhaps via organs of direct social power such as workplace and neighbourhood councils.

The Socialist Party opposes capitalism and strives for its total abolition, be it ‘corporate’ capitalism, ‘free market’ capitalism, ‘crony’ capitalism, ‘Keynesian’ or ‘state’ capitalism with government “planning” and a more “fair” wealth re-distribution, ‘green' capitalism with its worker-owned co-ops making or any other version.

Reforms won’t pull us away from the precipice. We have
contaminated the water, polluted nature, made animal species extinct and have poisoned the air. In its never-ending quest for profit, capitalism exploits people and the environment, destabilising communities and countries with conflicts and wars over resources and markets. Capitalism is a parasitical system could ever bring about a ‘happy’ humanity. We indeed seem to be entering the End Times unless we take control of our destiny and change the system that drives the climate crisis.

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