Saturday, December 05, 2015

Time is running out.

The science is clear. The Paris climate summit is one more chance and probably the last for the world to agree and implement the tough actions needed to keep global warming at below 2 degrees. Any higher, and the planet and ourselves are in serious peril. The continued exploitation of fossil fuels threatens not only the other millions of species on the planet but the survival of humanity itself and the timetable is shorter than we think. The earth’s climate is changing quickly, much faster than experts thought. Many scientists are saying that it is already too late. Humanity is in uncharted territory, and it's clear that capitalism is incapable of navigating out of it.

Capitalism is not just the cause of climate change and incapable of solving it, but the system actually benefits from it. The solution of the ruling class isn't to eliminate climate change, but to control it through technology and use it to expand capital. Climate change is the greatest business opportunity of this century. Even if climate change could be stopped under capitalism--which it can't--there are countless other forms of environmental destruction. The environment would still be freely exploited and used as garbage, because profit still comes first. There is only one possible solution a social revolution that will rid us of the profit system and replace it with a sustainable and just society. Socialism offers an alternative, seeing capitalism itself as the source of the climate crisis and radical system change as the only viable solution. We must tell the truth: climate change is a product of the capitalist system – a system that is clearly broken beyond repair. We can place no faith in politicians who act in the interests of big business and the capitalist class to solve these problems. The need for constant growth is endemic to capitalism and therefore makes it impossible to find a permanent solution to environmental degradation within a competitive, profit-driven system. Alongside that is the international competition between nation states over resources and political hegemony. If we want a sustainable future for our planet, then we need to fight for socialism.

More and more people around the world are recognising the need for “system change.” They want to prevent not only climate change, but address a host of other social issues generated by capitalism that are inextricably intertwined with our ecological problems. The World Socialist Movement possesses a vision for an entirely different system of organising production. In order to achieve that vision, we will need to build a movement that harnesses the collective power of the 99 per cent of humanity who have a stake in overturning capitalism and replacing it with a more democratic cooperative and needs-based economic system for producing the things we need to stay alive. Such a system requires rational and coordinated long-term planning, another feature inimical to the anarchy of the market. A society based on common-sense, cooperation, and a bottom-up democracy would use a combination of science, the best available technology, and local knowledge of weather patterns, soil, agriculture and food needs to decide where and what to plant and farm in any given location. Our vision for the alternative society has to be holistic and to achieve a new world we must make the connections between different struggles and unite the forces capable of making such a vision a reality. Moving toward a holistic understanding of nature and humanity's place on the planet means we must reject the very idea of nation states and transcend all national divisions. Achieving such a vision of a borderless world, where humanity and nature are intimately connected and co-evolutionary, will be a giant task. But if we examine our history, it is not one without precedent. It's easy to become despondent when assessing the urgency of fixing our ecological crisis, and recognising the plans of the ruling classes around the world to exacerbate it for short-term economic and political gain. But understanding that we face a systemic problem can offer us a clearer picture of the kind of movement we need to build to take on the entire system. That picture offers us hope.

"We are many, they are few."

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