Monday, November 26, 2018

A system change is needed

Yet another report has been published highlighting the need for urgency to take effective action against the consequences of the global warming crisis.

This is a turning point in human history where many scientists feel that we have until perhaps until the end of the century before the climate crisis we face will become irreversible. After that, the planet will not support the existing global capitalist civilisation. The capitalist class hopes that the mechanisms of the market and geo-engineering technology will solve the problems. A few reactionary elements within the ruling class, represented by the Koch brothers ignore the problems while they facilitate the plunder of the planet. It will be the poorest parts of the world which will suffer disproportionately from climate change and it will be the poorest people within any given country who will suffer more than the rich. As the poor struggle to survive, environmental degradation is going to be more pervasive, leaving vulnerable communities at the mercy of climate change.

One common misconception is that the increasing world’s population is a major cause of our ecological crisis. Even many progressive environmentalist activists are convinced that the amount of land and resources used by humans have already far outstripped the carrying capacity of the planet and that human beings are responsible for climate change because of our high birth rates and population density. Yet the simplistic overpopulation analysis breaks down quickly when there is more than enough food produced to sustain the current level of world population and plenty more extra, yet food doesn’t appear on the plates of the poor who can't afford to pay the price to eat, being fed to livestock for the meat-industry to increase profits. To appeal to the goodwill, common sense and even self-interest of our ruling class is to expect them to be able to abandon the lucrative returns of their profits from exploitation and oppression. This is a bankrupt theory, inappropriate for this era or any other age. History of class struggle shows that relying on capitalists and their politicians brings no results.

Even if socialism by itself will not be sufficient to remedy all of the problems resulting from global warming, it can ensure the beginnings of an ecologically sustainable society. A different economic basis is a prerequisite for an ecologically sustainable society and that system is socialism.  We can shape our own destiny. Confronted with the prospect of catastrophic disasters we must raise the need for a change in the mode of production. Climate change cannot be dealt with by just piecemeal reforms to the existing system of production. It requires a revolutionary transformation. it is not capitalism that is going to make those changes– it is the struggle against capitalism. Our struggles will pit our fellow-workers against powerful capitalist interest. To carry through what is necessary to fix global warming runs directly into the obstacle of capitalism, which is driven by the need for maximising their profits, no matter the costs to society at large. Green activists face a choice. They can look to the wealthy and the powerful for the solution. Or they can look to their fellow-workers. We already have the technology to stop global warming. The real issue is the political will to implement the solutions.

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