Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Can we save the world?

Scientists and environmentalists such as those in Extinction Rebellion are warning us about our grim future if we don't act to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. They warn that climate change brings increasing droughts, more frequent wildfires, floods and hurricanes. They also argue that while the developed world is responsible for most of the greenhouse gas emissions, it will be the developing and undeveloped nations which will bear the brunt of the consequences, and this will mean mass migrations, as climate refugees flee from their new unlivable conditions. Across the world, people are now struggling with the effects of climate change: disrupted rainfall patterns, drought, extreme weather events, pest infestations, plant diseases leading to crop losses and hunger. Today, people feel the sense of urgency as the serious trouble we are in becomes more evident. 

A lot of faith is put into the UN and the EU in order to build a greener world, something that is particularly naive considering how both organisations were created by capitalist countries to serve the interests of capitalist countries, and this still remains the case, with most summits and protocols aimed at controlling climate change hamstrung by the pressures of the governments involved to appease the needs of their capitalist economics leading to the inadequate demands and the shambles of numerous COPs. Yet these are the vehicles which the ecologist movement rely on to save the world. Environmentalists tends to attack the symptoms rather than the cause – the cause being a capitalist system that ultimately puts profit above all else. This stems from a lifestyle-activist mentality which is prevalent amongst much of the environmentalist movement including the political party that was set up to act in their interest) that supposes that all would be well if we all bought organic food, never took a holiday anywhere which would involve flying, and put on half a dozen jumpers in winter rather than turn up the central heating.  Of course, we stereotype and this is not true of all green activists yet the environmentalist movement has its fair share of people who distrust anything to do with modern technology and put their faith in pseudo-scientific beliefs, mistakenly believing that every scientific development since the Industrial Revolution is intrinsically part of the problem whilst happily adopting double standards when scientists warn of the imminent danger of rising greenhouse gas emissions and the resultant climate change. 

There is also no such thing as overpopulation, only economic incompetence. Most catastrophes attributed to "overpopulation" are instead the result of resource scarcity - and while sometimes such scarcity is the result of variables outside the control of governments and individuals, most of the time it is the result of avoidable pitfalls such as our exploitative and acquisitive social system. Despite being proven wrong, there are numerous green alarmists who continue to insist on rationing, population control, and other restrictive and often coercive political measures to deal with more people populating the planet. The issue of the environmental impact climate in relation to growing populations can definitely be overcome. When governments and international organisations begin demanding the population bear the burdens of "overpopulation," it is an indictment of their own incompetence.

The Socialist Party needs to help people to understand that the policies that will solve the climate crisis are not the ones advocated by business interests. We need to counter the arguments made by the reformers who call for a Green New Deal who believe things can get better when governments pass laws and implement measures. To fix everything requires changing everything. There is only one solution - socialism, or as others have called it, the cooperative commonwealth or economic democracy. The Socialist Party knows that a sustainable world is possible for all of the people on this planet. Urgent action is needed. There's no time to dither or dilly-dally. Let's work together to implement commonsense ideas that protect our environment and defends our well-being. If we refuse to take the next step in social evolution, to change the way we produce and distribute our wealth we will threaten the health of our children, their children, and future generations.

The Socialist Party argues that the sole driver of economic activity in our society is the crude imperative to capital accumulation. We recognise the inherent instability and brutality of capitalism and the limits to our ecosystem; that our planet's resources are finite and that the ecological balance that makes all life possible on it is fragile and under threat. Today, humanity faces the unprecedented threat of an ever-worsening series of catastrophes, caused by the interlocked economic and environmental crises brought about by our current economic system. Capitalism has always been ecologically destructive, but in our lifetimes these assaults on the planet have accelerated. Ecological devastation, resulting from the insatiable need to increase profits, is not an accidental feature of capitalism: it is built into the system's DNA and cannot be reformed away. Capitalism is increasingly demonstrating its total incompatibility with the maintenance of our ecosystem through its ruthless exploitation of ever scarcer natural resources, its pollution of the environment, the growing loss of biological and agricultural diversity and increasing climate change.

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