Sunday, December 16, 2018

Until the next time

COP24 has ended, however, there should be no cause for rejoicing. As predicted by SOYMB blog, a statement of an agreement of sorts has been concocted, full of compromise and concessions to keep everybody satisfied but what in no way addresses the real issues on climate change. It is business as usual and all actions to avert the global warming cataclysm will be carried out within the parameters of the parasitical and predatory capitalist system that brought us to the edge of the environmental abyss. Envisioning another rational and sustainable society appears never to be a question to be asked. The "solution" is to continue down the same old path of capitalism's ceaseless and wasteful growth and expansion. It is an old trick of the politician who is covering up a retreat to make it appear to be an advance or at least a firm stand. This is done by using the old phrases but each time with a qualification that destroys their meaning. Observers at COP24 say the deal is not sufficiently strong to deal with the urgency of the climate problem. In the words of one delegate, "it's what's possible, but not what's necessary". Right now, the plans that countries lodged as part of the Paris agreement don't get anywhere near that, described as "grossly insufficient" by another delegate. The idea of being legally liable for causing climate change has long been rejected by richer nations, who fear huge bills well into the future. While negotiators have been congratulating themselves on a job well done in devising a rulebook, to measure emissions, to measure the impacts of our policies compared to what science recommends and to measure compliance, there are many voices here who feel that the agreement does not go far enough.

Gareth Redmond-King, head of climate change at WWF-UK, said: “There has been some positive progress, but we have not yet done enough. The world is in a state of climate emergency and yet some of our leaders prefer to stay in a state of denial. Everyone’s future is at stake. We need all countries to get much more serious about climate ambition."

Jennifer Morgan of Greenpeace said: “A year of climate disasters and a dire warning from the world’s top scientists should have led to so much more. Instead, governments let people down again as they ignored the science and the plight of the vulnerable. Without immediate action, even the strongest rules will not get us anywhere. People expected action, and that is what governments did not deliver. This is morally unacceptable.”

There is a premise that this current economic status quo is forever and always has the solution to every social problem. It clearly hasn't, and this should become obvious if time is allotted to some basic research and sober reflection on the facts that capitalism holds no answer to the many ills it throws up. We live in a social system predicated on the blind, unplanned drive to accumulate that is the hallmark of capitalist production – the profit motive – which has created the problem of climate change, not individuals. There exists plenty of reasons why the task of building a political movement for socialism is urgent but now the threat to civilisation itself from the consequences of climate change itself means an increased urgency.

Capitalism pollutes almost every institution with which it comes into contact. Whether such institutions are absorbed from a previous social system or whether they grow from the foundations of the capitalist system itself, they are either moulded to suit the interests of the capitalist class or are deflected from their original purpose to meet the needs of capital. The environmentalist movement is no exception. Nevertheless, as class consciousness grows among people in all lands, co-operative action will be planned. It will not stop at the organisation of marches and demonstrations against government inaction concerning global warming. It will be co-operation to speed the abolition of capitalism, the cause of climate change. There is a saying “The grass always SEEMS greener on the other side.” The other side of capitalism is socialism where the grass will be greener from the extra effort we'll put into its cultivation. Freedom and abundance are not unobtainable. The fruits of life can be ours if we work for socialism. We could have a society where personal consumption of wealth will not be restricted by your personal circumstances and where production of wealth will not be restricted by the requirement of a surplus called profit. Socialism will take the information and communications technology that today enables vast amounts of useless information — like market fluctuations and share prices — to circulate the world in seconds, every second, and will liberate its potential for a society based on production for use, as we liberate ourselves in a movement for world socialism.

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