The school strikes to protest climate change has gone global. On Friday the 15th of March, students in more than 40 countries are expected to participate.
Many articles and books have discussed the looming disaster facing humanity as a result of climate change and explain the possible horrific consequences, but few offer serious strategies for reversing further global warming. To put it simply, if we don’t act now, we’ll leave the next generation a devastated and degraded planet.
Given the news from scientific reports and research, to save the planet the Socialist Party says what is to be done is to support the concept of the common management of the Earth’s common goods, a proposed alternative society of a socialist kind, ending the production of exchange values for the benefit of the capitalist minority and replacing it with the production of use values for the satisfaction of real human needs, democratically determined. There is no other possible choice, no other possible alternative to this mode of production. The fight against climate change is an integral part of a larger perspective of breaking with a capitalist economy based on the endless expansion of production no matter the cost. No environmental movement can be apolitical.
Capitalism is the greatest threat to the planet’s well-being, and the greatest obstacle to attempts to save it. It would be delusional wishful thinking to believe it could be different with a good lobbying campaign from the public. Without a vision of a better world, mass protests of ordinary working people in response to climate injustice will likely go nowhere. The fact is that capitalism can never be ‘green’ or ‘ethical’ and can never save the world. Capitalism has never grown any kinder or more humane. Global warming and the environmental crisis are the greatest challenges facing humanity. The uncontrolled exploitation and gross waste of resources typical of capitalism, is the source of this disaster. Shortsighted hunt for profit, neglect and abuse of science under capitalism destroy the world’s environment at an accelerating speed. Science, technology and industry can be positive and beneficial to society, but private property and the priorities of the ruling class create great problems. Our answer is that the working class must organise to overthrow those who threaten the existence of the people of the world. Only a planned socialist economy has strength to remedy a future climate catastrophe.
Capitalism compromises our relation to nature. All production decisions are made by a tiny handful of capitalists, not in the interests of humanity, but purely for profit. Environmental concerns are ignored in the short-term scramble for profit. The vast majority of the population who want to live in a safe, healthy world, and to enjoy nature, have no control over decisions that affect our lives. The market can never be harnessed to develop a harmonious relationship with nature. Because it depends on the exploitation of most of humanity, it must keep us subjected. Because its motor force is profit, it will result in the blind destruction of the environment. To appeal to the good will, common sense and even self-interest of financiers and industrialists is to expect them to be able to abandon their lucrative profits. It is a sterile policy. The history of struggle shows that relying on the capitalist politicians brings no results. Capitalism is incapable of undertaking corrective action. Any society capable of surviving the ecological crisis must overcome the ceaseless addiction to growth-for-the-sake-of-growth that marks capitalism. In other words, it must be socialist. Half the battle is understanding the problem — the other half is taking action.