Tuesday, September 24, 2019

Change is coming (hopefully)

The climate change crisis is no longer a vague threat in the distance future. Its effects are already causing massive upheavals globally with extreme weather events and climate-related disasters. As climate models have long predicted, our warming world is now experiencing much larger and stronger storms with significantly more rainfall in the Earth’s wetter areas and more sustained and severe drought and wildfires in the drier regions. In 2019, the hottest June on record triggered an unprecedented fire season in the Arctic, with over 100 intense fires. The summer of 2019 also saw 55 billion tons of water melt off Greenland’s ice sheet in just five days, a rate scientists hadn’t expected for 50 years.

In a speech to the United Nations Climate Action Summit climate activist Greta Thunberg said decades of inaction have left her generation without a future. 

"People are suffering. People are dying. Entire ecosytems are collapsing. We are at the beginning of a mass extinction and all you can talk about is money and fairytales of eternal economic growth."  She concluded her speech by saying, “We will not let you get away with this. Right here, right now is where we draw the line. The world is waking up. And change is coming, whether you like it or not."

In spite of increasingly urgent warnings from scientists about the impacts of fossil fuels as well as mounting calls from the public for world leaders to pursue bolder policies to drive down planet-warming emissions and combat the climate crisis the oil and gas industry continues to expand. Over the next five years, according to Stand.earth, the fossil fuel industry plans to spend $1.4 trillion to boost production around the world, which will result in an additional 92 gigatonnes of carbon pollution and further decrease the likelihood that the international community can meet the Paris agreement goal of limiting global temperature rise by 2100 to well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels.

"Everyone knows the world must dramatically reduce production and emissions of fossil fuels if we are going to have a safe climate. Yet everyone continues to argue that their oil and gas expansion fits within a global plan. The math doesn't work," Tzeporah Berman ofStand.earth said. "Expansion of oil and gas threatens us all and we need to stop pretending the solution is a technological fix and stop expansion by regulating production globally." 

Socialism is concerned with justice. Capitalism is concerned with law and order. They are not the same thing. Capitalism’s law and order is merely for the preservation of the economic needs of the system. Socialism's justice is based on the common ownership of wealth by the whole of humanity and the employment of such means to provide the basis of a full and happy life for all. Capitalism is the ownership of all the resources of nature by a minority class, the capitalists. That ownership does not only extend over the land, the seas and the air but, also over such means for producing and distributing wealth as have been devised by the hand and brain of labour. 

Capitalism focuses on the short term and is unlikely to take the longer term approach, and hence the environment, into account. Capitalists and corporations will seek to distort the facts of the matter so they can carry on as usual. Capitalists are ideologically blinkered against climate change mitigation since it exposes the danger of capitalism as itself an environmental threat. We cannot expect the problems to be solved within capitalism; all the powers tilt the opposite way. The proposals of all the environmentalist groups, who seek to change things without completely ending the capitalist system are a sham.

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