Climate activist Greta Thunberg has refused to accept an environmental award by the Nordic Council, a regional body for inter-parliamentary cooperation saying:
“The climate movement does not need any more awards. What we need is for our politicians and the people in power start to listen to the current, best available science.”
She also the prize sum of 350,000 Danish kroner (about $52,000 or €46,800).
While thanking the Nordic Council for the “huge honour”, she also criticised Nordic countries for not living up to their “great reputation” on climate issues.
“There is no lack of bragging about this. There is no lack of beautiful words. But when it comes to our actual emissions and our ecological footprints per capita … then it’s a whole other story,” Thunberg said.
The environment has become the great discovery of the past decade. "Climate change" and "global warming" have now become a household terms. "ecology" and "sustainability" are fashionable words. We are being told that the end of the world is at hand unless we do something urgently about the environment. Yet the Socialist Party insists that nothing can be done about the looming environmental crises until we change the economic nature of our social system. The Socialist Party maintains as long as we have the market economy, that is, the production of commodities to be sold for a profit — then the environment be damned, profits come first.
Our criticism of Greta is that she focuses on all the visible effects of the climate emergency but she continues to be blithely unaware of root causes and persists upon appealing to politicians and governments to do something, chastising them for their inaction and inertia. The prime purpose of a government is to prop up its economy and its businessmen. The foremost concern of an enterprise is to keep the costs of production as low as possible. Profits have to be of paramount priority.
Our case boils down to this simple premise: Let us eliminate the relationships of commodity production — let us produce goods to serve the needs of humanity instead of producing in order to make profits — let us organise our world on a democratically planned base instead of working for the benefit of the stockholders. We are convinced, based on the facts available to anyone, that in our enlightened, technological age, almost all our problems can be solved. All of the solutions of the environment problems would then fall into place.
The Socialist Party is convinced that we can halt the rise in carbon emissions by eliminating waste. The waste of war and the arms industry. The waste of duplication on the part of many competing companies. The waste of countless unnecessary industries such as finance and retail
We contend that potentially the problem of production has already been solved. We can produce enough food and in abundance. We can build as many homes as may be needed. We can manufacture products to satisfy the desires and needs of all the people. Any industrial process that despoils nature and endangers humanity obviously will be discontinued. And all without increasing our carbon footprint substantially and spewing out toxic greenhouse gases. Many resources are considered in short (sometimes dangerously low) supply due only to the fact that they cannot be brought to the market profitably. Every assessment of wealth is judged in this way. It would not be judged in this way in a socialist society. Socialists are not interested in a system of production and distribution that ignores the basic purpose of satisfying social and human needs in favour of profits.
There is a theory that comes up over and over again. It states that population, if not checked, would always increase faster than the available food supply. And further, this Malthusian theory argues that the way nature checks this imbalance is through war, poverty, and pestilence. Actually, the theory is false. It assumes a premise that does not hold true. Overpopulation does not breed poverty but rather poverty breeds overpopulation. Hunger is usually not caused by the insufficient production of food in the world but by social factors that prevent the required distribution of food. The issue is clear. Improvisation within the limits of the capitalist mode of production cannot solve the problem of over-population. Only the sanity of socialism can offer the answer to this fearful problem. The fact is that today, not in the future, mankind has reached a potential super-abundance of all of the requirements to sustain life. Famine in 2019 is inexcusable. We are not facing some final exhaustion of the world’s sources of food.
A planet fit for human beings to inhabit has indeed become the question of ultimate survival.
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