Monday, December 02, 2019

COP25 Commences

The 25th Conference of the Parties, or COP 25, will see negotiators from almost 200 countries will today arrive in Madrid.

The Socialist Party has for decades railed at capitalist market production for being on a relentless collision course with the environment, and have frequently used clichés like 'profits of doom' and 'merchants of menace'. Now, rarely a day goes by when our attention is not drawn to the various issues of environmental degradation and how the increase in human activity is impacting on large areas of the natural environment globally.
António Guterres, the UN secretary general has already warned that the world is at the point of no return and the global response to the climate crisis to date has been "utterly inadequate". He warned delegates ahead of the meeting "the point of no return was no longer over the horizonWe simply have to stop digging and drilling and take advantage of the vast possibilities offered by renewable energy and nature-based solutions," Mr Guterres said.

The climate crisis has been causing death, despair and displacement in the global south," said Harjeet Singh from Action Aid. "This bullying of the countries hardest hit by climate change, by those that got rich from extracting and consuming fossil fuels, must end now."

The Socialist Party presents an alternative vision to the capitalist reality. It presents the vision of a democratic socialist society, a society which can only be achieved through building a mass social movement and a radically different sort of political and economic organisation. Its goal is to campaign for this alternative vision, to inspire working people to strive for socialism, the reorganisation of our society.

 Our policy to the destruction of our environment is the destruction of the capitalist system, its laws, and the replacement of that system with a rational planned economy. We reject capitalism.

Governments do not have a free hand to do what is sensible or desirable. They can only act within the narrow limits imposed by the profit-driven market system whose rules are "profits first and foremost" and "you can’t buck the market". Too many environmentalists are not against the market and are not against profit-making. They imagine that, by firm government policy, these can be tamed and prevented from harming the environment. This is an illusion. You can’t impose other priorities on the profit system than making profits. That’s why environmentalist activists will fail.

It is time to stop the rape and pillage of the Earth. It is time to protect the environment and to enjoy its bounties in a sensible and sustainable way. The world has the technology and the human expertise. It just needs the political will to make the change. Democracy has been reduced to a tiresome routine that involves electing the rulers once in five years. They have become election machines with their own vested interests. These machines are designed to gather votes and use them as fodder to convert money into power, and power back into money. Substituting one party for another, or making a change of administrative power is not enough; we need an entire new politics. This cannot be done leaders or by a political party but instead if everyone joins together, understanding that this is their work, then a dream becomes a reality. People’s movements need to come together. 

The fact that more and more people are becoming concerned about the way the environment is abused is encouraging. But campaigning for increased legislation is not the answer.

 We need to get rid of a society where a small minority can manipulate nature for their own ends and replace it with one where we all have a real say in how nature is used. While the non-violent direct action policies of the environmentalists may achieve limited success against government policies by lobbying for better regulation, at the end of the day, they will never be able to overcome the profit motive which is the root cause of the problems they wish to ameliorate and are destined to struggle endlessly against capitalism. 

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