Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/511/3420

From The Socialist newspaper, 22 November 2007

Profit system wrecks climate

Climate change cartoon, photo Alan Hardman

Climate change cartoon, photo Alan Hardman

"WARMING OF the climate system is unequivocal, as is now evident from observations of increases in global average air and ocean temperatures, widespread melting of snow and ice, and rising global average sea level", said the latest report of the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change).

Pete Mason

Rajendra Pachauri, a scientist and economist who heads the IPCC, said: "If there's no action before 2012, that's too late. What we do in the next two to three years will determine our future. This is the defining moment".

Countries that make the smallest contribution to global warming will be worst affected, such as those in Africa and the Asia Pacific region. While the IPCC was warning of more frequent and more severe cyclones, an estimated 10,000 people were dying in floods in Bangladesh after the worst cyclone for a decade. These areas have already suffered enormous losses due in part at least to the effects of climate change.

More than four billion people in Asia, living in low lying areas, face similar dangers by 2020, the IPCC says. But it is happening now.

Some experts have criticised the IPCC for being too conservative. British scientist James Lovelock said: "Sadly, even the most pessimistic of the climate prophets of the IPCC panel do not appear to have noticed how rapidly the climate is changing… Scientists have let this potentially disastrous future steal up on us unaware".

Fast action is certainly needed. Carbon emissions are rising, not falling, and have already tipped the planet into a series of environmental catastrophes, such as fires and floods, and a sharp decline in food production. The world's natural carbon sinks (such as forests and oceans) are beginning to fail.

Yet the IPCC report correctly argues that the technology is available to achieve the necessary cuts in harmful emissions. They estimate that the cost to the world economy could be as little as 0.12 % of gross domestic product. Why has urgent action not yet been taken?

The answer lies in the fact that no individual capitalist wants to bear the cost as it would reduce their competitiveness and profits, and no capitalist government wants to impose substantial costs on its home industries if it impairs their competition with other industries worldwide. So each government talks down the dangers. The major powers are playing Russian roulette with the planet.

Gordon Brown says that a UK renewable energy strategy will not even be published until 2009. Rather than castigating the US administration for being one of the major players responsible for the dire situation facing the planet, UN secretary-general Ban Ki-moon, speaking about the IPCC report, merely said, "I look forward to seeing the US and China playing a more constructive role".

The US government wants China to blink first. "The United States believes there is no clear scientific definition of the dangers of climate change although it recognises urgent action is needed" was the verdict of a US environment adviser, Jim Connaughton, at the recent Valencia IPCC conference.

Faced with the inaction of capitalist governments, the "urgent action" will have to be taken by the working class and oppressed masses of the world, moving in their billions out of absolute necessity, and pushing aside the national ruling elites.

Capitalist half-measures and IPCC deadlines will inevitably fail to do what is necessary. Spreading the idea of a socialist alternative is essential, as the only alternative to capitalism that will be able to reverse the effects of global warming.


Campaign Against Climate Change demonstration

Saturday 8 December

Assemble 12 noon, Millbank, Westminster, London

Why not click here to join the Socialist Party, or click here to donate to the Socialist Party.


In The Socialist 22 November 2007:

Profit system wrecks climate


Socialist Party NHS campaign

Defend Karen Reissman: Defend free speech and trade union rights


Banking Crisis

Nationalise Northern Rock permanently to safeguard workers' interests


International socialist news and analysis

SOLIDARITY APPEAL: Defend Tukwila Teachers Threatened with Termination for Antiwar Student Walkout

France: massive public sector workers' strike


Socialist Party news and analysis

SNP budget will not satisfy expectations

Detention without trial: Defend civil rights

New attacks on incapacity benefits

'Cheap and nasty' Camden council to shut deaf school

News in brief


Socialism 2007

Socialism 2007: Inspired by past victories, preparing for future struggles


Education

Support the Northern Ireland classroom assistants

Cardiff schools: Parents march against closure threats


Socialist Party features

Rail transport: Overpriced, overcrowded, underinvested

Train drivers strike in Germany

Labour's pensions - a social time-bomb


International socialist news and analysis

Denmark general election: Socialist People's Party doubles its MPs

2008 US presidential election

GM, Chrysler, and Ford's 'race to the bottom'


Workplace news and analysis

Postal workers campaign against "MacMail"

Doncaster Hospital workers on strike for £9,000 back pay

National Union of Journalists: Standing up against the robber barons


 

Home   |   The Socialist 22 November 2007   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate  




Related links:

Climate:

triangleChange the system! not the climate

triangleCampaign Against Climate Change trade union conference

Climate change:

triangleCarbon dioxide hits 800,000-year high: end profit-driven pollution

triangleProfit-driven pesticide use now threatens life

Profit system:

triangleObesity epidemic: end food market anarchy

triangleHistoric demonstration in Barcelona in support of refugees

triangleChile: general strike threat as pensions protests grow

IPCC:

triangle'Freedom riders' lobby against violent policing

trianglePolice officers face misconduct charges over attack on 'freedom ride'

Environment:

triangleOpposition to new academy school being built on Leeds playing fields

Reports and campaigns

Reports and campaigns

7/12/17

RMT

Anti-DOO lobby of Liverpool's transport committee

7/12/17

Blacklisting

Unite protest against blacklisting

6/12/17

Donald Trump

Mobilise to stop bigoted billionaire Donald Trump's state visit to Britain

6/12/17

Transport

Arriva bus strikers stand firm

6/12/17

Pensions

BT pensions review - oppose the attacks on the pension schemes

6/12/17

PCS

Driving examiners walkout hits first day of new test

6/12/17

Newham

School staff strike against privatisation

6/12/17

Rail

Brutal rail privateer Abellio takes over Midlands rail services

6/12/17

PCS

PCS Left Unity celebrates 40th anniversary at annual conference

6/12/17

North Yorkshire

Court maintains injunction against fracking protesters

6/12/17

Waltham Forest

Waltham Forest Universal Credit protest

6/12/17

Coventry

Coventry Socialist sales hit 1,000

6/12/17

TUSC

TUSC conference to debate 2018 elections

6/12/17

Liverpool

Liverpool John Moores Uni landslide for Socialist Students

6/12/17

Kirklees

Plans to launch no-cuts campaign at Kirklees College

triangleMore Reports and campaigns articles...


Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party

triangle8 Dec Local government pay: fight for the full 5% claim

triangle6 Dec Strikers rally in Liverpool

triangle6 Dec Corbyn's Labour can defeat Tories with socialist programme

triangle5 Dec Victory at Glenfield shows people power can save our NHS

triangle5 Dec Labour council Blairites deselected

triangle30 Nov Victory: Glenfield Children's Heart Centre saved!

triangle30 Nov Dramatic retelling of Grunwick strike

More ...

triangle13 Dec Caerphilly Socialist Party: Are we heading for an era of war?

triangle14 Dec Wakefield Socialist Party: Universal Credit - the Tories' latest assault on the poor

triangle18 Dec Leeds Socialist Party: Religion and Socialism

triangle19 Dec Bristol North Socialist Party: Christmas social

More ...

Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

Archive

Archives:

December 2017

November 2017

October 2017

September 2017

August 2017

July 2017

June 2017

May 2017

April 2017

March 2017

February 2017

January 2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999

Legal

SP RSS feed RSS

Platform setting: = No platform choice

V2