Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/512/3446
Stop the ruin of our planet
Come to 8 December climate change demo
Climate change demo 2005
WAITING FOR government action to end climate change is like waiting for the punch line in Eastenders. It just never materialises. What is needed is a mass movement of workers and young people to fight for a democratic, socialist alternative. Come on the climate change demonstration on 8 December, march with International Socialist Resistance (ISR) and help build that movement.
Gordon Brown recently gave a speech which led to him being hailed as a 'bright-green revolutionary'. But what did it really contain?
There was a recommitment to EU targets, already agreed by his predecessor Blair earlier this year. Brown announced a meeting with heads of supermarkets to look into phasing out free, standard shopping bags. He promised to research renewable energy projects around Britain, and improve their viability.
There was a proposal to help improve the energy efficiency of homes in the 50 poorest areas in Britain. With gas and electricity prices going through the roof, this will surely be welcomed by those who benefit. But as a way of reducing emissions and combating climate change, it is not the most effective move.
If you have less money, you are less likely to have all of the mod cons such as a wide range of electrical goods, and you are probably being forced to skimp on heating already.
Brown said he supported a total ban on plastic bags, calling them "the most visible symbol of environmental health". Perhaps he is forgetting Drax power station, which emits 23.7 million tonnes of carbon dioxide a year, and is amongst the top 25 polluting power plants in the world!
The government is committing to reducing carbon emissions by 20% by 2020. This has been described as a 'mammoth task'. And for this government, hell bent on privatisation and entrusting the market to carry out every task, it surely will be.
Brown has promised funding to the engineering industry to help them develop greener technologies. But as the NHS and the train service constantly prove, private industry puts its own profits before all else.
The most efficient, environmentally friendly way to organise Britain's energy needs would be through a democratically run, publicly owned energy industry, as part of an economy which is planned to meet the needs of all.
A democratically planned economy would be based around assessing people's needs, together with the need to improve the environment, and then producing to meet those needs, rather than to make profit. This would include producing enough renewable energy to meet people's needs at home as well as to enable the production of goods.
Instead of profits going to line fat cats' pockets, charges to customers could be cut and money could go towards a massive investment in developing green technologies.
This is a socialist policy for ending the destruction of the environment. Join the fight for a socialist globe, join International Socialist Resistance and march with us on 8 December!
Campaign Against Climate Change demonstration
Saturday 8 December. Assemble 12 noon at Millbank, Westminster, London SW1.
In The Socialist 29 November 2007:
Environment and socialism
What we think
Socialist Party NHS campaign
Socialist Party news and analysis
International socialist news and analysis
Marxist analysis: history
Workplace news and analysis