Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page:

From The Socialist newspaper, 18 May 2006

Global warming threat

Environment: not safe in their hands

ACCORDING TO the latest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report global warming, caused by 'man-made pollution' ie capitalist production, is at a critically dangerous level. The IPCC says that concentrations of greenhouse gases, such as carbon dioxide (CO2), are at the highest levels for 650,000 years.

The environmental impact from this rapid rise in global temperatures is catastrophic. The frequency of extreme weather events is increasing, including more severe droughts and floods. Global warming is also contributing to species decline and extinctions, including vital fish stocks.

Heatwaves, such as in France in 2003 which led to 12,000 extra deaths, will increase. But the main victims will be the world's poorest people. According to Christian Aid 182 million people in sub-sahara Africa could die of dieases directly linked to climate change.

So what are the world's 'leaders' doing to halt and reverse this environmental destruction?

The 1997 Kyoto treaty (which the US and Australian governments refused to sign up to) commits industrialised countries to cut their combined carbon emissions to 5% below 1990 levels by 2008-12. According to environmental scientists a 60% cut is the minimum requirement. Currently emissions are 25% above 1990 levels!

Emerging from Kyoto, the European Union (EU) established a carbon emissions trading market whereby carbon blocs are traded between under-polluting and over-polluting companies. Although permits were allocated to power generators for free, these companies passed on the notional costs of these permits to consumers netting them 800 million in profits!

Now it turns out that many EU member states allocated more allowances than needed, collapsing carbon prices and thereby reducing this 'market solution' to a futile nonsense.

US capitalism is the world's biggest polluter, contributing around 25% of the world's greenhouse gas emissions. Yet president George Bush remains in denial over the causal connection between capitalism and global warming.

Moreover, by relocating industrial production to countries outside its border, such as China, US capitalism has effectively cut its own emissions by 3% between 1997-2003. But this reduction in US emissions was more than matched by an increase in Chinese emissions. In 1997, exports to the US accounted for 7% of Chinese CO2 output; by 2003, the figure had risen to 14%.

In Britain, having pledged New Labour to cut CO2 emissions by 20% by 2010, Tony Blair quietly dropped this target at the request of the CBI bosses who say it would affect 'competitiveness'.

Blair is also lobbying, under the guise of 'debating future energy requirements', for a new generation of nuclear power stations. This is posed as a 'greener option'. In practice, it is an unsafe technology with no safe means of disposing of radioactive waste. It is also extremely expensive, which is why big business wants the public to pick up the huge tab for insurance and decommissioning.

Under capitalism, energy and industrial production, logging, mining and intensive forms of agriculture, etc are driven by the profit motive. This market-based system of competitive production and trade is unsustainable in terms of the environment. It also means that while the number of dollar billionaires is growing the poverty of billions is also increasing.

Capitalism cannot solve the world's problems. Only a socialist future embracing democratically planned economies can end the horrors of world poverty and solve today's acute environmental problems that, if capitalism is allowed to continue, threaten humanity's very existence.

Dave Carr

Since this article was written Tony Blair has appeared to more openly give his endorsement to new nuclear plants, saying they were back on the agenda "with a vengeance" - ed

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

In The Socialist 18 May 2006:

Socialist Party NHS campaign

Blair's market madness wrecking the NHS

Save jobs and services

Global Warming

Environment: not safe in their hands

Campaign for a New Workers Party

Join the Campaign for a New Workers' Party

International socialist news and analysis

The Venezuelan president's 'vision of socialism'

Building on our election successes

Solidarity with Venezuelan workers

Female factory workers in Russia start hunger strike

Ailing German capitalism slashes workers' wages and conditions

Germany: WASG rebels suspended

Massive European Social Forum rally in Athens

Socialist Students

How students and staff saved Chemistry at Sussex


Pensions 'crisis' - working class will pay the price

Rail unions battle over pensions

Socialist Party workplace news and analysis

Postal workers prepare for action

Privatisation fails workers and customers

Fighting strategy needed to save jobs

Northumbria lecturers forced to strike

Lecturers continue the fight for decent pay

A matter of life and death


Home   |   The Socialist 18 May 2006   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate  

Related links:


triangleHackney Socialist Party: How can the environment be saved?

triangleTories 'flouting duty' on poison air, says UN

triangleExtreme weather events and global warming

triangleHurricane Harvey: A tragedy made far worse by capitalism

triangleTransport strategy: London's mayor is no visionary

Global warming:

triangleTrump and the fossil fuel corporations - a lethal combination for the planet

triangleVictory at Standing Rock: US authorities agree to re-route oil pipeline

triangleUN climate change summit: more hot air from Marrakech

triangleBoris hid killer air report


triangleGlobal finance: Are those storm clouds ahead?

triangleCaerphilly Socialist Party: Global socialism - Report from CWI school

triangleTories forced to publish useless plans on toxic air


triangleConference on state spies: who's watching who?

triangleCan you donate to the Socialism 2017 appeal?


triangleObesity epidemic: end food market anarchy


triangle47,000 kids exposed to illegal toxic air

Climate change:

triangleYoung people are searching for an alternative - find it at Socialism 2017

Reports and campaigns

Reports and campaigns


North West

Arriva North West bus drivers strike over pay


Democratic rights

Conference on state spies: who's watching who?



Striking back against sackers' charter at Leeds Uni



PCS ballots members on the pay cap


Royal Mail

Royal Mail bosses block strike - back postal workers



'Dazzling' Bad Art show points to socialist future



Sheffield Labour council threatens peaceful protesters with prison


South West Wales

Hundreds turn out for rally aimed at removing west Wales Tory MP



Uprising to save the NHS!



Can you donate to the Socialism 2017 appeal?


East London

No cuts - hands off King George A&E!


North London

North London hospital workers fight cuts and job losses



Nationalise to save jobs at BAE Systems



Schools "can't go any further" - stop the cuts: set deficit budgets now



Socialist Students 'welcome' Hillary Clinton to Swansea

triangleMore Reports and campaigns articles...

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

triangle19 Oct Arriva North West bus drivers strike over pay

triangle18 Oct Russia, October 1917: When workers took power

triangle18 Oct Tories torn - bin them now

triangle13 Oct The end of the Tories?

triangle11 Oct Nasty party out the Tories

triangle11 Oct CWU fights court attempt to stop national strike

triangle11 Oct The fight against racial discrimination is tied to fighting against...

More ...

triangle19 Oct Waltham Forest Young Socialists: Deaths in police custody

triangle19 Oct Swansea Socialist Party: Spanish revolution 1936-37

triangle19 Oct Cardiff East Socialist Party: Is equality for women possible under capitalism?

triangle19 Oct Wirral Socialist Party: The October 1917 Russian Revolution

More ...

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



October 2017

September 2017

August 2017

July 2017

June 2017

May 2017

April 2017

March 2017

February 2017

January 2017





















Platform setting: = No platform choice