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Posted on 11 November 2008 at 0:00 GMT

Socialism 2008

Too late to save the planet?

To open the discussion on the environment, Pete Dickenson highlighted the latest evidence showing a rapidly worsening global warming situation, which indicates some of its effects are now irreversible.

This means that not only must urgent action be taken to halt greenhouse gas emissions, but work should begin to mitigate climate change effects, such as building flood defences in the most vulnerable areas like Bangladesh.

Pete pointed out that the economic downturn is already providing an excuse for the capitalists to delay taking action in this area, since it is being said that the coming recession/slump will produce a cut in emissions anyway due to lower consumption.

Pete however argued that any reduction of greenhouse gasses due to the economic crisis will be small compared to what is required to tackle climate change, and furthermore it will be temporary, since after a few years an upturn in the economy will occur if the capitalist system is allowed to continue, quickly cancelling out any short-term cut in the downturn. Also, because the big corporations will be in a battle to survive during the crisis, they will probably be able to block any meaningful attempt to introduce the 'green new deal' that Obama and others are proposing, since it cuts against their vital short-term interests.

The 25 people there then had a lively and knowledgeable discussion, with a wide range of environmental topics being debated. It was agreed that it is a priority to build for the Climate Change demo coming up on 6 December in London.

David Petrie

At Socialism 2008 I learned that Stalinism is certainly not an inevitable consequence of a socialist revolution and why that is.

Mike Brooks, Walthamstow

It was so great to be at the Socialism weekend. I feel inspired and refreshed.

Marjorie Sachs, Ireland

It was inspiring. It was my first time at this event and it was a lot to take in, but I enjoyed it. I enjoyed discussing with people who have similar ideas and it was interesting to see the national scale of the party.

Aimee Atkinson, Lincoln

What more can I say but a fantastic weekend again. The contributions from the international comrades at the rally were really inspiring, and the meetings were invaluable in sharpening up my socialism! And of course it was great to meet up with members from around the country at the social.

Jake Moore, Shropshire

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