Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/593/7983

From The Socialist newspaper, 15 September 2009

Big business to blame for climate change

Socialist policies needed

Climate change demo December 2007, photo by Paul Mattsson

Climate change demo December 2007, photo by Paul Mattsson

CLIMATE CHANGE is already with us. Temperatures are increasing, polar ice caps melting, glaciers retreating, sea levels rising, biodiversity being lost, food production being threatened, water scarcity spreading. Extreme weather - storms, floods, droughts and heatwaves - is occurring more frequently. It's going to cost a lot of money to put it right - but who's going to pay?

Dave Nellist, Coventry Socialist Party councillor

A new United Nations report says that climate change is "the outcome of a gigantic market failure." But the capitalists, who are responsible for this failure, are trying to avoid paying the true cost of emitting the greenhouse gases and want to make sure that society picks up the bill. For 'society', read ordinary working-class families.

The consensus amongst climate scientists is getting bleaker. 90% of them, in two recent polls, do not believe that the world can reach emissions targets that will keep global warming to an "acceptable" two degrees this century.

That is even though "acceptable" still means millions of people, particularly in poorer countries, falling victim to more violent weather and crop failures such as the looming famine in Ethiopia and the dying livestock in Kenya's drought.

According to Imperial College in London, the additional spending needed to build new flood defences, transport water for agriculture, treat an increase in the range and severity of diseases, and replace buildings and other infrastructure affected by rising temperatures or water levels, could easily reach 200 billion a year or more.

Such costs now don't seem quite so high in the light of the trillions of pounds spent bailing out the banks and the international finance system. Ordinary working people are expected to pay for this through tax rises, benefit cuts, public spending cuts and rising unemployment. Similarly, if the capitalists have their way, they would pass on the cost of rescuing capitalism from climate change.

Left to themselves big industries will always put profits for shareholders above any notion of social responsibility. Privately owned Drax power station in Yorkshire, Europe's largest emitter of global warming gases, will produce electricity in a way that gets the biggest profits for its shareholders.

Danish multinational Vestas Wind Systems closes down the UK's only wind turbine manufacturing plant, destroying 600 jobs, to move elsewhere in the world where profits are greater.

Instead of rationally and rapidly reducing emissions through safe, non-polluting methods, governments want failing market mechanisms such as 'carbon taxes'. These taxes could feature high on this December's UN climate change conference agenda, which is discussing a successor to the (extremely weak) Kyoto treaty.

No major party in Britain stands for renationalisation of energy, or transport, or the public ownership of the resources necessary to construct low carbon producing houses - that party has yet to be built. Without the ability to direct the country's resources and rationally plan how to tackle the urgent problems of climate change, solutions won't materialise.

To fight climate change, the 'gigantic market failure', we need system change!

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


In The Socialist 15 September 2009:

Big business to blame for climate change


No Job Cuts

No to cuts in jobs and services

Capitalist market prescribes diet of cuts

TUC conference - reactions to Brown's speech

TUC conference: Fightback rally


War and occupation

End the Afghan nightmare now


Socialist Party workplace news

Nationalise Anglesey Aluminium to save jobs

Rover - Gangster capitalists were treated as saviours

London RMT: Discussing an election coalition

Leeds council workers on indefinite strike

National Greed

Construction workers' pay - reject the deal!

The fight against the building blacklist


Socialist Students

Students left penniless

Cardiff: Youth Fight for Jobs

College workers strike against vicious cuts


Vestas

Vestas: the fight is far from over

Coventry Socialist Party councillors show support for Vestas


Socialist Party feature

Interview with POA leader Brian Caton


Socialist Party women

Victory - Decent jobs not exploitation


Socialist Party review

A life of revolution


International socialist news and analysis

Japan: Election ends Liberal Democrats' 54-year reign

Bangladesh: Angry protests at police attacks

Sri Lanka: Defiant Tamil protest


 

Facebook   Twitter



Home   |   The Socialist 15 September 2009   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate   |   Bookshop






Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter



Related links:

Climate change:

triangleSocialist change to halt climate change

triangleClimate change: Summit for nothing

triangleGlobal day of eco action

triangleDemo calls on Labour to oppose Fracking

triangleClimate change: "We're running out of time"

Big business:

triangleWe need ideas to change the world

triangleCorrection: Labour's private health links are worse!

triangleScotland: Defeat Project Terror with socialist policies

triangleScotland: Countdown to independence referendum

Water:

triangleIreland: Stunning byelection victory for Socialist Party

triangleAfter the Floods: Over 800 attend Spelthorne public meeting

triangleIreland: Election campaigns "referendum on austerity"

Market:

triangleHedge fund owners will never blush

triangleThem & Us

Global warming:

triangleTeesside Socialist Party: Environmental crisis - can governments halt global warming?

Carbon:

triangleClimate change: Socialism and global planning essential

Dave Nellist:

triangleChallenging the austerity parties

Reports and campaigns

Reports and campaigns

30/10/14

Cinema

Ritzy cinema bosses back down

29/10/14

Firefighters

Support FBU pension strikes

29/10/14

Jobs

Sports Direct: pressure mounts on 0-hr contracts

29/10/14

Northern Ireland

Bill Webster 1941-2014

29/10/14

Obituary

Ronnie Sookhdeo 1946-2014

29/10/14

Dublin

Dublin TD promotes pro-choice campaign

29/10/14

Wales

Wales colleges: Vote 'yes' in pay strike consultation

29/10/14

Leicester

Leicester holds historic People's Budget talks

29/10/14

Socialism

Donate for socialism!

29/10/14

Lambeth

Ritzy workers threatened with redundancy

29/10/14

Southwark

Southwark Labour demolishes homes

29/10/14

Union

Workplace news in brief

29/10/14

Pay

Fighting for better pay for workers

29/10/14

Sheffield

Sheffield recycling workers to start indefinite action

27/10/14

London

St Mungo's Broadway workers discuss next action

triangleMore Reports and campaigns articles...

triangle30 Oct Boris Pilnyak: 'I want to live, I want to work'

triangle29 Oct Capitalism - 'the new mediocre'

triangle29 Oct Support FBU pension strikes

Lenin speaking at a 1920 demonstration, flanked by Trotsky

triangle29 Oct Lessons from history: 1917 Revolution in Russia

Five million low paid workers are robbed every day

triangle29 Oct Millions robbed by greedy bosses

Kshama Sawant, photo Josh Kelety

triangle29 Oct Building a political alternative in Seattle

triangle27 Oct St Mungo's Broadway workers discuss next action

More ...

triangle8 Nov Socialism 2014: A weekend of discussion and debate


triangle1 Nov Scotland TUSC conference

triangle3 Nov Teesside Socialist Party: 1st World War - a socialist perspective

triangle3 Nov Birmingham Socialist Party: How can we combat the rise of UKIP?

More ...

Share on Facebook
Share on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

Find us on Facebook

Archive

Categories

1-9 

1-9 


Archives:

October 2014

September 2014

August 2014

July 2014

June 2014

May 2014

April 2014

March 2014

February 2014

January 2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2001

2000

1999

Legal

SP RSS feed RSS

Platform setting: = No platform choice