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:

triangleBoris hid killer air report

triangleCanada: fire devastates Fort McMurray

triangleTreasury boss attacks call to nationalise Tata

triangleWorcestershire Socialist Party: Climate change - a socialist solution is needed

triangle'Heathrow 13' climate activists avoid jail time

Big business:

triangleThe EU and the economy - Project Fear steps up

triangleBlacklisted workers win millions in legal victory

triangleUSA: the un-Democratic primary

triangleThe socialist case for nationalisation

Water:

triangleIreland: Campaigners celebrate suspension of water charges

triangleChernobyl nuclear disaster - 30 years on

triangleThem & Us

Market:

triangleWhat we saw

triangleHouses for offshore investment, we're stuck at home

Global warming:

triangleTories' hypocritical green policies pledge

Carbon:

triangleEU probes power plant for wrongdoing over switch from coal to biomass

Dave Nellist:

triangleDave Nellist on Any Questions

Reports and campaigns

Reports and campaigns

25/5/16

UCU

University lecturers strike for fair pay

25/5/16

Wales TUC

Motion passed for no-cuts council budgets

25/5/16

NSSN

Link the strikes - come to the NSSN conference

25/5/16

BMA

Tories forced back in junior doctors' dispute

25/5/16

Union

Workplace news in brief

25/5/16

Conductors

Train conductors strike to keep their role

25/5/16

Them & Us

Them & us

25/5/16

Lancashire

Chorley A&E battle

25/5/16

Coventry

Coventry sees off EDL

25/5/16

Environment

Boris hid killer air report

25/5/16

Socialist Party

Fight to win: join the Socialists!

25/5/16

Waltham Forest

Campaigning for a people's plan for Waltham Forest

25/5/16

Leicester

Leicester drives out Britain First

25/5/16

EU

'Socialist case against the EU' TUSC tour kicks off

25/5/16

Housing

We won't move! Mass resistance can defeat the Tories' housing act

triangleMore Reports and campaigns articles...

triangle25 May Austria - Hofer defeated, but far-right threat remains

triangle25 May EU referendum can bring the Tories down

triangle25 May University lecturers strike for fair pay

triangle25 May Motion passed for no-cuts council budgets

triangle25 May Link the strikes - come to the NSSN conference

triangle25 May Tories forced back in junior doctors' dispute

triangle21 May Britain's gaping political fault-lines

More ...

triangle31 May Bristol TUSC: The socialist case against the EU

triangle31 May Liverpool Socialist Party: The 1916 Easter Rising

triangle31 May Chesterfield Socialist Party: Hillsborough & Orgreave

triangle1 Jun Salford Socialist Party: Leveson, Murdochgate and the press

More ...

Share on Facebook
Share on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

Find us on Facebook

Archive

Categories

1-9 

1-9 


Archives:

May 2016

April 2016

March 2016

February 2016

January 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