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:

triangleRochester: 'Business as usual' politics falling apart

triangleThe beautiful game looking ugly

triangleTake over software giants

triangleWe need ideas to change the world

Water:

triangleIreland: establishment attacks water tax protests

triangleThem & Us

Market:

triangleFraudster bankers couldn't give a Forex

triangleHedge fund owners will never blush

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

26/11/14

Watford

Way to go, Watford!

26/11/14

Students

Students march for free education

26/11/14

Unions

Workplace news in brief

26/11/14

Pensions

UCU pensions: reinstate the action!

26/11/14

NHS

Health workers walkout in second NHS pay strike

26/11/14

Youth Fight for Jobs

Fast Food Rights campaign

26/11/14

Leeds

Victories against sexism in Leeds

26/11/14

Nottinghamshire

TUSC says no to cuts in Notts

26/11/14

Cumbria

Council beaten on austerity tax

26/11/14

Socialist

Are you a socialist?

26/11/14

Fire

Firefighters block fire minister's path

26/11/14

Barnsley

College UCU strikes against imposed new contracts

26/11/14

North-west

North-west TUSC conference: "People are looking for an alternative"

24/11/14

NHS

NHS second week of action

24/11/14

Leicester

Leicester: Trelleborg factory strike

triangleMore Reports and campaigns articles...

An anti-water tax placard in Galway, 11 November 2014

triangle26 Nov Ireland: establishment attacks water tax protests

The Socialist Students contingent on the 19 November 2014 free education march in London, photo Jonny Dickens

triangle26 Nov Students march for free education

Campaigning for rent control in Waltham Forest, East London, photo Sarah Wrack

triangle26 Nov Housing crisis! What do socialists say?

triangle26 Nov Anger erupts in Ferguson over acquittal of killer cop

triangle26 Nov College UCU strikes against imposed new contracts

triangle26 Nov North-west TUSC conference: 'People are looking for an alternative'

Save Strood library

triangle25 Nov Rochester: 'Business as usual' politics falling apart

More ...

triangle27 Nov Waltham Forest Socialist Party: Can the Greens provide workers with a political voice?

triangle27 Nov West London Socialist Party: 'Hat debate'

triangle27 Nov Swansea, Llanelli & West Wales Socialist Party: 50 years of socialist ideas

triangle27 Nov Southwark Socialist Party: Liverpool - a socialist council 1983-1987

More ...

Share on Facebook
Share on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

Find us on Facebook

Archive

Categories

1-9 

1-9 


Archives:

November 2014

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