The Socialist 15 September 2010
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Socialism 2010: How can we save the environment?
Most scientific and political commentators now accept that the human race has to take action to avert catastrophic damage to our planet and to our societies which depend on its resources.
Stephen Turnbull, Walthamstow Socialist Party
Recently, however, we have had various graphic illustrations of the increasingly desperate and risky methods capitalists are willing to go to in order to acquire the last remaining reserves of cheap energy, such as oil and gas.
The Deepwater Horizon explosion and the subsequent oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico exposed the hypocrisy of oil giants like BP who claim that they are 'green'. Hydraulic fracturing of bedrock to acquire natural gas (fracking) is poisoning the water supply and environments of communities across parts of America.
This kind of environmental destruction has long been endemic in the third world. A vivid example comes from the largest exporter of oil to the US, the Niger Delta, where spilt oil and polluted air have helped cause civil unrest.
Ensuring stable supplies of cheap energy is an intrinsic part of governments' foreign policy. The war in Iraq was more about Iraq's oil fields than any threat Saddam Hussein posed to the West.
Increasing political instability, especially in parts of Africa, the Middle East and the Indian subcontinent, has been caused by the lack of clean water. Rivers are poisoned by heavy industry, increased demand is draining aquifers, a changing climate is lessening surface reserves, and the relocation of bodies of water to provide reservoirs and hydroelectric power is damaging local geology.
Issues such as these demand a concerted international response, and a desire to move toward sustainable infrastructure and sustainable living. Under the auspices of capitalist-led agencies, such as the United Nations and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, this is happening far too slowly, if it can be said to be happening at all.
How the world's environment can be saved will be debated at Socialism 2010. Can the future of the planet be trusted to capitalist governments and agencies? Can energy companies help stop and reverse global warming or will profit always come first? What would a socialist energy plan look like? If you have questions or ideas about building a movement to save our climate, then come to Socialism 2010.
Discussions on climate change at Socialism 2010:
Socialism 2010 - a weekend of discussion and debate
Hosted by the Socialist Party
Saturday 6 and Sunday 7 November
Rallies: Friends Meeting House, 173 Euston Road, NW1 2BJ
Rally speakers include:
Matt Wrack, FBU general secretary
Cindy Sheehan, US anti-war activist
Andros Payiatsos, general secretary, CWI Greece
Peter Taaffe, Socialist Party general secretary
Sessions: ULU, Malet Street, London, WC1E 7HY
Weekend: £25/£12 concession. One day: £15/£7 concession. Saturday night accommodation available.
Click here to buy tickets online. For more information go to www.socialism2010.net or phone 020 8988 8777
In this issue
Socialist Party editorial
Socialist Party youth and students
Feature: Socialist Party women
Socialist Party news and analysis
Socialist Party workplace news
International socialist news and analysis
Socialist Party review