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From The Socialist newspaper, 10 December 2014

Climate change: Sacrificing the future

Pete Mason

On the same day the Met Office announced that 2014 is likely to be the hottest year on record, Tory Chancellor George Osborne announced his budget in which he cut taxes for the fossil fuel industry. Yet the government maintains its pretence of being committed to seriously cutting greenhouse gas emissions.

Also on the same day, 'Super Typhoon' Hagupit, super-heated by record ocean temperatures, hit the Philippines - as super typhoon Haiyan did in November 2013. One million people were forced to evacuate.

Haiyan killed over 7,000 people in the Philippines and thousands are still living in tents in the city of Tacloban.

Typhoon Hagupit is the vision of the future as the planet heats up. The World Meteorological Organisation agrees with the Met Office: "The provisional information for 2014 means that 14 of the 15 warmest years on record have all occurred in the 21st century." Adding: "There is no standstill in global warming,"

Yet Osborne is cutting oil taxes and introducing allowances to boost oil production in the North Sea and on the mainland through 'fracking'.

Big oil profits

It is the gas emissions from these fossil fuels, mainly from burning coal, oil and gas in power stations, but also from their use in industry and transport, which are heating up the planet.

Osborne's give-away is 'generous socialism' for the rich fossil fuel companies and cruel market capitalism for the poor.

While British workers have suffered the biggest fall in real wages of all major G20 countries since 2010, it is a fall in oil prices which makes the Con-Dem government's collective hearts bleed.

The five biggest global oil corporations made a combined total of $25.2 billion in profits just over the three summer months of 2014.

Instead of sacrificing the future to the oil companies, a socialist budget would nationalise the entire energy industry (with compensation only to those in proven need) and, together with the workers in the industry and consumers, immediately draw up a single unified plan to move directly to carbon-free energy production and transport.

This plan would employ many new workers to the industry, on union rates of pay, in order to carry the project out efficiently.

Such a project, funded by the mega-billions of the energy companies with plenty of cash to spare, would go a long way to solving the problem of unemployment and deliver significantly cheaper energy bills to the consumer.

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Finance appeal

The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.

The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.

The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.

  • The Socialist Party's material is more vital than ever, so we can continue to report from workers who are fighting for better health and safety measures, against layoffs, for adequate staffing levels, etc.
  • When the health crisis subsides, we must be ready for the stormy events ahead and the need to arm workers' movements with a socialist programme - one which puts the health and needs of humanity before the profits of a few.
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In The Socialist 10 December 2014:


Socialist Party news and analysis

Osborne's savage cuts: No return to the 1930s!

Reject the lie that is austerity

Europe: a new wave of workers' struggle has begun

Save our NHS

Tenants can resist Scrooge landlords

Climate change: Sacrificing the future

Them & Us


International socialist news and analysis

Uprising against police violence in the US


Socialist Party workplace news

London bus drivers: Same job - we want the same pay!

1,000 firefighters march to defend Ricky Matthews

Students join Lambeth walkout

Sharpak Yate packaging strike

Rail franchise jobs: TUPE or not TUPE?


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

We have a world to win!

Socialist Students: fight for free education

Election appeal: finding cash to fight the cuts

Campaign news in brief


Socialist Party comments and reviews

The 1914 Christmas truce

Mockingjay: Part One

Broadband giants' expensive battle

Quiz 2014


 

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Related links:

Climate change:

triangleCumbria mine: How can we fight for jobs and stop climate change?

triangleBig Energy piles on the misery

triangle'Building back greener' - yet more Tory greenwash

triangleBristol North Socialist Party: Climate change - Only a socialist solution?

Oil:

triangleLibya: Civil war and chaos follow interventions by world and regional powers

triangleShell pays 0 corporation tax, and plans huge hike in fossil output

triangleDrone attacks on Saudi Arabia: Tensions ratcheted up

triangleOil firms spend $1bn fighting climate laws: 'Green New Deal' needs socialist policies

Energy:

triangleScunthorpe steelworks scaffolders: Fifth week of action

triangleNottingham City Council: The (mis)adventures of Robin Hood Energy

triangleLondon protest on Phulbari Day demands delisting of GMC from the London Stock Exchange

Gas:

triangleGMB members continue fight against 'fire and rehire' in British Gas

triangleStriking workers fighting to win

Budget:

triangleLiverpool Unite branch supports 'no cuts' budget strategy

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