Link to this page: https://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/837/19828
Climate change: Sacrificing the future
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.
In The Socialist 10 December 2014:
Socialist Party news and analysis
International socialist news and analysis
Socialist Party workplace news
Socialist Party reports and campaigns
Socialist Party comments and reviews