Link to this page: https://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/933/24311
From The Socialist newspaper, 25 January 2017
2016 hottest year on record, air poisonous
Only socialist planning can end profit-driven pollution
Energy companies emit vast amounts of greenhouse gasses (Click to enlarge)
Aaron Smith, Bristol South Socialist Party
There is strong evidence that 2016 was the hottest year on record from US space agency Nasa. Meanwhile, in 2017, part of London breached EU limits on annual hours of toxic air in just five days.
The Earth is now, on average, 1.1°C warmer than when records began in 1880. Such warming is apparent in the ever decreasing Arctic sea ice, which could be ice-free in summer in as little as five years.
This dramatic change is largely due to the vast amounts of greenhouse gases generated by human activities such as manufacturing, agriculture and energy production. Under capitalism, only profit matters.
The super-rich and their politicians - while pretending to care about the environment, and holding annual climate conferences - continue business as usual.
Recent years have seen the Volkswagen emission cover-up scandal, the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, and the nuclear disaster at Fukushima.
At the time of writing, London's mayor has issued a "very high" air pollution alert, advising even the physically fit to take precautions!
Despite how serious the problem is, big business has little interest in an effective response to climate change and pollution, as it's just not profitable.
A socialist government would nationalise the big polluters, as well as transport and energy, and the top corporations, under democratic workers' control and management. Then we could invest in green technologies and infrastructure to finally deal with humanity's greatest challenge yet.
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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 25 January 2017:
What we think
Millions on women's marches around the world: Build a mass movement against Trumpism, austerity and capitalism
NHS under attack
NHS SOS: Save the Women's Hospital
Defiant mood at North Tyneside STP consultation
Lancashire: Hospital workers protest consultation
St Austell: STPs attacked
Paignton: organising against hospital closure
Socialist Party news and analysis
Reject Surrey's 15% council tax increase
Bristol police taser own race relations adviser
2016 hottest year on record, air poisonous
Wales council votes to buy back homes
Isle of Wight independents resign over cuts
Come to the TUSC national conference 2017!
International socialist news and analysis
Huge anger internationally on marches against Trump
India: struggle against land grab in Pune
International news in brief
Workplace news and analysis
RMT determinedly continues Southern strike
Incensed BA cabin crew strike and protest over pay
Steely opposition growing to Tata pension offer
2017 Unite general secretary and executive elections
Socialist Party Marxist analysis
Don't we need competition to spur on progress?
Socialist Party reports and campaigns
Huge anger against Trump across Britain
Surrey: Save our fire station
South London: march to save community centres
Obituary: Bernard Roome 1947-2017
Socialist readers' comments and reviews
Ed Balls: 'Speaking Out' for capitalism
The Socialist inbox
The Socialist 25 January 2017 |
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