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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

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, 1.1C 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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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 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

Trident trouble

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


 

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Related links:

Environment:

triangleCOP26: Socialist change to end the climate crisis

triangleCaerphilly & RCT Socialist Party: The socialist approach to the environment

triangleG7 green hypocrisy

triangleWhat councils can do to protect the environment

triangleThe Socialist Inbox

Profit:

triangleStop the Channel 4 sell-off!

triangleOur lives, our jobs, our future - Not safe in Tory hands

triangleNo trust in billionaire owners - kick them out and reclaim the game

trianglePimlico Academy protests: "Run by racists for profit"

Planning:

triangleKeep private hands off NHS patient data

triangleSave Our Square from New Labour gentrification

triangleWaltham Forest Save Our Square:

London:

triangleEast London Socialist Party: Cuba protests - what do they represent?

triangleEast London Socialist Party: Defend a woman's right to choose

Energy:

triangleClimate change - Johnson spouts 'greenwash 2.0'

Green:

triangleBarnsley 'Big Green Space' protest

Transport:

triangleBirmingham Clean Air Zone a tax on the poor

Manufacturing:

triangleIndia's health system in meltdown under Modi's misrule

Nationalise:

triangleMake vaccine technology public, nationalise big-pharma

Volkswagen:

triangle47,000 kids exposed to illegal toxic air

BP:

triangleClimate watch

Climate change:

triangleFlood devastation in Europe

Big business:

triangleScrap the privatising health and care bill

Oil:

triangleWill Biden's 'green' agenda avert an impending climate change catastrophe?

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