Link to this page: https://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/1013/28069
From The Socialist newspaper, 10 October 2018
12 years to halt irreversible climate disaster. Capitalism's time is up. Only socialism can save us all.
Forest fires, droughts, floods, mass displacement, annihilation of coastal cities and vast swathes of wildlife habitats - capitalism must be stopped (Click to enlarge)
Theo Sharieff, Waltham Forest Socialist Party
Real and immediate horrors face humanity even if the world limits global warming to the current target of 2°C. Scientists are now insisting on the lower limit of 1.5°C - and saying we have just 12 years left to change course.
The Paris climate accord's top 2°C limit could increase the population exposed to water shortages by 50%, escalate food scarcity, and throw hundreds of millions more people into climate-related poverty.
This isn't even to mention the wider environmental damage posed. Hitting the 2°C temperature makes it twice as likely that pollinating insects would lose half their habitat. Meanwhile, 99% of coral would die.
And this is if we hit 2°C. But on the current course, we are headed towards a 3°C increase.
Some delegates to the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change reportedly wept and held each other while agreeing the report.
The question facing the world working class, and especially young people, is this: does capitalism have the capability to produce the "unprecedented shift" the report's authors urge in such a short space of time?
Billions of people are watching capitalism's inability to fix even the basic issues facing humanity in the here and now, such as poverty, homelessness, unemployment and war - and rightly concluding it doesn't.
Donald Trump's withdrawal of the US from the Paris accord only adds weight to these fears. But Trump isn't the beginning or end of the climate problem.
Capitalism is a system which only keeps moving by prioritising profits for the owners and plunderers of the world's resources - the capitalist class. Everything else is a distraction.
Since 1988, just 100 big corporations have been responsible for 71% of the world's greenhouse gas emissions. This shows why none of the politicians or parties that defend capitalism have the answers we desperately need.
Unprecedented change is required, urgently, if we want to have a planet to live on, cities and towns to live in, food to eat and water to drink by the end of this century.
This change can only be achieved by socialist transformation on an international scale, through the mass action of those who most need it: the working class and young people.
Only on the basis of a socialist world - where the planet's resources are taken out of the hands of those driving climate change, the capitalists, into collective ownership, as part of a democratic plan for green production - can we truly meet the needs of all society, and avert catastrophe.
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Coronavirus crisis - 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.
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In The Socialist 10 October 2018:
What we think
Tories' crisis conference - Corbyn must fight for general election
Workplace news and analysis
We need democratic, rank-and-file leadership to win national UCU disputes
First coordinated catering and courier strike whets workers' appetite for action
Another first: pub strike victory in south London!
Cable makers strike against real-terms pay cut
Strike raises pay at Liverpool airport
South Western rail guards hit 18 strike days
Socialist Party news and analysis
Fight the right
12 years to halt irreversible climate disaster. Capitalism's time is up
8,000 Glasgow workers plan historic mass strike
Super-rich flee to Monaco to evade Corbyn
Workers in UK do £1.2trn of unpaid housework and care
Workers' action wins Amazon pay rise
Them & Us
Fight racism: fight for jobs, homes and services for all
25 years since 50,000 marched against the far-right threat
International socialist news and analysis
Polarisation, risks and resistance in Brazilian elections
Mexico: socialists violently attacked by gangs - urgent solidarity needed
Ireland: 10,000 march for homes in Dublin
Socialist Party reports and campaigns
Liverpool 47 plaque: "Better to break the law, than break the poor"
Palestinian solidarity: "We are not victims. We are freedom fighters."
Leicestershire: stop the cuts to our hospital services
Save Huddersfield Royal Infirmary - the fight goes on
Finance - a crucial component of socialist campaigns
The murky world of the 'Big Four' accountancy firms
The Socialist Inbox
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