Link to this page: https://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/1041/29091
We need socialist change
Aidan O'Toole, Nuneaton Socialist Party
Protests against climate change and capitalism's degradation of our environment have been growing. Now the world's leading scientists warn that human society is in jeopardy from the accelerating decline of Earth's natural 'life-support systems'.
The Socialist Party argues that the profit driven internal logic of the capitalist system will indeed push the planet to breaking point. That's why the only real solution to climate change is systemic, socialist change.
The new inquest into the tragic death of a nine-year old in London, which was linked to pollution levels, should underline the urgency of this.
Parliament has now agreed to view climate change as an emergency, with Corbyn correctly stating that individual lifestyle changes won't be enough to tackle the impending environmental catastrophe.
To truly tackle climate change, we would have to see a massive redistribution of wealth and power in our society.
A recent report by the Committee on Climate Change has argued that it will be possible for the UK to go 'carbon neutral' by 2050. But this target won't be reached while production remains organised in the interests of profit - not people and planet.
Fundamentally, you can't control what you don't own. Going carbon neutral would really require democratic planning of the economy - something only possible on the basis of public ownership of the big monopolies which currently dominate, starting with the nationalisation of the energy companies under democratic workers' control and management.
In fact, the 2050 target might even be possible sooner if the economy were taken under workers' control, with socialist planning used to create a more equal and sustainable society.
In a socialist system, we could tackle the housing crisis by building high-quality, genuinely affordable council homes that run efficiently on renewable energy. We could utilise recent technology to revolutionise public transport, making it free. This could massively reduce the number of cars on the road.
By taking control of our society's wealth, instead of giving tax cuts to the richest, we could invest in research into green technology and energy.
Under capitalism, the short-term profits of the rich will always take priority over the long-term needs of workers and the environment.
The climate crisis is a global issue. Trump's state visit here is planned from 3-5 June. The US president's climate scepticism is no accident. He is backed by the fossil fuel industry, which has spent decades funding and promoting climate change denial.
That's why young people and workers, building on the recent youth climate strikes, need to build for mass action to protest against Trump and capitalism this summer.
Capitalist politicians - including Trump and May - hold no solutions in stopping climate change. In fact they are a central part of the problem.
Only working-class people can really do this - by seizing the wealth currently concentrated in the hands of the super-rich few - and using it to build a new society based on solidarity and sustainability: socialism.
The next global climate walkouts are on Friday 24th May.
In The Socialist 8 May 2019:
Socialist Party election analysis
International socialist news and analysis
Socialist Party news and analysis
Workplace news and analysis
Socialist Party reports and campaigns