Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: https://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/1149/33086

From The Socialist newspaper, 29 September 2021

CWI livestream rally report

Stopping destructive climate change requires socialist change

Photo: Paul Mattsson

Photo: Paul Mattsson   (Click to enlarge)

The Committee for a Workers' International (CWI) livestreamed a rally on 26 September on the critically urgent theme of a 'socialist solution to the capitalist climate catastrophe'.

Hosted by CWI secretary Tony Saunois, the worldwide panel of speakers delivered a devastating critique of how the unsustainable profit-driven global system is destroying our environment, and heating the planet to temperatures which threaten human civilisation.

Eko John Nicholas from the Democratic Socialist Movement (CWI in Nigeria) graphically explained how that tropical country is experiencing both prolonged drought in the north and extreme flooding events in the south due to climate change.

Likewise, Ashley from the Independent Socialist Group in the USA told the rally that this summer was the hottest recorded in US history. Parts of the country are experiencing unprecedented drought, with the federal government declaring for the first time a water shortage along the Colorado river.

And on top of never-before-experienced heatwaves, and even ice storms in Texas, the recent Hurricane Ida, second only to Hurricane Katrina in its ferocity, laid waste to Louisiana and devastated New York City - with people dying in their basement apartments from flash flooding.

Alexsandra Setsumei Ol from SOL (CWI in Germany) also reminded viewers of the terrible 'once-in-a-lifetime' floods in Germany, Netherlands and Belgium which left 186 people dead, hundreds injured, and many more homeless. The cost of destruction in Germany alone is estimated at 5 billion.

'New normal'

But such cataclysmic events are, in fact, becoming the 'new normal' as the planet heats up due to greenhouse gas emissions from capitalist production, transport and agribusiness.

Of course, it's always the poor and the working class who are forced to pay the price. As Tony stated in his introduction, most of the global victims of climate change are living in the ex-colonial countries.

Eko explained how the lack of investment in infrastructure in Lagos, Nigeria's commercial capital, means that more frequent floods have polluted drinking water. Only 10% of the city's population now has access to clean water.

Despite the country's oil and gas wealth the living conditions of the masses have actually worsened. While the profits are siphoned by corrupt governments and big energy companies - which also continue to flare off gas from its oil platforms, contributing massively to greenhouse gas emissions - many people living in the oil producing delta region suffer ill health from terrible pollution.

Rushme Madhavan from New Socialist Alternative (CWI in India) explained how the extreme nationalist Modi regime has given the green light to multinational companies to continue their polluting industries (especially the 'recycling' - ie dumping - of waste products from Western countries), while the workers only have an expensive privatised healthcare system to treat their resulting health problems.

Judy Beishon, on behalf of the CWI International Secretariat, explained that capitalist governments around the world have failed to tackle this climate emergency and environmental catastrophe.

Any measures that have been undertaken are inadequate, uncoordinated, and based on market solutions like carbon-trading schemes, which don't actually cut greenhouse gas emissions.

She told viewers to expect much 'greenwashing' by the likes of Boris Johnson, Joe Biden, and other capitalist politicians, as well as by major corporations, at the forthcoming COP26 climate change summit in Glasgow.

As Ashley pointed out, Biden has allowed more oil exploration and gas fracking permits to proceed than his reactionary predecessor Donald Trump.

In the UK, a large sum - 7.5 billion - of the government's so-called green initiatives (solar panels, home insulation, etc), is borne not by the treasury but by a regressive green tax on our energy bills, hitting the poorest hardest.

Governments and capitalist companies around the world do understand that the cost of not fixing climate change will cost their profit system dearly. This understanding of the need to act is writ large by the Covid pandemic.

According to the International Monetary Fund, if Covid is not contained it could cost the world economy 3.3 trillion by 2025. Whereas, the estimated cost of supplying vaccines globally is only 70 billion.

Yet, despite the fine words and pledges of vaccine supplies by Biden, Macron, et al, less than 2% of world's poorest populations have received one vaccine dose.

Meanwhile, pharmaceutical giants with their monopoly on vaccine patents continue to prioritise orders for the advanced capitalist countries. Yet millions of doses stockpiled in the West will be dumped as they reach their expiry dates this year.

Capitalist competition

In reality, as Judy explained, capitalism is incapable of acting collectively, at least to any meaningful degree, to halt rising levels of greenhouse gas emissions. In fact, the onset of economic crisis is leading in the opposite direction, with increased competition rather than cooperation between capitalist countries.

So what can be done to halt devastating climate change? Judy said that many young people are rightly sceptical and despairing at capitalist politicians ability to solve the climate emergency.

Some may look to the Greens as a political alternative. But as Alexsandra explained, in Germany the Greens' radical rhetoric has not been matched when entering into coalitions with establishment parties. In short, they sell out at the critical moments (see 'German Greens: The image and reality').

Similarly, Ashley explained that the sizeable DSA left wing in the Democrats, while talking up a 'Green New Deal' has allowed such commitments to be watered down by the Democrats in Congress, including by radical figures such as Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who want to make such a policy acceptable to the capitalists.

A green new deal has to be fought for outside of the Democrats and Republicans, which are wedded to capitalism. Policies to deal with climate change and the environment have to be part of the struggle to build an independent working-class movement for socialism.

Judy concluded by saying that what's needed is a fundamental change in capitalist production to provide clean, renewable energy, along with non-polluting economic growth, to deliver higher living standards for all.

This is only possible under socialism which, by removing the profit motive, would allow workers to democratically plan production internationally. We urgently need mass workers' movements to challenge capitalist governments, linked to thorough socialist change, ie taking the major corporations into public ownership.

Tony summed up by appealing to those new to the CWI to join our ranks in their respective countries and fight for these ideals as the only realistic way to halt catastrophic climate change.

Donate to the Socialist Party

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 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.
  • 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.
Inevitably, during the crisis we have not been able to sell the Socialist and raise funds in the ways we normally would.
We therefore urgently appeal to all our viewers to donate to our Fighting Fund.

Please donate here.

All payments are made through a secure server.

My donation

 

Your message: 

 


In The Socialist 29 September 2021:


What we think

Starmer consolidates post-Corbyn Blairite transformation of Labour


International

German election: A change of capitalist government, but disaster for Die Linke


People's budgets

Save our services


News

End profit-fuelled crisis

NHS workers reject 3% pay insult

Driver shortages - a view from the inside

News in brief


Black history month

Black history month and its relevance today


Climate change

CWI livestream rally report


Workplace news

NEU deputy general secretary election

Corby and Burton Latimer Weetabix engineers strike

Fightback to save Birmingham GKN jobs!

Flexibility to suit workers not the bosses

College workers walk out in pay dispute


Campaigns

London tenants v greedy contractors

Bromsgrove protest for NHS fair pay

Sabina Nessa vigil: End violence against women


Youth and Students

Join the fight for our future

Sunak's student special

More market chaos: York students given digs in Hull

Lots of sign-ups for Socialist Students at freshers

Youth climate protests are back


 

Home   |   The Socialist 29 September 2021   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate   |   Audio  |   PDF  |   ebook






Related links:

Climate change:

triangleSave the planet from capitalist climate catastrophe

triangleCOP26: Trade unions must fight for a socialist transition to renewables

triangle'Stop climate change' demonstrations

triangleLeeds Socialist Party: The environment and climate change

triangleBuild a mass working-class climate movement with socialist policies

Socialist:

triangleFighting the cuts at the ballot box in Liverpool

trianglePeople's Budgets - a socialist answer to cruel cuts

triangleContainer delay carnage makes the case for socialist planning

triangleFight for a socialist recovery

CWI:

triangleIn brief: News, reports & analysis from the CWI

triangleCuban protests - what do they represent?

triangleGermany: Flood disaster affects hundreds of thousands

Capitalist:

triangleAustria: Chancellor Kurz resigns amid allegations of corruption

triangleTV review: Squid Game

Gas:

triangleCaerphilly and RCT Socialist Party: Nationalise gas and energy

Green:

triangleBrighton bin workers' victory in sight against Green-led council

Capitalism:

triangleSocialist nationalisation not bailouts for the bosses

International

International

20/10/21

Austria

Austria: Chancellor Kurz resigns amid allegations of corruption

6/10/21

US

London protest for Texas abortion rights

29/9/21

Election

German election: A change of capitalist government, but disaster for Die Linke

29/9/21

Climate change

CWI livestream rally report

22/9/21

Germany

German general election

8/9/21

Libya

Libya - ten years after Gaddafi's overthrow

8/9/21

US

US Supreme Court refuses to challenge Texas abortion ban

8/9/21

US

Keep fascists out of Portland: Build a mass movement to fight the right

25/8/21

Lebanon

Reflections on the Lebanese tragedy one year on

25/8/21

Scotland

SNP-Green deal will not deliver for workers and youth

25/8/21

Nigeria

Nigeria: Comrade Omomeewa, student leader and socialist campaigner, killed by armed assailants

25/8/21

Afghanistan

Afghanistan in crisis:

25/8/21

Afghanistan

Afghanistan: The Taliban takeover - what are the lessons for the workers' movement internationally

11/8/21

Capitalism

Beirut's devastating port explosion one year on

28/7/21

Workers

In brief: News, reports & analysis from the CWI

triangleMore International articles...


Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party
Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

LATEST POSTS

CONTACT US

Phone our national office on 020 8988 8777

Email: [email protected]

Locate your nearest Socialist Party branch Text your name and postcode to 07761 818 206

Regional Socialist Party organisers:

Eastern: 079 8202 1969

East Mids: 077 3797 8057

London: 075 4018 9052

North East: 078 4114 4890

North West 079 5437 6096

South West: 077 5979 6478

Southern: 078 3368 1910

Wales: 077 7221 5281

West Mids: 024 7655 5620

Yorkshire: 078 0983 9793

ABOUT US

ARCHIVE

Alphabetical listing


October 2021

September 2021

August 2021

July 2021

June 2021

May 2021

April 2021

March 2021

February 2021

January 2021

2020

2019

2018

2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999