Much is said in the news about the disastrous situation that now exists in the Gulf of Mexico as a result of the Deepwater Horizon explosion. An ecological disaster of gigantic proportions has been created by the profit motive, which is what drives the BP executives. However, were the company to be thoroughly unionised, with workers’ representatives controlling every level of safety, this disaster could have been averted.

The huge spillage of oil in the Gulf of Mexico was an accident waiting to happen, as this brief comment from an ex-oil worker points out. It shows quite clearly that our environment cannot be left in the hands of a greedy, money-grabbing coterie of capitalists who own and control the means of production.

For many people, the idea of a revolutionary change in society seems like a pipe-dream that will never be possible in their lifetime. In this respect, Trotsky developed the idea of the “Transitional Programme”: a set of demands that could take society from our current situation under capitalism, towards our final goal of international socialism. What would such a transitional programme look like for the environment? What set of demands should socialists make regarding the climate change? In this article, we attempt to outline such a programme.

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