Environment

“The ocean is rising, and we are too.” Climate change is no longer a thing of the future. Already, hurricanes are becoming more powerful, forests are burning, people are dying from heat waves, drought, floods, and famine. Such extreme weather events are quickly becoming the rule, not the exception.

The oceans are polluted by plastic and chemical waste, killing off fish and other marine life. Underground water supplies are drained or polluted, leading to a widespread scarcity of this most essential of resources. Every year, species are becoming extinct through the senseless destruction of ecosystems.

Immediate action is needed. A massive reduction in emissions and pollution levels is essential. And large-scale mitigation measures must be taken, such as the construction of flood defences and reforestation. But the capitalists and their political representatives are completely incapable of carrying out the radical changes that are required.

— From IMT statement: capitalism is killing the planet – we need a revolution!

On 25 April 2020, in the midst of the coronavirus lockdown, the Guyana Geology and Mines Commission (GMC) met to debate a project involving an industrial-size, open-pit gold mine in the middle of the Amazon rainforest. The name of the project is Espérance, French for “hope” – hope for whom, one might ask? Despite opposition from environmentalist organisations and local Indigenous peoples, the project was approved.

Rinat Akhmetchin, the Mayor of Norilsk, an industrial city in Russia, has been charged with negligence following a catastrophic oil spill from a local power plant. The spill has been ongoing since 29 May, with over 20,000 tonnes of diesel seeping into the surrounding soil and waterways. On 4 June, the Kremlin issued a state of emergency in Norilsk. The city is situated in Siberia, inside the Arctic Circle, where the local ecology is already severely disturbed due to some extremely worrying symptoms of climate change: a product of the irrational, rotten capitalist system, which is placing the planet in peril.

Climate change presents a colossal threat to humanity, and has motivated huge protests (particularly by young people) in the last period. Only a socialist transformation of society, with production planned democratically by the working class in harmony with the planet, can end the threat of climate change. This document by the International Marxist Tendency explains our revolutionary programme for dealing with the climate crisis. It was drafted before the pandemic for discussion at the 2020 IMT World Congress, but has now been updated in a few places in light of recent events. Since the Congress has been cancelled due to the pandemic, we invite you to ...

This article was written before the COVID-19 pandemic resulted in lockdowns throughout the world, including Denmark. However, the points it raises about the co-option of the climate movement by the forces of the establishment remain unchanged – and are all the more relevant given the global health emergency posed by COVID-19.

We spoke with Leonid Shaidurov: a 17-year-old activist who has played a leading role in the School Strikes for Climate movement in Russia. He has helped organise students in schools and is a member of both the coordination council for Fridays for Future internationally and the organisational committee in Russia. He agreed to be interviewed in order to give advice to school students hoping to build on the movement around climate change.

The international climate strike movement has created waves across the world. Over the past year, during the course of several global days of action, millions of young people from over 100 countries have walked out of school in order to join the ‘Fridays for Future’ protests, demanding immediate action against the climate crisis.

The fires in the Amazon and central-west regions of Brazil were felt in São Paulo. The sky darkened at 3pm and many people did not understand why. Then the news came, explaining that, besides the cold front, this was caused by the ground-clearing fires used in “slash-and-burn” agriculture. And then, a general commotion was stirred up on social media, in the newspapers, and across the international media. The environmental problem, which did not seem to be a major focus of public indignation, become a new point of expression for widespread dissatisfaction and government crisis. This issue fed the anger and resentment against the Bolsonaro government, which responded with nothing but

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“The ocean is rising, and we are too.” So read one placard at the recent #YouthStrike4Climate in London. Young people across the world are taking to the streets to address the burning issue of our epoch: the impending climate catastrophe. Starting in Sweden last August with the weekly protests of one school student, Greta Thunberg, the youth strikes have rapidly spread internationally. In every country the situation is the same: a new, radicalised generation is entering into political activity, demanding action and system change to avert environmental destruction.

This summer has been one of freakish weather events the world over. No longer is climate change a thing of the future. From California to the Arctic Circle, exceptional temperatures are creating tinder box conditions. In Greece, 91 people were killed in a horrific blaze. In Japan at least 77 people have died and more than 30,000 have been admitted to hospital with heat stroke. 54 people have been killed by the heat in Quebec, Canada.

There were scenes of jubilation in Paris last Saturday evening, as delegates from almost 200 countries celebrated the results of over two weeks of negotiations at the 2015 United Nations climate change conference, COP21. World leaders have declared the Paris agreement to be a “historic” landmark in the fight against climate change; an unprecedented display of cooperation in terms of international efforts to curb global warming.

In this recording from 28th June 2015, Shahrar Ali - deputy leader of the Green Party - and Adam Booth - editor of www.socialist.net - discuss the capitalist causes of the climate crisis, and the way forward for humanity.