Latuff CapitalismGlobalWarming thumbThere 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.

Tgreendollarrecyclinghe philosophical premise behind the consumerist strategy is the idea that we can in effect will a change in society through our purchasing choices. The idea is that if we could just change everyone’s mind about their role in the environment, then we would change society and its structure. If we could only convince everyone individually to be more caring towards the environment and to change their personal lives, then we could change the world.

chimneys-thThe past seven months have seen the release of the Fifth Assessment Report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the international scientific body set up by the United Nations to provide the most comprehensive body of information and analysis about the process, risks, and impacts of climate change. The conclusions of the latest IPCC report are unequivocal: climate change is real; its effects will be disastrous; and nothing short of a revolution will do if we are to combat it.

 Carbon Taxes: A solution to the environmental crisis?  Illustration: LatuffThe question of climate change and the environment is one of the burning issues for today’s youth.  It is becoming increasingly evident that unsustainable exploitation of the environment cannot continue unabated.  One measure that is championed by the bosses and the ruling class, and is supposed to relieve the pressures on the environment, is a carbon tax, such as the one implemented in British Columbia in 2008. Five years later, can we say that carbon taxes genuinely work in protecting the environment, or are they simply one more tool in the bosses‘ arsenal in order to transfer more money into the bank accounts of corporations?

Map of the Arctic-thClimate change, melting icecaps and new opportunities for access to valuable resources have reawakened a struggle for power in the Arctic. The Great powers are jockeying for control of the region.

Just five years ago, not a day would go by without global warming making the headlines. The American politician Al Gore’s documentary film about climate change, An Inconvenient Truth, was seen by hundreds of thousands in cinemas across the world. The Conservative Party rebranded themselves as the champions of the environment, nailing their ecological colours to the mast and urging people to ‘vote Blue to go Green’. Even the arch-reactionary American president George W. Bush was forced to concede that, maybe, the environment was worth thinking about.

Deepwater Horizon - a unionised workforce would stop these environmental disastersMuch 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.

Deepwater Horizon - one more legacy of ThatcherismThe 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.

A Transitional Programme for the Environment. Drawing by Latuff.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.

The “Copenhagen Accord” - all hot airOn Saturday, after two weeks of negotiations, the Climate Summit in Copenhagen ended in a complete failure. The outcome of the talks, a document known as the “Copenhagen Accord”, is merely a collection of hollow and vacuous statements, and does not contain any reference to a legally binding agreement.

WELCOME TO
THE NEW MARXIST.COM

After some years, we have given our site an overhaul. We hope that it will be more readable and easier to navigate. We're preparing a whole series of publications for the centenary of the Russian Revolution. You can follow our centenary campaign on Twitter and Facebook. All this requires a big effort. If you appreciate our work, please donate to support us:

Join us!

Help build the forces of Marxism worldwide!

Join the IMT!