Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: https://secure.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/723/14746

From The Socialist newspaper, 20 June 2012

2012 earth summit

Why Rio+20 will cut no ice

Pete Mason
National Snow and Ice Data Center daily image 20 June 2012

National Snow and Ice Data Center daily image 20 June 2012   (Click to enlarge)

Every day an update of the extent of the ice in the arctic sea is posted on the National Snow and Ice Data Centre website. On 10 June, this update showed that the polar ice cap had shrunk below the previous record-setting year of 2007.

The Northern Sea Route round the ice cap (the Northeast passage), became ice-free for the first time in the satellite record in August 2005. This year it is almost ice-free already.

The earth's ice cap faces the sun and its white surface reflects back sunlight like a gigantic sunshade. That ice is thinning four times faster than the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) models predict.

Despite clear evidence of rapid warming, the forthcoming United Nations Rio+20 Earth summit, to be attended by 120 world leaders, will once again show that the capitalist nations are incapable of doing any more than fiddling while the planet burns.

Already negotiations have fallen into "disarray" in advance of the summit - this despite no legally binding commitments even being requested.

The Guardian (6 June) points out the central capitalist contradiction: "G77 [neocolonial] countries have argued that while the goal [of low carbon economies] is acceptable, they risk being at a competitive disadvantage in the race for future global markets and are suspicious that the green economy is a pretence for rich countries to erect 'green' trade barriers on developing country exports."

Competition

Climate change demonstration December 2008, photo by Paul Mattsson

Climate change demonstration December 2008, photo by Paul Mattsson   (Click to enlarge)

There is every reason to be suspicious. As long as the world economy's mainspring is capitalist competition, the so-called free market, a collective effort to reduce global emissions of carbon dioxide is continually undermined.

Even the International Energy Agency (IEA), formed by the OECD to defend the oil-based profits of the multinationals against the Middle East-based oil cartel OPEC, has a number of reports and statements by leading officials warning about the dangers of climate change.

"A technological transformation of the energy system is still possible, despite current trends" which are "failing to meet the deployment objectives needed," its latest Energy Technology Perspectives 2012 executive summary says: "Low-carbon electricity is at the core of a sustainable energy system. Renewable energy technologies play a crucial role in this respect."

Yet the "share of energy-related investment in public research, development and demonstration (RD&D) has fallen by two-thirds since the 1980s" painting a "bleak picture": the "window of opportunity is closing rapidly" the report says. The technology to achieve that goal is available. Natural gas is no solution. Coal use must be reduced.

Ultimately the IEA will defend its paymasters, and cannot draw the necessary conclusion: That investment in R&D has plummeted and deployment has failed because capitalist Big Oil still pulls the strings of government.

A socialist solution, which starts from the nationalisation under democratic workers' control of the energy and transport multinationals, is the only answer.

Why not click here to join the Socialist Party, or click here to donate to the Socialist Party.


In The Socialist 20 June 2012:


Socialist Party news and analysis

Fight their profit system

2012 earth summit

British economy: "black cloud overhead"

Leveson inquiry - The 1%: "definitely in this together"

Flight of the rats

The child poverty mirage

Them & Us


International socialist news and analysis

Greece election - majority vote against austerity

Egypt's military instigates a 'soft coup'


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Join in the Austerity Games!

Gloucestershire: Countywide protests to stop NHS sell-off

Bus bosses can't stop the Socialist!

Support the final sprint to the fighting fund quarter finish line


Socialist Party workplace news

Striking at Fords to defend pensions

Five hundred food processing workers strike in Leicester

Packed Coryton refinery meeting backs action to win

Support the London bus strike

UCU: Time to fight on pay and pensions

Improved offer in Metro workers' pay fight

Workplace news in brief


Trade union conferences

GMB delegates question link to Labour

Unite needs strategy to step up fight against austerity

Unison conference: members show anger at pensions 'offer'

Fighting teachers' association network launched


Socialist Party review

Secret History of the Streets, Deptford High Street


 

Home   |   The Socialist 20 June 2012   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate   |   PDF  




Related links:

Climate change:

triangleClimate change election debate - Corbyn offers best green solutions but needs to go further

triangleClimate strikes: Students and trade unionists protest together

triangleWhy I joined: "Proud to be a socialist"

triangleTrump and Tories are a threat to environment

triangleSocialism 2019 rally: "Socialist change needed to end climate change"

Energy:

triangleWorkplace news in brief

triangleBEIS strike

triangleLabour's nationalisation plan: What policies are needed to avert climate catastrophe?

triangleSocialist policies needed to halt climate disaster

Capitalist:

triangleSouth African Airways workers win wage increase after strike action

trianglePrince Andrew outrage exposes establishment

triangleTheatre: On Bear Ridge - an examination of loss, set in a post-apocalyptic world

Oil:

triangleDrone attacks on Saudi Arabia: Tensions ratcheted up

triangleOil firms spend $1bn fighting climate laws: 'Green New Deal' needs socialist policies

Carbon:

triangleLabour needs socialist policies to solve "climate emergency"

Green:

triangleGreen Party offers no alternative for young people and climate change chaos

News and socialist analysis

News and socialist analysis

13/12/19

Britain

Stand firm for socialist policies to stop Tory attacks

4/12/19

Pharmaceutical

End profiteering from health - nationalise big pharma

4/12/19

Labour

Prepare now for the struggles after 12 December

4/12/19

The Socialist

Keep up to date with our election coverage

4/12/19

NHS

News in brief

4/12/19

Hillsborough

Hillsborough justice eluded

30/11/19

London

Unite against terrorism, racism, war and austerity

27/11/19

Northern Ireland

Northern Ireland: strike action by NHS workers

27/11/19

University

Resist attacks against free speech on campus

27/11/19

Council

End council cuts now, to end Tory austerity!

27/11/19

Tories

Tories launch 'non manifesto'

27/11/19

Labour

Labour's manifesto: fight to transform hope into a socialist society

27/11/19

Monarchy

Prince Andrew outrage exposes establishment

27/11/19

Tory

Tory election campaign's dirty tricks and lies

20/11/19

Wages

Wages flatline, while shareholders profit

triangleMore News and socialist analysis 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: info@socialistparty.org.uk

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

Regional Socialist Party organisers:

Eastern: 0798 202 1969

East Mids: 0773 797 8057

London: 020 8988 8786

North East: 0784 114 4890

North West 07954 376 096

South East: 020 8988 8777

South West: 07759 796 478

Southern: 07833 681910

Wales: 07935 391 947

West Mids: 02476 555 620

Yorkshire: 0114 264 6551

ABOUT US

ARCHIVE

Alphabetical listing


December 2019

November 2019

October 2019

September 2019

August 2019

July 2019

June 2019

May 2019

April 2019

March 2019

February 2019

January 2019

2018

2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999