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From The Socialist newspaper, 24 September 2014

Climate change: Summit for nothing

Simon Carter

Ahead of the United Nations summit, hundreds of thousands of people demonstrated in 161 countries to demand immediate action on climate change. An estimated 400,000 marched in New York City last Sunday where the summit was being held and a reported 40,000 in London.

While the 'great and the good' were prominent on the New York demo calling for internationally binding targets on greenhouse gas emissions, the likes of eco-politicians such as Al Gore do not explain how this can be met within global capitalism. This isn't surprising when the NY demo sponsors included corporations like BP, HSBC, Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan Chase.

Targets agreed by the United Nations up to now have either been missed or have been set too low to make any meaningful change. And politicians like David Cameron or Barack Obama remain beholden to 'big oil' and the energy giants. Tinkering with capitalism is inadequate. We need system change to stop climate change.

That was the message Socialist Alternative Seattle councillor Kshama Sawant spelt out when she spoke at the New York protest. Kshama, was on a question and answer panel which included Chris Hedges, Naomi Klein, Bill McKibben and Bernie Sanders and was attended by 900 people in a church in Manhattan (see the full video at socialistalternative.org).

Socialist planning

Last week, the Socialist reported that record amounts of the principal greenhouse gas - carbon dioxide - are being released into the atmosphere by the little regulated, profit hungry energy companies, as well as transport, agro-chemical and other manufacturing industries.

The consequent increase in heat and energy in the planet is adding to the frequency and intensity of extreme weather events such as floods and severe droughts. In turn, agriculture is being adversely affected leading to price hikes in basic foods and increasing the suffering of billions of poor people globally.

Immediate binding international action to curb greenhouse gas emissions is vital to stabilise the climate but this is unlikely to happen on a capitalist basis where the cornerstone of a competitive system of production is profit.

That is why only international socialist planning of industry, based on nationalised and democratically run economies, can start to mitigate the environmental damage generated by capitalism.

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Coronavirus crisis - 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 government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.

  • 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.
  • Our 'fighting coronavirus workers' charter', outlines a programme to combat the virus and protect workers' living conditions.
  • When the health crisis subsides, 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.
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In The Socialist 24 September 2014:


Socialist Party news and analysis

We need 10 an hour now!

Labour to continue austerity offensive

Climate change: Summit for nothing

Academies lead to nepotism and profit making

Them & Us


Scottish referendum

1.6 million vote Yes in revolt against austerity

After Scotland revolt: all capitalist parties in crisis

Scotland Poll: Electric mood among YES supporters


International socialist news and analysis

Millions on streets for Catalan independence

Sweden: Conservatives collapse, extreme-right gains


Socialist Party workplace news

United strike action can win

NHS workers vote to strike

College lecturers join 14 October strike

Care UK: 'We'll fight them all the way'

Croydon leisure centre strike for decent wages

West Midlands fire engine cuts

Workplace news in brief


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Tenants threatened by 'feudal lord'

Global day of eco action

Round up: Socialist Students at the freshers fairs


Socialist Party comments and reviews

The struggle for decent social care - a personal account

Tony Benn: Will and testament

Obvious Child

Skylight

Front row fury


 

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Related links:

Climate change:

triangleLeeds Socialist Party: After Starmer's victory - how to continue the struggle for socialism

triangleHackney & Islington Socialist Party: How can climate change be stopped?

triangleBezos gives $10bn for climate - nationalise the rest!

triangleCaerphilly Socialist Party: Cuts and climate change cause floods

triangleCuts and climate change cause floods

Gas:

triangleNewham gas workers' strike threat

triangleNewham gas workers to strike

triangleBritish Gas workers need rank-and-file leadership

Energy:

triangleEnergy firm plans to make 2,600 redundant

triangleEDF Energy workers furloughed on 100% pay

triangleBristol North Socialist Party: Renewable Energy - a just transition

Capitalism:

triangleFight racism and class inequality, fight capitalism!

triangleThe Jungle: capitalism's remorseless attack on workers' safety and conditions

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