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From The Socialist newspaper, 10 October 2018

12 years to halt irreversible climate disaster. Capitalism's time is up. Only socialism can save us all.

Forest fires, droughts, floods, mass displacement, annihilation of coastal cities and vast swathes of wildlife habitats - capitalism must be stopped

Forest fires, droughts, floods, mass displacement, annihilation of coastal cities and vast swathes of wildlife habitats - capitalism must be stopped   (Click to enlarge)

Theo Sharieff, Waltham Forest Socialist Party

Real and immediate horrors face humanity even if the world limits global warming to the current target of 2C. Scientists are now insisting on the lower limit of 1.5C - and saying we have just 12 years left to change course.

The Paris climate accord's top 2C limit could increase the population exposed to water shortages by 50%, escalate food scarcity, and throw hundreds of millions more people into climate-related poverty.

This isn't even to mention the wider environmental damage posed. Hitting the 2C temperature makes it twice as likely that pollinating insects would lose half their habitat. Meanwhile, 99% of coral would die.

And this is if we hit 2C. But on the current course, we are headed towards a 3C increase.

Some delegates to the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change reportedly wept and held each other while agreeing the report.

The question facing the world working class, and especially young people, is this: does capitalism have the capability to produce the "unprecedented shift" the report's authors urge in such a short space of time?

Billions of people are watching capitalism's inability to fix even the basic issues facing humanity in the here and now, such as poverty, homelessness, unemployment and war - and rightly concluding it doesn't.

Donald Trump's withdrawal of the US from the Paris accord only adds weight to these fears. But Trump isn't the beginning or end of the climate problem.

Capitalism is a system which only keeps moving by prioritising profits for the owners and plunderers of the world's resources - the capitalist class. Everything else is a distraction.

Since 1988, just 100 big corporations have been responsible for 71% of the world's greenhouse gas emissions. This shows why none of the politicians or parties that defend capitalism have the answers we desperately need.

Unprecedented change is required, urgently, if we want to have a planet to live on, cities and towns to live in, food to eat and water to drink by the end of this century.

This change can only be achieved by socialist transformation on an international scale, through the mass action of those who most need it: the working class and young people.

Only on the basis of a socialist world - where the planet's resources are taken out of the hands of those driving climate change, the capitalists, into collective ownership, as part of a democratic plan for green production - can we truly meet the needs of all society, and avert catastrophe.

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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.

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  • 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 10 October 2018:


What we think

Tories' crisis conference - Corbyn must fight for general election


Workplace news and analysis

We need democratic, rank-and-file leadership to win national UCU disputes

First coordinated catering and courier strike whets workers' appetite for action

Another first: pub strike victory in south London!

Cable makers strike against real-terms pay cut

Strike raises pay at Liverpool airport

South Western rail guards hit 18 strike days


Socialist Party news and analysis

Fight the right

12 years to halt irreversible climate disaster. Capitalism's time is up

8,000 Glasgow workers plan historic mass strike

Super-rich flee to Monaco to evade Corbyn

Workers in UK do 1.2trn of unpaid housework and care

Workers' action wins Amazon pay rise

Them & Us


Anti-racism

Fight racism: fight for jobs, homes and services for all

25 years since 50,000 marched against the far-right threat


International socialist news and analysis

Polarisation, risks and resistance in Brazilian elections

US: #CancelKavanaugh

Mexico: socialists violently attacked by gangs - urgent solidarity needed

Ireland: 10,000 march for homes in Dublin


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Liverpool 47 plaque: "Better to break the law, than break the poor"

Palestinian solidarity: "We are not victims. We are freedom fighters."

Leicestershire: stop the cuts to our hospital services

Save Huddersfield Royal Infirmary - the fight goes on

Finance - a crucial component of socialist campaigns


Opinion

The murky world of the 'Big Four' accountancy firms

The Socialist Inbox


 

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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

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Capitalism:

triangleFight racism and class inequality, fight capitalism!

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

triangleUniversal Basic Income: not a solution to insecurity and poverty under capitalism

triangleBristol North Socialist Party: Crisis, capitalism and class division - a discussion on perspectives for Britain

Global warming:

triangleTV Review: Apocalypse Cow

triangleTories look in wrong place for climate solutions

triangleStop climate change - fight for socialist change

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