UN Climate Report: Capitalism Can’t Solve Environmental Crisis

Join ICWP to Create a Communist Solution

October 27— Super-typhoon Yutu smashed into the mid-Pacific Northern Mariana Islands this week. We don’t know how many of our working-class family died, but the damage was tremendous. It may have been the deadliest event there since the bloody battles of World War II.

Yutu intensified from a tropical storm to a dangerous monster in just two days. It is tied as the fifth-strongest storm on record to make landfall anywhere in the world. Scientists think that in our warming world, storms will more often make this transformation due to higher sea temperatures.

But people in the Marianas, like many other island-dwellers, have more to fear from global climate change than storms. Most live practically at sea level. A global average temperature rise of 2o (the goal of the 2016 Paris Climate Accord) would submerge them along with Tuvalu, Kiribati, and the Marshall Islands.

That’s why the Marshall Islands’ representative called the 2o goal “genocide.” And that was just a “goal” to avoid the predicted increase of 4o by 2100.

Last month’s report of the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change studied how much worse 2o of warming would be than 1.5o.   Its research isn’t new.   What’s new is its insistence on drastic action within the next ten years. If trends continue, the world would reach the 1.5o level within a few decades. At that critical point, most of us will be at serious risk, wherever we live. Things will get qualitatively worse, fast.

This report underlines the urgency of mobilizing masses for communism now. Communist revolutions can and must start breaking out within the next ten years!

Let’s be clear: The scientific argument is about what quantitative increase in temperature will lead to a qualitative change in the conditions for human life on earth.

The political argument is about what qualitative social and economic changes can prevent catastrophe.

Trump in the US and Bolsonaro in Brazil are among the capitalist politicians who deny that there’s a problem. They serve the interests of capitalist-imperialists who make huge profits from extractive industries like oil, coal and logging. They reflect the ideology of “neo-liberal” free-market capitalism that puts short-term profits ahead of everything.

Following the UN report, the New York Times (mouthpiece for US imperialism) devoted an entire Sunday magazine to the climate crisis. It blamed “human nature” for the short-term thinking that refused to act when the need was identified in 1988.

To many others it is obvious that free-market capitalism is the problem.

“We Cannot Fight Climate Change with Capitalism, Says Report,” announced one headline. “Scientists Warn the UN of Capitalism’s Imminent Demise,” concluded another.

Some argue for a steep carbon tax – recognizing that it’s too little, too late.

Others talk of a “post-capitalist” world – without a plan. One author of the UN report says that it’s “harmful to think that we either have capitalism or something totally different.” Evidently he doesn’t want us to think about anything totally different, like communism.

Liberal darling Naomi Klein calls for “a new form of democratic eco-socialism.” But the only action she proposes is backing candidates like Alex Ocasio-Cortez to work within the existing political system.

Given the urgency of the crisis, we cannot afford to waste time finding out what a century of struggle has already proved: Capitalism cannot be reformed to meet our needs or legislated out of existence. Your vote is not your voice.

You can make a difference – but only by contributing to the work of mobilizing masses for communist revolution. That’s the personal choice that matters more than what you eat or how you get around.

The system has to change – and fast.

That’s what the UN report says. But it has no solution: “It can be safely said that no widely applicable economic models have been developed specifically for the upcoming era.”

We disagree. While no model communist society has yet existed, a truly communist society has the potential to mobilize masses on an unprecedented scale to meet the climate crisis.

All economic models are political. They assume certain relations of power. Communism puts the masses in power to make the decisions that affect our common life. With no money or profit motive, human needs are front and center.

When an area becomes uninhabitable, we will be able to help our working-class family members there move elsewhere without destroying the social relationships that form the web of their community.

Communism will unleash the creative power of the masses to devise and improve the technology we need, rather than leaving that work to a few scientists and engineers.

Without a money economy, the “cost” of technical solutions will be socially necessary human labor. Mobilizing that labor to work for what we all desperately need will be primarily a political task.

It is up to the masses themselves – ourselves! – to develop the communist “economic model” in the process of organizing a revolutionary armed struggle for power.

This process starts today. It starts with people like you. It starts when you join the International Communist Workers’ Party.

And it can’t wait much longer.

“Marshall Islands We Are Not Drowning We Are FIGHTING”

 Front page of this issue

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