Like a spear thrusting into the Gulf of Mexico’s gut, the Isle de Jean Charles is turbulent with ruinous daily oil and gas accidents, rising sea levels, and tropical storms. Homes on the Isle de Jean Charles perch on delicate wooden stilts thirteen feet high, their paint peeling in the sun. A solitary road snakes down the spine of the shrinking island. Stained American flags billow slowly in the Gulf breeze, affixed to porches where one can catch the nasal tones of plaid-clad men bantering in Cajun French.
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)’s landmark October 2018 report declared that preventing runaway global warming will require “far-reaching transitions in energy, land … and industrial systems” for which there is “no documented historic precedent.” Oxford University climate scientist and report author Myles Allen explained, “It’s telling us we need to … turn the world economy on a dime.”
Ashley is correct that addressing the climate crisis requires a radical transformation of the economic system, including more state-led planning. However, insisting that we must immediately end economic growth, let alone capitalism, is a political dead end. Fortunately, a green transformation can coincide with sustainable, egalitarian growth.
Union contract negotiations include mandatory and permissive subjects of bargaining. Employers are required by law to negotiate over mandatory subjects—wages, benefits and working conditions. Permissive subjects, such as decisions about which public services will be provided and how, have historically been the purview of management. We only negotiate over how managerial decisions affect members’ jobs. Employers may voluntarily agree to negotiate permissive subjects, but unions can’t legally strike over them.
Cyclone Idai, the worst weather disaster in the history of the Southern Hemisphere, has caused extensive flooding and left tens of thousand homeless and more than 400 dead in Mozambique, Zimbabwe and Malawi. Officials say the death toll is over 400, and the number is expected to rise. More than 400,000 people could be displaced in Mozambique, and the country’s president says as many as 1,000 people may have been killed there alone.
From time to time, SCNCC endorses statements made by other groups that advance the principles we support. The statement by the Ecosocialist Working Group (EWG) of Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) is one such statement. We hope EWG's statement will gain wide support within DSA and that DSA will adopt its demands and EWG's firm stance against cooptation and watering down of the Green New Deal by the Democratic Party. Like the EWG, we see the Green New Deal as an arena for class struggle, not as a legislative initiative that we will support no matter what direction it takes.
It’s not hyperbole to say that the accelerating climate emergency, which is getting closer to spiraling out of control, is the most serious crisis that humanity has faced in its entire history. Two reports came out at the end of 2018 that ought to have put aside any doubt that we are facing an existential crisis that threatens the continued survival of advanced human societies and possibly even our continued existence as a species.
The urgency of the global climate crisis makes it imperative for any social justice movement to come to grips with, and confront it in some way. There can be no social justice, after all, on a dead planet.
No Ph.D. talking here. Just a woman who reads and studies, as Marxists recommend. I’m disturbed by a video just accessed on YouTube: “Climate change and the migrant caravan.” The news piece suggests that sympathetic and enlightened attitudes lie behind the video’s creation. Applying Marxist and socialist concepts, I hope to expose some of the assumptions, misconceptions and perhaps hidden goals contained in the video.