Niloofar Golkar, Greg Albo, Jodi Dean, LeftStreamed, July 12, 2015
It is no longer plausible to propose incremental solutions to the ecological crises of our time. The numbers are clear: to avoid a trillion metric tons of cumulative carbon emissions by 2039, and an increase in global average temperatures of 2°C, it is necessary to stabilize immediately Greenhouse Gas emissions. The ecological scars of desertification, coastline loss, species extinction, destruction of habitat, and much else is evident for all to see.
The climate crisis is the greatest threat humanity has ever faced. At the current rate of global greenhouse gas emissions, warming of the planet will shoot past two degrees Celsius by mid-century and reach 4°C to 6°C beyond pre-industrial averages by 2100.
According to Earth System scientists, the Earth has entered a new geological epoch that will be less stable and less hospitable to human life. Because the change is driven by human activity, the proposed name for the new epoch is Anthropocene – from the Greek anthropos, human being.
Like many other leftists working in labor or community organizations, I have long struggled to understand the role I can play in building a larger left movement. I have spent nearly a decade organizing for the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) and have only recently caught a glimpse of what a vibrant and popular leftist practice could look like.
In April it was announced that Ontario would be joining Quebec in implementing a cap and trade system on carbon emissions. While the Ontario government has presented this development as a positive step for the climate, critics of cap and trade point out that the mechanism often does not lead to lower green house gas emissions. Instead, it creates another market to commodify nature and allows corporations to continue profiting from environmental destruction for a small financial fee.
Moderated by Lana Goldberg. Introduction by Greg Albo. Presentations by:
The concept of eco-socialism is based on a double paradoxical note: the solution to the “ecological crisis” due to the capitalist mode of production necessitates a response of a socialist type, whilst the environmental balance sheet of “actually existing socialism” is catastrophic. I will briefly develop these two elements and then present some foundations of an eco-socialist aggiornamento as it is conceived inside the “International Eco-socialist Network”.
More than ten years ago, I wrote a visions piece for the first edition of Feminist Futures. It was called “Alternatives to Development: Of Love, Dreams and Revolution.” It was an opportunity to write directly from the heart about the things that were most important to me, and to make connections among them.
The call came to protestors assembled at bore-hole 2 on Burnaby Mountain: ‘Kinder Morgan has arrived! Get your asses down here.’ I ran to the motorcycle and hurried down to Drummond Walk. A few comrades were just starting to follow KM workers – 2 hardhats with chain saws, a couple management types and a few security guards. I raged internally as I accompanied them into the forest at the ready, but not knowing what the next step was...