The truth is that if we are going to make the global transition to protect the world from catastrophic climate change on an equitable basis, then the rich countries will need to reduce their carbon emissions annually by 10 percent or so. Such measures are not going to come from the top in capitalist society, though there may be splits at the top that open the way to more radical and revolutionary change. The enormous changes that are needed can only be accomplished by the kind of “acceleration of history”...
Last year, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change started the publication of its 5th Assessment Report (or AR5), initially showing the work by the Working Group I, which deals with the physical basis of climate change. Now, the AR5 process continued with the publication of the “Summary for Policy Makers” by the Working Group II, concerning “impacts, adaptation and vulnerability.”
In her editorial in the last issue of Jacobin, Alyssa Battistoni makes an eloquent case for a more ecologically-minded left politics. “It’s ridiculous that we still bracket climate change and water supplies as specifically environmental issues,” she writes. “The questions at hand are ones of political economy and collective action . . . things the Left has plenty to say about.”
via YouTube Capture Demonstration at Zuccotti Park before marching around Wall Street. Earlier activities had been held at Union Square Park, which was sponsored by Toyota, Con Ed and other corporations.
This morning’s Democracy Now! features coverage of the growing fossil fuel divestment movement, recently the subject of a supportive op-ed from Archbishop Desmond Tutu in the U.K. Guardian.
“We cannot necessarily bankrupt the fossil fuel industry,” the former anti-apartheid leader writes, “But we can take steps to reduce its political clout, and hold those who rake in the profits accountable for cleaning up the mess.”
The questions facing environmental activists, and socialists in particular, range from the sheer scale of the environmental disasters already underway to the problems of beginning a transition from a system organized around massive consumption of fossil fuels, vast megacities and global agribusiness. In the process of doing so, how will an ecosocialist movement and society address the crisis of global inequality and the need to “develop the productive forces” without pushing the planet and human civilization over the environmental cliff?
The question of what demands ecosocialists should put forward in response to the climate crisis is a pressing one. Robin Hahnel, in “An Open Letter to the Climate Justice Movement”, argues that the climate justice movement should demand a cap-and-trade policy, abandoning its traditional stance against carbon trading. To Hahnel, carbon trading is the most realistic way for society to make carbon emissions cuts in the necessary time frame, and, contrary to the arguments of activists, it can be done in a sociall