A former leader of the Green Party of England and Wales (2008-2012). Is an active campaigner and writer on green economics, alternatives to globalization, trade justice, animal welfare and food. Was named MP of the Year in 2013, has been voted the UK's most ethical politician and received Red magazine's Woman of the Year Award 2010 in the ethical/eco category. Is an acknowledged expert on climate change, international trade and peace issues.
This is a frequent question on the left, but it’s the wrong question, about the wrong thing. Talking about the environment lumps together many different things that have little in common, like the ugliness of litter and the deaths of millions each year from coal dust in the air. And this leads us to ignore the one environmental issue is of vastly more importance than the others – climate change. So the important question is: Why does climate change matter to socialists?
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.