Is it too late?

The question is no longer whether human-induced climate change will take place; it already is. The question is how bad things will get before the current economic and political system is replaced by one that puts people and the planet before profit. No one knows the answer to this question, both because predicting the precise effects of greenhouse gas increases is impossible and because predicting when and if revolutionary change will be brought about is equally difficult. What we can say with certainty is that, without the hard work of organizing a mass democratic anti-capitalist movement, the ecological devastation will not be stopped.

Within the UN climate change community, mitigation and adaptation are distinguished. As ecosocialists, we are committed to mitigating the damage that is done by fighting the polluters and their supporters in the political establishment on every front. But we are also committed to participating in the struggle to deal with the catastrophic effects that are already underway and are certain to get worse before they get better. For us, “adaptation” does not mean convincing the victims of flooding; drought; air, water, and soil pollution; depleted resources; and rising sea levels that they should somehow get on with their lives. It means working with grassroots organizations within the communities affected to overthrow the oppressive system that left them vulnerable in the first place.