Wednesday, January 15, 2020

Beyond Protest

Extinction Rebellion protesters staged an 11-hour blockade outside an Edinburgh-based finance company which invests in fossil fuels. Campaigners blocked entrances at the Greenside Row office.
They claim Baillie Gifford increased the Scottish Parliament's pension investment in oil firm Shell despite MSPs backing action on climate change.
One campaigner, Lauren Waterman, from Extinction Rebellion, said: "We are here because Bailey Gifford manages the MSPs pension funds and despite MSPs claiming they would try to have more ethical pension funds they have upped their investment in Shell by 19%, so that is hundreds of thousands of pounds that are now going into the fossil fuel industry. It is impossible to see now how MSPs could properly regulate the fossil fuel industry when they are profiting from it so that's why we are here and we are here to ask them to divest."
The only sure protection against climate change is the replacement of a society based on accumulation for profit with one based on production for need. That will not come about while we make futile appeals to governments and corporations to mend their ways. The impact of climate change will cause an intensification of all the different problems bred by capitalism such as refugees and migration. There is only one way to put an end to the system that creates climate change and that is through participation in the challenge to capitalism as a whole. In order to survive, socialism necessary. Environment activists must make a choice between global catastrophe and revolutionary change.
We can only begin to address the problem of climate change if we understand the priorities of capitalism that we can see why mainstream politicians have failed to seriously reduce emissions. Capitalism is a barrier to reducing emissions, not simply because of the system’s historic reliance on fossil fuels, but also because of its reliance on market forces. Capitalism is an economic order barely compatible with human sustainability. A global economy that requires constant expansion of production and increasing exploitation of finite resources and labour would have to be transformed at its roots. We’ll have to produce fundamentally differently and more equitably than we do now. Challenging the regime of capital based as it is on the cheapest and fastest exploitation of labour and nature and the endless expansion of exchange value is at the core of this necessary transformation. By concentrating its labour resources economically on the real needs of people socialism would be able to stop vast numbers of wasteful and destructive jobs that are only necessary for a profit system. With the end of economic competition, socialism would not be bound to use the least costly methods of production, many of which are destructive of the environment.

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