Sunday, January 12, 2020

We need more than protest to survive

Extinction Rebellion protested outside a Shell petrol station in Glasgow's Victoria Road with banners in a bid to ‘highlight the role of the fossil fuel industry in the climate emergency’. 

Jack Healy, a volunteer for the group at the protest, said: “We’re taking this action today because Shell and the rest of the fossil fuel industry are at the root of the climate crisis. They’ve been wilfully concealing the truth about the climate crisis for thirty years. I can’t understand how, even now, while Australia is burning, they keep extracting more and more climate-destroying oil and gas. They’re one of the biggest energy companies in the world and their greed is reducing our chance of keeping the Earth habitable.”

The Socialist Party has have to convince these earnest campaigners  that socialism is the only solution and they should first  lay aside their other objectives and concentrate on trying to capture the State. 

It is not always a case of a government not wanting to do anything. It’s that economic constraints (profit considerations)prevent them for doing much. Capitalist corporations from the different capitalist states are competing against each other to sell their goods on world markets. And states with sources of fossil fuels are interested in continuing to sell them. 

So, if one state were to unilaterally take the necessary measures, which will involve extra energy costs for their capitalists, this would make them less competitive on world markets. So they are only going to take action if other states are too. Hence the various climate change conferences. At these conferences each state is trying not to disadvantage itself and to prevent other states getting an advantage over them. So what emerges is the lowest common denominator.
This is why we can be certain that the IPCC recommended 45 percent reduction in CO2 emissions by 2030 compared with 2010 will not be reached so that, unless something else happens, the average global temperatures rise since pre-industrial times will not have been limited to 1.5 degrees by 2100.
Basically what XR are doing is appealing to politicians to put the longer-term overall general capitalist interest before short-term national capitalist interests, while what they should be doing is campaigning for “system change” to socialism as a world of common ownership and democratic control by and in the interest of the whole world’s population. The only framework in which the world can rationally tackle this problem is the common ownership and democratic control of the Earth’s natural and industrial resources.

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