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Submitted by Jason on Fri, 25/05/2007 - 19:01

This has been quite an interesting debate.

I agree that environmental destruction is one of the greatest current threats to the working class, small farmers and indeed humanity as a whole.

A recent UN report suggests that up to 98% of Indonesia's forests could be lost by 2022 (source
- already deforestation has caused massive hardship and deaths through flooding and mudslides.

Flooding in Bangladesh has already been mentioned. There's also the issue of increasing wars over scarce resources.

In all of these cases the politics of the corporations and global capitalism are pushing humanity towards disaster.

The solutions are far from obvious and uncontroversial but most scientists agree that drastic reductions in carbon emissions are needed. However, it is fairly obvious that the corporations and the governments they run (i.e. the capitlaist classes) will not take on the huge expenses of making buildings environmentally friendly, of funding efficient public transport systems, of palnning production efficiently so as to reduce waste and recycle what we cannot reuse or cut out in the first place.

Instead we get proposals on congestion charges- deeply regressive taxes hitting the poor the hardest (for example up to £5 a day proposed to travel in and out of Manchester), carbon trading, cut backs on refuse collection to try to coerce recycling- all measures to make the working class pay.

Instead we need to abolish the corporations and plan production for human need and environmental harmony. It may even be that some of the technological fixes suggested by maverick scientists such as James Lovelock may work- only scientific trials will show. However, it is probably utopian to assume that capitlaist governments will have the iuncentives, means or co-operation to test and trial such methods.

What is less obvious perhaps is how to get there. Positive feedback cycles play a potentially destructive effect in potential climate change. We need to harness the postive feedback of working class resistance through a program of transitional demands to tackle climate change-
some possible and very tentative ideas-
strong workplace unions to demand longer holidays and longer journey times for those workers choosing to come on public transport or cycling
collective policies on saving energy enforced by the workers
mass campaigns for free or cheap public transport-
campaign against regressive taxes and cuts in services-
tax the rich and make them pay

It's quite incomplete I admit- but we need on the revolutioanry left to urgently work out detailed program and practical ideas to tackle climate change by mobilising the working class and linking the fight against climate catstrophe to the fight against global capitalism and for democratic and environmentally friendly global revolutionary socialism.

More here…

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