Climate change

Browse audio by Workers' Liberty

Subscribe to, browse, play and download audio recordings from Solidarity, our weekly paper; various other publications; and several public meetings.

Four climate futures

Climate Leviathan: A Political Theory of Our Planetary Future by Geoff Mann and Joel Wainwright is an interesting read, with much to criticise, but some interesting and important questions raised.

New move on electric cars

The UK government is predicted to set a date for the banning of the sale of new petrol and diesel cars from 2030. This brings it forward from 2035; before February it was set at 2040. They will likely put half a billion pounds towards charging infrastructure from next year. This has been expected alongside several other green plans, whose announcement continues to be delayed as the Treasury is reportedly reluctant to fund much of it. Even despite this, the government’s climate ambitions — to date and predicted — remain far too low, with those that do exist lacking the funding to make them...

"Green" goes beyond curbing carbon

The founding document of the AWL is a polemic against the passivity of the Militant tendency: “The patient is suffering from sleeping sickness and blurred eyesight. But Doctor Militant is obsessed with a patient who suffers from hysteria and an extra sensitivity to the light. The prescription? Sleeping pills and dark glasses!” I was reminded of that image when reading Zack Muddle’s article in Solidarity 567 “Overdoing doom saps activism”. Commenting on my book review in Solidarity 565 he suggests (on the basis of a review of another work by Wallace-Wells with the same name) that The...

Calibrating climate scenarios

In the first half of October, Storm Linfa hit Vietnam, followed by Storm Nangka, causing floods and landslides which left almost 100 dead, flooded over 100,000 houses, and forced almost that number to evacuate — while causing serious damage to agriculture and infrastructure. Towards the end of October well over one million people were evacuated in Vietnam as yet another storm, Typhoon Molave, wreaked havoc: destroying over 50,000 houses in total and leaving over six million without power. Meanwhile, Trump denies climate-change, and the “lesser evil” Biden champions that he will not ban...

Sea levels will rise. How do we save our cities?

Residents of Miami, Florida are bracing themselves for their next king tide on 14-17 November. In recent years, due to rising sea levels, autumnal tides advance into town washing through the streets and houses, and turning one of the most glamorous cities on earth into an open sewer. These sunny-day flooding events are also common on the Marshall Islands. Last month President David Kabul called for the recovery from the pandemic to involve a rapid transition to zero carbon emissions. This island nation - home to a substantial US military base and nuclear test site - will sink beneath the waves...

Climate disaster is already with us

See a reply to this here. A few pages into David Wallace-Wells’ The Uninhabitable Earth, I realised with a shock that for many years I’d engaged in a soft form of climate change denial. Not the full throttle petrodollar-backed conspiracy theory-type denial but just simply not paying much attention. I have been involved in the environmental movement for most of my adult life. But I regarded climate change as some unthinkable, apocalyptic event in the future that we would hopefully avoid, rather than a process already underway and accelerating. Wallace-Wells calls climate change a “‘hyperobject’...

Global capital and pandemics

Audio and video introduction, plus an article/transcript, from a meeting of the same name. Dr Camila Bassi delivered this talk at the AWL online meeting on 30 August 2020. The outbreak of SARS Coronovirus 2 or COVID-19 proceeds an escalation of recent epidemics and proto-pandemics: notably, H5N1 or Avian influenza, SARS, MERS, Swine flu, Ebola, and Zika. Camila tells the story of HIV/AIDS and SARS to explore the nexus between capitalist political economy, nature, and emergent infectious diseases; concluding that, without radical change to how we organise and run our world, our future will be locked into this deadly trajectory. For a transcript of the talk and the full set of references, see Camila's blog.

A letter to Andy Newman about gas

Comrade Andy Newman, Like you, I have many criticism’s of Extinction Rebellion’s Climate and Ecological Emergency Bill (see here). But in your LabourList polemic against the Bill, writing as technical director of the “Gas Users Organisation” (GUO) and as a GMB and Labour Party activist, you come down squarely on the wrong side of the crucial issues. You warn of “another culture war divide” over the twin needs of tackling climate change and “protecting well-paid, skilled jobs, and protecting the interests of families and households”. Your answer? Not radical socialist environmentalist policies...

"This attack on capitalism"

As I write on 7 September, Extinction Rebellion (XR) UK’s latest rebellion has just finished its first week, with a few days still to come. Every day, in many locations across the country, hundreds of protesters have turned out for often bold actions to urge action on the climate crises. XR has rightly denounced serious and increasing police repression. Hundreds have been arrested, including mass arrests following kettling. Protestors have been taking Covid-safety seriously, yet the police have threatened them, including those wearing face-masks, with fines using Coronavirus police powers...

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