Class struggle environmentalism

Submitted by AWL on 27 February, 2020 - 1:10

A day of workshops on how capitalism is the driver of environmental crises and what we can do to fight it.

Workshops on Marxist ecology for beginners; building local, changing the global; how to fight the fossil fuel industry; climate struggles in Australia; socialist strategies; food, forests, fighting climate catastrophe.

Tickets: £15 waged, £8 low waged/full time students, £3 unwaged. £1 for school students from Eventbrite and on the door.

*** As our costs for this event have been reduced we have been able to reduce the price for the waged ticket and keep the other ticket prices low***

Nearest transport links to the venue are: Turnpike Lane and Seven Sisters tubes; Hornsey rail and Seven Sisters overground.

10.30 onwards: registration

11-11.45: Plenary:
• "What is Class struggle environmentalism?" Speakers: John Moloney, PCS assistant general secretary (p.c.) and a climate striker.

11.45-1pm: Workshops 1
• How to fight the fossil fuel industry
An N-Power worker will lead this workshop on this biggest threat to the planet. Reliance on fossil fuels must be stopped, but how do we fight the big powers which own and run these businesses? Are things like cuts to fossil fuel subsidies, or public investment in alternative energy resources enough? Or is working-class democratic control of the energy grid the only way to get effective change?

• Climate struggles in Australia
Bob Carnegie, veteran Queensland socialist activist, will describe how ″Stop Andani″ a campaign against a new coal mine split the labour movement , as the mine was seen as a source of new jobs. Bob will discuss why a convincing ″just transition″ policy involving the creation of Green Jobs was needed and was lacking. Unfortunately Labor lost the last election. As the country faces up to horrific impacts of climate change, where now for the Australian labour movement?

1-1.45pm: Lunch

1.45-3pm Workshops 2
• Marxist Ecology for beginners
In this workshop the speaker will describe how under capitalism humanity′s relationship with nature is distorted so that planetary resources are squandered for profit. This analysis is intrinsic to Marxist approaches to understanding society. A more equal society will be more in harmony with both environmental and human needs. Speaker: Stuart Jordan.

• Building local, changing the global
In this workshop speakers will discuss ways to make local campaigns effective and why they are important to build up pressure for bigger political change. Case studies on campaigning in local government and on "Greening the London Underground". Speakers: Ruth Cashman, Lambeth Unison and Fliss Premru, TSSA (TfL), both personal capacity.

• Socialist strategy and saving the planet
What kind of programmes should be put forward to fight climate change? Green renewables-based capitalism is a step forward but is it enough? Taking direct action is necessary but it is not a substitute for political policies. Workers' Liberty argues for a link up between Marxist ecology and campaigning, but how realistic is that? How do we organise collectively to build a movement to overthrow capitalism and save the planet? Speaker: Kelly Rogers

• Food, forests, fighting climate catastrophe
In fighting climate crises, we focus on the big driver: fossil fuels, fossil capital. We must, however, consider other parts of the picture. We need to reduce societal consumption of animal products, freeing land for an ambitious reforesting programme. How much and how fast? What other changes are needed to agriculture? Can Genetic Modification help? Should society or the individual be the agent behind this change? Is discussion of animal products or planting trees all just a distraction from the real problem? We'll look at some of the latest science, a history of Marxist writing on agriculture, then discuss and debate questions such as those above.

Organising for COP26 and beyond

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