2023, the hottest summer in human history. Records smashed for temperature on land and at sea, for glaciers and polar ice melting, for wildfires.
The science has now been clear for many years. We must break with the trajectory of ever more emissions of greenhouse gases. What is at stake is the planet itself and whether it can remain a viable home for humanity and other living things.
But despite endless international conferences, and even some agreements to cut emissions, and despite ever cheaper renewable sources of energy, fossil fuels remain the foundation of the economy, and emissions of the United States and the globalized world economy as a whole increased again in 2022. And the capitalist system in the US leads the pack: it’s US #1 in historic greenhouse gas emissions, it’s US #1 exporter of fossil fuels on the planet, it’s US #1 enemy of the global environment.
Climate change is not driven by individual consumption, and changes in lifestyle can NOT solve the problem. It is not greed or human nature – it’s a social system that is taking the world to the brink. And to those who say, yes, it’s a social/economic system, then argue that the answer to climate change is to put pressure on the government to rein in the corporations: that only reveals that you don’t understand either the government, or the capitalist system that dominates the planet.
It is the capitalist system that is the cause and driving force of climate change. The burning of fossil fuel and the destruction of the environment flow from the very foundations of capitalism – the relentless competition between capitalists over profits reaped from global networks of exploitation. The government exists to serve that system, it will not and cannot rein it in.
We need a new, and fundamentally different, system. Revolution - and only revolution - can open a path to a world where human beings can be caretakers, rather than destroyers of people and the planet. This is not some far-off utopia. The world we live in is tearing apart right now, and out of this can come something terrible, or something truly emancipating.
We can no longer afford to allow these imperialists to continue to dominate the world and determine the destiny of humanity. And it is a scientific fact that humanity does not have to live this way.