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Climate change and rebellion: an interview with John Molyneux

 

 

February 13, 2020 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Review of African Political Economy — In an interview with the socialist writer and activist, John Molyneux, ROAPE’s Leo Zeilig asks him about climate change, capitalism and socialist transformation. In an important initiative John has recently founded the Global Ecosocialist Network (GEN) which brings together activists and researchers from across the Global North and South. The network hopes to amplify the socialist voice in the struggle against environmental crisis. Africa, he argues, is crucial to the fight against climate change.

Thirteen theses on the imminent ecological catastrophe and the (revolutionary) means of averting it

 

 

By Michael Löwy

February 13, 2020 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Global Ecosocialist Network 

I. The ecological crisis is already the most important social and political question of the 21st century, and will become even more so in the coming months and years. The future of the planet, and thus of humanity, will be determined in the coming decades. Calculations by certain scientists as to scenarios for the year 2100 aren’t very useful for two reasons: A) scientific: considering all the retroactive effects impossible to calculate, it is very risky to make projections over a century. B) political: at the end of the century, all of us, our children and grandchildren will be gone, so who cares?

‘Capitalism, patriarchy, and racism now threaten to destroy this world’

 

 

By Dr. Laurie Adkin, introduction by Richard Fidler 

February 12, 2020 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Life on the Left — To mark its 40th anniversary, Studies in Political Economy, A Socialist Review sponsored a conference October 26 at Carleton University, Ottawa. The theme: “The Limits of Capitalism and the Challenge of Alternatives.” Among the speakers was Professor Laurie Adkin of the University of Alberta, who addressed the conference via Skype. Prof. Adkin has kindly agreed to the publication here of the notes she prepared for her panel presentation, in my opinion an outstanding contribution.

Blue Acceleration: Capitalism’s growing assault on the oceans

 

 

By Ian Angus

February 8, 2020 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Climate & Capitalism — Capitalism’s inherent drive to expand went into overdrive in the mid-20th century. Long-term socioeconomic and Earth System trends, graphed fifteen years ago and updated in 2015, show nearly simultaneous hockey stick upturns in about 1950.

Called the Great Acceleration, the speed-up is driving what Earth System scientists describe as “the most rapid transformation of the human relationship with the natural world in the history of humankind.”[1] It marks the beginning of a new historical and geological epoch, the Anthropocene — a time when “human activities have become so pervasive and profound that they rival the great forces of nature and are pushing the Earth into planetary terra incognita.”[2]

For a Green New Deal with people’s power

 

 

By Mike Treen

January 14, 2020 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal — Today for the first time in half a century there is a wave of revolt sweeping the world that seems pregnant with revolutionary possibilities that may finally allow working people to help lead humanity and the planet we exist on out of the hell-hole that capitalism has created for us.

I lived through the 1960s and 70s during a similar period of challenge and change. It filled me with hope for the future of humanity. Progressive change seemed inevitable. Working people expanded their rights and living standards. Access to health care, education and welfare became expanded. Women, Maori, Gays and other oppressed peoples found their voices to challenge discrimination and seek liberation.

The institutions working people could use to empower themselves like the trade unions seemed to get stronger, active and more democratic. Parties that claimed to represent us became more progressive in their outlook. 

Internationally the ruling elites were frightened. In response, they launched a full-scale ideological, political, and social counter-revolution that swept away or corrupted many of the gains that had been made. Led by the then UK Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and US President Ronald Reagan, the right-wing wave swept the world.

‘Climate Plan 2030’: Red-Green Alliance leads Denmark’s climate crisis response

 

 

Interview with Jon Burgwald, Climate and Environment Adviser to the Red-Green Alliance by Dick Nichols

 

November 9, 2019 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal — Formerly Greenpeace’s Arctic campaigner, Jon Burgwald has overseen the development of the Danish Red-Green Alliance’s Climate Plan 2030: A social justice route to a green society (available in English translation here).

 

In this interview Burgwald explains how the plan was developed, the impact it has been having on Danish politics and the problems it will confront in getting implemented.

 

How 7000 Quebec workers went on strike against climate change

 

 

By Alain Savard

 

November 9, 2019 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Labor Notes — With a crowd of 500,000, Montreal’s march for the climate was the largest in the world during the September 20-27 week of climate action. Yet it was also noteworthy for another reason.

 

Despite provincial labor laws preventing unions from striking over political issues, 11 locals representing 7,500 workers formally voted to go on strike for a day.

 

Extinction Rebellion: A socialist perspective

 

 

By John Molyneux 

 

November 4, 2019 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Rebel News — Extinction Rebellion (XR) burst into international radical celebrity and global protest history in April 2019 when it occupied five prime sites in central London—Piccadilly Circus, Oxford Circus, Marble Arch, Waterloo Bridge and Parliament Square—holding them for a week, and withstanding over 1000 arrests in the process.

 

To describe this as spectacular is an understatement. It was quite literally unprecedented in modern English history and very unusual anywhere in Europe outside of revolutionary uprisings like the Paris Commune or Barcelona in 1936, and in a different way in May 1968 and Free Derry in 1969. That it should have captured the imagination of huge numbers of people both in Britain and internationally is hardly surprising.

 

Flying above the clouds: the US military and climate change

 

 

By Martin Hart-Landsberg

 

November 2, 2019  — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Reports from the Economic Front — Climate change is occurring, highlighted by dramatically shifting weather patterns and ever more deadly storms, floods, droughts, and wildfires.  And the evidence is overwhelming that it is driven by the steady increase in greenhouse gases in our atmosphere, especially carbon dioxide and methane, produced by our fossil fuel-based economic system.

 

Aware of global warming’s deadly human consequences, millions of people have taken to the streets to demand that governments take action to end our use of fossil fuels as part of a massive system-wide economic transformation that would also be designed to ensure a just transition for all communities and workers.

 

Climate action: Only the most radical approach will work

 

 

By Dave Holmes

 

October 11, 2019 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal — The current climate crisis — global warming — is the greatest threat ever faced by humanity. The survival of the human race is at stake. The reality of the heating of the planet can’t rationally be denied.

 

CO2 emissions continue to rise. The atmospheric concentration of CO2 is now north of 410 ppm. This is the highest level in 800,000 years. The planet is clearly getting hotter. There are now more extreme weather events — more devastating floods, more debilitating droughts, more catastrophic hurricanes and tornadoes, more searing heatwaves, more destructive storm water surges in coastal areas. We can expect to cross some key tipping points very soon, ushering in a world very different to anything we have ever known.

 

The burden of these events falls most heavily on poor people and especially on Third World countries where the infrastructure is much weaker.

 

What is energy denial?

 

 

By Don Fitz

 

September 22, 2019 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal — The fiftieth anniversary of the first Earth Day of 1970 will be in 2020.  As environmentalism has gone mainstream during that half a century, it has forgotten its early focus and shifted toward green capitalism.  Nowhere is this more apparent than abandonment of the slogan popular during the early Earth Days: “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle.”

 

Imperialism in the Anthropocene

 

 

By John Bellamy Foster, Hannah Holleman and Brett Clark

 

September 7, 2019 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Monthly Review — On May 21, 2019, the Anthropocene Working Group, established by the Subcommision on Quaternary Stratigraphy of the International Commission on Stratigraphy, voted by more than the necessary 60 percent to recognize the existence of the Anthropocene epoch in geological time, beginning around 1950. It defined this new “chronostratigraphic” epoch as “the period of Earth’s history during which humans have a decisive influence on the state, dynamics, and future of the Earth System.” Anthropogenic change, beginning in the mid–twentieth century, was designated as the principal force in the accelerated evolution of the entire Earth System. The Anthropocene Working Group will proceed next to the designation of a specific “golden spike,” or stratigraphic location, standing for the Anthropocene in the geological record, with the aim of getting the new epoch officially adopted by the International Commission on Stratigraphy in the next several years.[1]

 

Gee Whiz! Communism is sure gonna be keen!

 

 

Aaron Bastani
FULLY AUTOMATED LUXURY COMMUNISM
Verso, 2019

 

Reviewed by Ian Angus

 

July 7, 2019 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Climate & Capitalism — When I was ten years old, I read and re-read a stack of decades-old Modern Mechanix magazines that I found in my grandfather’s basement. Throughout the Great Depression, MM regaled its readers with breathless accounts of technological marvels that were going to change the world, very soon.

 

Issue after issue promised the kind of things that were later parodied in The Jetsons TV show — flying cars, air conditioned cities, weather control, robots and the like.

 

An open letter to Extinction Rebellion

 

 

 

 

This letter was collaboratively written with dozens of aligned groups. As the weeks of action called by Extinction Rebellion were coming to an end, our groups came together to reflect on the narrative, strategies, tactics and demands of a reinvigorated climate movement in the UK. In this letter we articulate a foundational set of principles and demands that are rooted in justice and which we feel are crucial for the whole movement to consider as we continue constructing a response to the ‘climate emergency’.

 

Dear Extinction Rebellion,

 

The emergence of a mass movement like Extinction Rebellion (XR) is an encouraging sign that we have reached a moment of opportunity in which there is both a collective consciousness of the immense danger ahead of us and a collective will to fight it. A critical mass agrees with the open letter launching XR when it states “If we continue on our current path, the future for our species is bleak.”

 

How indigenous genocide contributed to climate change

 

 

By Gerardo Honty

 

May 7, 2019 
— Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Alainet — Those who deny climate change caused by mankind tend to cite the so-called “Little Ice Age” as one of their arguments to defend the hypothesis of the natural origin of climate changes. The Little Ice Age, as it is known, to distinguish it from the great ice ages, covers a period from 1350 to 1850 approximately, when there was a significant lowering of the global average temperature with respect to the five previous centuries. The planet was emerging from a period known as the “Medieval Climate Optimum” and both processes have led the so-called “sceptics” or “deniers” to deduce from this, among other factors, the natural origin of present climate change. The warming that we are witnessing today, they deduce, comes from a new cycle of solar activity and not from human activity.

 

A Green New Deal must deliver global justice

 

 

By Asad Rehman

 

May 5, 2019
— Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Red Pepper —  For too long the severity and scale of the climate crisis has been deliberately understated, but October’s release of the IPCC’s Special Report on the Global Warming of 1.5°c finally sent shockwaves into the populations of rich countries. The urgent need for action was clear with the world now in ‘decade zero’, when every decision taken in the coming years will determine the extent to which the critical 1.5°c guardrail is breached triggering run away climate change. Despite these warnings the UN estimates that current emission targets will put the world on a trajectory of at least 3.4°c and possibly up to 7°c warming.

 

Rethinking some dominant approaches to climate change

 

 

By Richard Fidler

 

March 26 2019 
— Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Life on the Left Blog — Climate change is the most visible, most threatening expression of a larger, planetary ecological crisis, the result of an economic system (capitalism) with an inherent growth and profit dynamic which ensures that the exploitation of natural resources (both renewable and non-renewable) exceeds the carrying capacity of nature. You have read the almost-daily scientific reports, each more alarming than the ones before, on the scope of the crisis. I won’t belabour the point.

 

Our approach must be informed by, and congruent with, the challenge that crisis poses to the way society must be organized if we are to halt and reverse the ecological catastrophe toward which we are now hurtling.

 

The politics of hurricanes: how climate catastrophe victimises the poor

 

 

By Phil Hearse

 

September 17, 2018 
— Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal — Climate change catastrophe is, as this article is written, facing hundreds of thousands on the eastern seaboard of the United States and on the Philippines island of Luzon, as Hurricane Florence and Typhoon Mangkhut make landfall simultaneously. Mangkhut also threatens Hong Kong, South China and maybe Vietnam.

 

In the United States, Donald Trump has promised all necessary aid to the affected states – North and South Carolina and Virginia in particular. But the recent hurricane history of the United States is one of neglect and indifference towards poor and non-white populations – often the same people – not least by the Trump administration towards the people of Puerto Rico.

 

Is nuclear power a solution to the climate crisis?

 

 

By Don Fitz

 

September 1, 2018 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal — Faith that environmental catastrophe can best be avoided by technological gadgetry rather than a change in social relationships received a big shot in the arm with the May 2018 publication of Energy: A Human History by prolific author Richard Rhodes. After completing 18 of his 20 chapters, Rhodes begins his exploration of nuclear power by comparing Rachel Carson, Ralph Nader, and Helen Caldicott to anti-humanists such as Thomas Malthus, Paul Ehrlich and followers of Adolf Hitler.

 

This bizarre connection is based on the writings of one obscure author who predated Carson with a foreboding of destruction caused by the over-reproduction of “undesirable people.”Rhodes claims that the environmental movement unknowingly brought anti-humanist ideology into its visions of a simpler world. By advocating a society less dependent on complex technology, environmentalists are supposedly condemning untold millions of impoverished humans to disease and starvation.

 

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