Environment

“The ocean is rising, and we are too.” Climate change is no longer a thing of the future. Already, hurricanes are becoming more powerful, forests are burning, people are dying from heat waves, drought, floods, and famine. Such extreme weather events are quickly becoming the rule, not the exception.

The oceans are polluted by plastic and chemical waste, killing off fish and other marine life. Underground water supplies are drained or polluted, leading to a widespread scarcity of this most essential of resources. Every year, species are becoming extinct through the senseless destruction of ecosystems.

Immediate action is needed. A massive reduction in emissions and pollution levels is essential. And large-scale mitigation measures must be taken, such as the construction of flood defences and reforestation. But the capitalists and their political representatives are completely incapable of carrying out the radical changes that are required.

— From IMT statement: capitalism is killing the planet – we need a revolution!

In the face of the pandemic, the environmental crisis has been somewhat overshadowed. Its impact, however, rages on. We are now reaping the consequences of climate change with extreme weather conditions becoming increasingly common. This year, in particular, ominous droughts have impacted regions spread all over the world.

Our US website received the following letter from one of our comrades in New Orleans who is experiencing first-hand the devastation in the aftermath of Hurricane Ida. Ida’s fury once again exposed the lack of preparedness and planning that is inherent in private ownership of the means of production.

The immense destruction caused by the wildfires in Varybobi, Evia and dozens of other areas of Greece is not solely due to the winds, high temperatures and climate change, as the ND government and the bourgeois media claim. The real cause of this catastrophe is the reactionary policies and the criminal indifference of the Greek ruling class.

An unprecedented heat wave has struck western North America. Thousands have died and infrastructure has buckled under the record temperatures set in all regions. The extreme heat has also led to an ecological disaster with upwards of 1 billion maritime animals perishing. But this did not have to happen. The blind profiteering of the capitalist system has created the climate crisis and has completely disarmed us in the face of its effects. 

Capitalism has set yet another bleak record in 2020. There are now more than 55 million Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) around the world. That is, people who have been forced to flee their homes while remaining in their own country. This is twice as many as the already terribly high number of international refugees (26 million). The total number of displaced persons exceeds the population of France. The COVID-19 pandemic is one cause of the ballooning numbers, although it is far from being the only one.

California, the breadbasket of the United States, is facing devastation as a centuries-long drought cycle coincides with the ongoing effects of man-made climate change. Rather than mitigating the catastrophe through rational planning, the short-term profiteering of capitalism – and agribusiness in particular – threatens to create an even greater catastrophe. It will be workers, in California and far beyond, who will be made to pay. It has never been clearer that if our planet is to remain habitable for human beings, capitalism must die.

Swathes of the USA have been hit with devastating wildfires: a tragic consequence of climate change and capitalist negligence. With people on the West Coast having already faced COVID-19, multiple disasters are being piled one on top of another.

Environmental crises are causing death, destruction and deprivation on a colossal scale in India. The capitalist system is directly to blame for this catastrophe, which dwarfs even the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

On 25 April 2020, in the midst of the coronavirus lockdown, the Guyana Geology and Mines Commission (GMC) met to debate a project involving an industrial-size, open-pit gold mine in the middle of the Amazon rainforest. The name of the project is Espérance, French for “hope” – hope for whom, one might ask? Despite opposition from environmentalist organisations and local Indigenous peoples, the project was approved.

Rinat Akhmetchin, the Mayor of Norilsk, an industrial city in Russia, has been charged with negligence following a catastrophic oil spill from a local power plant. The spill has been ongoing since 29 May, with over 20,000 tonnes of diesel seeping into the surrounding soil and waterways. On 4 June, the Kremlin issued a state of emergency in Norilsk. The city is situated in Siberia, inside the Arctic Circle, where the local ecology is already severely disturbed due to some extremely worrying symptoms of climate change: a product of the irrational, rotten capitalist system, which is placing the planet in peril.

Climate change presents a colossal threat to humanity, and has motivated huge protests (particularly by young people) in the last period. Only a socialist transformation of society, with production planned democratically by the working class in harmony with the planet, can end the threat of climate change. This document by the International Marxist Tendency explains our revolutionary programme for dealing with the climate crisis. It was drafted before the pandemic for discussion at the 2020 IMT World Congress, but has now been updated in a few places in light of recent events. Since the Congress has been cancelled due to the pandemic, we invite you to ...

This article was written before the COVID-19 pandemic resulted in lockdowns throughout the world, including Denmark. However, the points it raises about the co-option of the climate movement by the forces of the establishment remain unchanged – and are all the more relevant given the global health emergency posed by COVID-19.

We spoke with Leonid Shaidurov: a 17-year-old activist who has played a leading role in the School Strikes for Climate movement in Russia. He has helped organise students in schools and is a member of both the coordination council for Fridays for Future internationally and the organisational committee in Russia. He agreed to be interviewed in order to give advice to school students hoping to build on the movement around climate change.

The international climate strike movement has created waves across the world. Over the past year, during the course of several global days of action, millions of young people from over 100 countries have walked out of school in order to join the ‘Fridays for Future’ protests, demanding immediate action against the climate crisis.

The fires in the Amazon and central-west regions of Brazil were felt in São Paulo. The sky darkened at 3pm and many people did not understand why. Then the news came, explaining that, besides the cold front, this was caused by the ground-clearing fires used in “slash-and-burn” agriculture. And then, a general commotion was stirred up on social media, in the newspapers, and across the international media. The environmental problem, which did not seem to be a major focus of public indignation, become a new point of expression for widespread dissatisfaction and government crisis. This issue fed the anger and resentment against the Bolsonaro government, which responded with nothing but

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