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Revolutionary Action Needed on Global Warming
by Steven Argue
Monday Oct 15th, 2012 6:22 AM
Despite the corrupting influence of big oil, coal, and auto money, the science has long been clear. There is no debate among scientists, human activity has caused global warming. Immediate action is needed to stop it.
border_fence_around_b.jpg
border_fence_around_b.jpg

[Photo: Fence built around Bangladesh by India to hold back global warming refugees. Without change, millions of people will die as Bangladesh will be turned into an open air death camp.]

Revolutionary Action Needed on Global Warming

Global warming already causes 150,000 deaths per year. Low lying countries like Bangladesh will be facing a holocaust in millions of lives as crop land and living space is destroyed by rising seas. Capitalist India sees the problem coming and has built a massive fence around Bangladesh, planning for a future where Bangladesh will be a global warming death camp. The reality is, we are headed towards an environmental catastrophe that threatens the very future of human civilization.

While the U.S. blames China, in reality the biggest carbon polluter in the world is the United States. China’s historical output is far less than the United States and their per capita carbon output is only a quarter that of the United States. The world would be in far better shape if the U.S. would reduce to Chinese levels of carbon output.

While the U.S. points fingers, immediate action is needed. Blocking that action are the oil, coal, and auto capitalists who own both the Democrat and Republican Parties. Those parties block the immediate action needed through Republican denial of the science and Democratic inaction. Romney laughs about rising seas promising to do nothing about climate change. Obama promised to direct the EPA to regulate carbon emissions, but he not only broke that promise, the American Lung Association had to sue him because he ordered the EPA not to enforce the Clean Air Act.

We in the Revolutionary Tendency (RT) are building a revolutionary socialist movement that calls for saving our planet through socialist revolution, nationalizing oil, auto, and coal to end the corrupting influence of their money in politics and taking emergency measures to move our energy sources away from those that are destroying the planet. Meanwhile, the ostensibly “revolutionary” organization called the Internationalist Group (IG) characterizes the RT’s calls to save the planet through socialist revolution as “petite bourgeois” environmentalism and have cat called us saying “go save the whales somewhere else”. Yes, we will save the whales and the humans elsewhere, in the Revolutionary Tendency. Join us.

Contact the Revolutionary Tendency at:
sargue [at] ucsc.edu

This is an article of Liberation News, subscribe free:
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Comments  (Hide Comments)

by Grok
Monday Oct 15th, 2012 11:17 AM
Border walls are made to be torn down.
by grok
Monday Oct 15th, 2012 11:22 AM
How very wrong it is to criticize other socialist organizations for wanting to make explicit the need for the Revolution to be what Humanity needs to save the Planet. Sectarianism is always petty and awful. And dangerous.
by Baryy L.
Monday Oct 15th, 2012 11:30 AM
This is horrifying. As Rosa Luxemburg said 'Socialism or barbarism'. Capitalism almost destroyed human civilization in two world wars in the 20th century and threatens to do so in the 21st through global warming.
by steph
Monday Oct 15th, 2012 12:18 PM
omg . wtf is wrong with people?
by Joe
Monday Oct 15th, 2012 12:28 PM
This is going to plague the world in the 21st century leading to millions of dead.
by Corey Ansel
Monday Oct 15th, 2012 1:19 PM
The Revolutionary Tendency has really enjoyed poking fun at the IG over the issue of the environment. Aubeen and Aindabronx have covered the issue extensively.

It's funny that you are so quick to proclaim that you'll "save the whales," but there isn't a comment in that article about the only solution to the environmental crisis: workers seizing control of the means of production and restructuring society. The environmental problems that exist in the world CANNOT even have a dent put in them by the capitalist state. You're very aware of this, yet you'd rather focus on petty environmentalist issues.

What's next for the student activist brigade? From "Free Tibet" to "Save Darfur," the reformist left and its hanger-ons cannot seem to get enough of China bashing and such. And these same groups love to line up in service of imperialism so they can place carbon caps and shit on countries like China so that the United States can maintain its global dominance by making sure that not a peep is made by challengers.

From the "jail killer cops" liberalism of the PSL and IBT, to the "save the environment!" petty bourgeois mentality with no reference to the working class even once, it's becoming quite a wonder who else is hiding under the sheets with the RT in their bed of social-democracy.

In contrast, we of the Internationalist Group fight to sweep away imperialism through socialist revolution. We don't jump the bandwagon of the trade union bureaucracy in building the "American middle class". We have no illusions in the bourgeois state to solve the problems in the environment. Only the working class can do so: http://www.internationalist.org/seattledcint8.html
IG member Corey Ansel falsely proclaims, "It's funny that you are so quick to proclaim that you'll "save the whales," but there isn't a comment in that article about the only solution to the environmental crisis: workers seizing control of the means of production and restructuring society."

Perhaps Mr. Ansel was reading a different article, because this article does very clearly call for exactly what Corey Ansel says is missing:

"We in the Revolutionary Tendency (RT) are building a revolutionary socialist movement that calls for saving our planet through socialist revolution, nationalizing oil, auto, and coal to end the corrupting influence of their money in politics and taking emergency measures to move our energy sources away from those that are destroying the planet."

Cory Ansel than goes on to falsely proclaim:

"The environmental problems that exist in the world CANNOT even have a dent put in them by the capitalist state. You're very aware of this, yet you'd rather focus on petty environmentalist issues."

1. Climate change is far from a “petty environmental issue”. Millions of lives are at stake. The question posed is socialism or barbarism.

2. There is nothing in taking up the question of the environment that pre-supposes that we think the capitalist state will ever act on the issue. We organize to save the environment through education on the environment as well as organizing to save the planet through socialist revolution. If that forces some reforms by the capitalist state, great, but we have no illusions that ruling capitalist class or their government will act to save even themselves, let alone humanity, when such massive short term profits are at stake. That is why we are organizing for socialist revolution.

Corey Ansel then continues to make even more false accusations, accusing the RT of China bashing, when in fact the article defended the position of China in relation to U.S. imperialism. Mr. Ansel is good at spitting out formulaic arguments against the RT, too bad none of the arguments are against actual positions of the RT.

Corey Ansel then, apparently without blushing, accuses the RT of:

"From the "jail killer cops" liberalism of the PSL and IBT, to the "save the environment!" petty bourgeois mentality with no reference to the working class even once..."

No mention of the working class? Really? Who carries out the "socialist revolution" advocated in the article other than the working class? Fact is Mr. Ansel, in your next paragraph, you yourself speak of ending imperialism through socialist revolution" without, gasp, ever "referencing the working class once". The socialist revolution will be carried out, for the most part, by the working class.

Likewise, there is nothing petite bourgeois about the struggle to save the environment through socialist revolution. The only thing petite bourgeois here is the IG's assumption that this is not an issue of interest to the working class. The struggle to save the planet from the environmental devastation being carried out by the capitalist class is essential. The IG, instead choses a position even to the right of most liberals. They oppose taking action to save the planet from global warming. Instead, they call the revolutionary socialist environmental program of the RT to save the Earth through socialist revolution, "petite bourgeois environmentalism".

And yes, the RT thinks it's a good idea to demand the jailing of killer cops. This is a perfectly good transitional / revolutionary demand, but as Mr. Ansel hints at here, the IG opposes it. The IG went so far as to alienate themselves from ILWU members who went on strike to demand “jail killer cops” by opposing an ILWU walkout that made that demand in relation to the police murder of Oscar Grant. This was pure sectarian stupidity on the part of the IG.

The IG claims that this demand sows illusions in the capitalist courts. This is false. If anything, this demand shows that the capitalist state only rarely does jail killer cops. On those rare occasions when the capitalist state does jail killer cops, even when it is far less jail time than what is deserved, as happened in the case of Oscar Grant, we still at least throw a small monkey wrench in the functioning of the brutal capitalist state. But to get actual justice, including jailing the vast majority of killer cops, it will take a workers revolution that smashes the capitalist state, including its courts, prisons, and police. The IG, however, are letting the capitalist courts off the hook for their failure to bring justice when they oppose even the demand of jailing killer cops. Despite the opposition of the IG, the ILWU went out on strike demanding "jail killer cops" and the cop who murdered Oscar Grant actually was jailed for a little while. He didn't get nearly what he really deserved, but he lost his job and had to go to jail for his crime.

And yes, like any good transitional demand, it will take a socialist revolution to really make the cops pay for their crimes. How that creates illusions in the capitalist courts makes about as much sense as the IG's opposition to saving the planet from the environmental catastrophe we face as a result of capitalism based on the fact that it will take a revolution to save the planet. Duh, if it takes a revolution to get what is being demanded, point that out, and in doing so build the revolutionary movement. By this faulty logic of the IG, they also shouldn't be opposing imperialist wars, because it will also take a socialist revolution to end U.S. imperialism. Yet, this is backward thinking. Like the IG, the RT opposes imperialist wars and points out that it will take a socialist revolution to end U.S. imperialism.

Instead of being ultra-left positions, the IG's opposition to revolutionary environmentalism and their opposition to jailing killer cops are rightist positions that put the IG in league with the oil capitalists, DA's, and cops across the country. These are rightist positions similar to the Spartacist League's support for the imperialist invasion of Haiti a few years back. Both of these ostensibly revolutionary organizations are completely out of touch with the realities of the class struggle, the environment., and scientific understandings regarding the environment. In opposition to the Earth hating diatribes of those two organizations, in fact, in opposition to the anti-environmental programs of the Republican Party, Democrat Party, Internationalist Group, and the Spartacist League, the Revolutionary Tendency says:

"End U.S. imperialism through socialist revolution!"

“Jail Killer Cops!”

“Tear Down the Wall Around Bangladesh!”
by Alan G.
Monday Oct 15th, 2012 3:13 PM
Corey, so how do you understand the demands that revolutionary Marxists raise in the context of the overall Transitional Program that by themselves could be seen as reformist? Why shouldn't this method of the TP apply in regard to environmental issues? The question is not individual demands but the extent to which the overall programme incorporates demands that by themselves would be considered reformist and links them in a coherent manner to demands that pose the question of power.
by burnbabyburn
Thursday Dec 13th, 2012 3:34 PM
i am not aware of any industrialized country that can resist putting greenhouse gases into the air, regardless of its ideological posture. energy is wealth, and which class gets the wealth is irrelevant to global warming.
if i was offered the reform of a reduction of 100ppm of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, over a change in political fortunes, i would happily accept it.
avoiding extinction takes precedence over pretty much anything else.