By a commentator for Tjen Folket Media.
NRK reports that researchers have again raised the alarm about the climate crisis. Research shows a more rapid reduction of snowfall and winters than previously estimated, and that this will have an even more dramatic effect on the environment. NRK writes:
Sea level rise and the loss of ecosystems in the oceans and along the coasts pose a great risk to the life basis for many people. Many low-lying high-population cities and small island nations will experience extreme annual sea level rise incidents within 2050, even with lower emissions.
Climate crisis and environmental destruction are systematic problems. At root is the manner in which production occurs in capitalism. It has its roots in the fundamental contradiction of capitalism itself, namely: that production is socialized, while appropriation is capitalistic. In other words, this means that the forces of production have become enormous and that all production today occurs in an integrated process. Even the most minor consumer goods pass through many hands and machines before they are shipped across countless borders for sale in stores. The production is in other words societal, and is becoming more and more so.
At the same time, the power of this production is in the hands of capitalists. Their motive for producing is to increase their capital through profits. And they increase their profits by selling more and more goods to consumers. They are dependent on growth – on growing production, and the expansion of goods – in order to be able to continue increasing the profit. And they compete with each other all the time. Those who lose this competition go bankrupt.
This is capitalism in a nutshell, and it is easy to see how it challenges the limits of the carrying capacity of the planet all on its own. Capitalism demands endless growth. But the earth itself is not growing. Its tolerance threshold has long since been passed, and the capitalist society is no longer sustainable. That is to say that it will relatively quickly eat itself up. The problem for humanity is that it meanwhile destroys our life basis, our oceans, and our forests, and that it extincts species and kills millions of people through droughts, extreme weather, problems for fisheries and agriculture, unclean drinking water, and so on.
In the midst of all this, there is a tendency among certain individuals to deny that human activity – that is to say the capitalist system – can change the climate. They believe that the researchers are lying. They do not understand the science behind it. And they stubbornly claim that even with the most extreme and powerful productive forces that the system has at its disposal today, they do not have anything to do with the climate on the planet. Nobody can force these people to change their position, but there are a number of scientific sources available that explain what they do not believe. Among them is the following:
Here, one can find links to further sources, which reinforce the following claim:
The climate changes that we see now are occurring at a rate that they never have had before. This is something that we know from studies of ice cores that are up to 800,000 years old. Tests on these cores have given us an extremely precise overview of historical temperature variations and the level of CO2 in the atmosphere throughout many thousands of years, because we can analyse the contents of the air bubbles in the ice. The pattern is clear: When CO2 levels rise, temperatures also rise.
Today, many people are rising out of apathy and resignation to fight against climate change. But a humane solution can only be found in a planned economy in the hands of the masses. If the problem is to be resolved from above by capitalists and bureaucrats, we must be concerned that the solutions they arrive at will push the world’s poorest even deeper into need. A capitalist solution would be to push the masses even harder, such that profits can be maintained, even after large cuts in emissions. Poor, barefoot Congolese children who extract coltan for electric cars and iPhone batteries from mines where health, environment, and safety are alien concepts illustrates this image perfectly. Such are the capitalist’s “solutions”, but this is not a solution for us, and it is not our solution.
Furthermore, the pace and initiatives – or lack thereof – of the past forty years have shown precisely how futile green capitalism is. Do we have another forty years to waste on the same growth in emissions, despite all the talk about the contrary? Because it must be underscored that environmental problems, including the climate crisis, have been on the agenda since the 1970s, particularly the 1980s. In the 1990s, there was also a wave of environmental engagement. But all the while, the problem has grown. The same way that it continues to grow today, despite the politicians’ concerned posturing and promises to voters.
How many decades can this continue?
The answer is that the socialist revolution is the solution to the climate crisis. The roots of the climate crisis lie in capitalism’s fundamental laws of development. The system is the problem. And the solution is revolution and system change. This is the standpoint that communists must advocate in the environmental struggle. This is a destiny that flows with the proletariat’s struggle against the bourgeoisie, and like streams, it will become a river. A powerful, rushing river that will tear down the system and pave the way for a new and sustainable world society.