The Spark

the Voice of
The Communist League of Revolutionary Workers–Internationalist

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.”
— Karl Marx

The Powers That Be Won’t Protect Us from Global Warming

Jan 29, 2024

Europe’s top climate agency just announced 2023 was the hottest year in recorded human history. And the last ten years have been the hottest temperatures on record. Earth’s average temperature in 2023 was 2.66 degrees Fahrenheit hotter than before humans developed industry and began to warm the planet by burning fossil fuels.

These hotter temperatures seem to be bringing us record weather events.

In the first three months of 2023, California experienced 12 separate “sky rivers,” leading to severe flooding, mudslides and record snowfall in the mountains. The governor declared a state of emergency.

Summer brought heat domes. Some cities experienced over 100 degrees for several days. Almost 600 people died in one Arizona county. Germany had 3,000 people die from heat-related causes. Spain had high heat, while Greece suffered wildfires.

August saw at least 100 people die when wildfire hit the island of Maui in Hawaii, destroying the city of Lahaina.

Canadian wildfires in the summer brought dangerous levels of smoke to the U.S. East Coast.

Heavy rain, extreme flooding and mudslides became common in parts of Africa. For six days in early March, a tropical storm killed close to 700 people in Malawi, over 100 died in Rwanda and over 400 in the Democratic Republic of Congo. This led to the displacement of thousands of people in these African states.

In September, Storm Daniel killed at least 4,300 people in Libya, in North Africa. In the city of Derna, two dams burst and flooded the city due to a lack of maintenance.

Around the world, weather events are doing more and more damage. Scientific agencies tie these events to global warming. The fuels burned especially in the richer countries, like oil and natural gas, lead to this warming. But they remain basic in the capitalist economy, making not millions but billions of dollars of profits for a few huge corporations.

Meanwhile, the capitalist system offers humanity torrential rain, floods, sweltering heat, life-threatening storms, wildfires, and smoke that could kill us. Displacement and death.