The Spark

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

Midwest floods:
A glimpse of global warming’s consequences

Jun 16, 2008

The recent flooding in parts of the upper Mississippi basin is so extreme it has been called a “500 year event.” And large parts of the Midwest have been hit by waves upon waves of serious storms this spring. Is all this the result of global warming – as many people ask?

It may not be possible to say exactly what’s behind any particular weather disaster. But there is general agreement among scientists who have studied long term weather patterns that a warming of the planet will produce not only more heat, but more dryness in some areas, more wetness in others, more severe storms, hurricanes and tornadoes and even more cold in some areas – that is, much greater extremes.

The most recent floods and storms give the population in the Midwest a glimpse of what a further warming of the planet can mean. It takes only one such event to destroy many thousands of lives.

Any rational society faced with what scientists know about the dangers raised by global warming would do everything materially possible to prevent human activity from adding to it. It certainly would prepare now by strengthening all the systems aimed to prevent flooding and other weather damage.

But rational planning has no place in capitalism, a system where the individual drive for profit rules.