The Spark

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

Promises, but No Attack on Climate Change

Dec 21, 2009

Copenhagen isn’t the first forum filled with promises to take on the problem of global warming. There have been many others before: the Rio Summit of 1992, Kyoto in 1997, Johannesburg in 2002, Poznan in 2008. In all of them, there were speeches and commitments – which produced no real reduction in pollution.

The problem is real enough. There have already been catastrophic effects over a large part of Africa. And there is the near-term risk of major problems for all those who live near the oceans as water levels rise.

But that doesn’t matter to the masters of the world economy. These are the same people who threw the world into an economic crisis unlike any seen for 80 years – and then demanded their countries’ governments bail THEM out!

Why should we believe these same capitalists would voluntarily agree to limit global warming for the common good? Why should we believe that their respective governments will impose requirements that limit their profits?

Oh, yes, they are all very good with words – demanding subsidies to make less polluting cars, or sell less polluting fuel, or study new sources of energy.

We see agribusiness in the U.S. getting subsidies and tax breaks to grow corn to produce ethanol. They drive up the price of corn for food, while we actually get less energy from the ethanol than they use in producing it!

We know that the capitalists look for ever new ways to make profit – to the detriment of the great majority of the population.

The struggle against the climate crisis, like the struggle against the economic crisis, won’t be truly effective unless we take away the power of this tiny minority, which exploits labor and pillages the world for its own interests.