There can be little doubt about the centrality and severity of the environmental crisis in the present day. Driven by the mindless "grow-or-die" imperative of capitalism, humanity's destruction of the biosphere has reached and even surpassed various critical thresholds, whether in terms of carbon emissions, biodiversity loss, ocean acidification, freshwater depletion, or chemical pollution.
Ecosocialists must stand in support of the millions of democracy protesters in Hong Kong and call on American trade unions and the Left to join us. The Chinese Communist Party is on a suicide mission to destroy planet earth in its all-out drive to maximize economic growth to save the party-state ruling class even if that growth produces CO2 emissions that precipitate planetary ecological collapse. China’s emissions are already more than twice as large as those of the U.S. and growing, with a GDP just 63 % the size of the U.S.
Democratic Socialists of America activist Nick French argues for making the Green New Deal a major new organizing priority for DSA activists and the U.S. Left. This article was originally published by The Call, an online publication of the Bread and Roses Caucus of DSA.
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)’s landmark October 2018 report declared that preventing runaway global warming will require “far-reaching transitions in energy, land … and industrial systems” for which there is “no documented historic precedent.” Oxford University climate scientist and report author Myles Allen explained, “It’s telling us we need to … turn the world economy on a dime.”
Ashley is correct that addressing the climate crisis requires a radical transformation of the economic system, including more state-led planning. However, insisting that we must immediately end economic growth, let alone capitalism, is a political dead end. Fortunately, a green transformation can coincide with sustainable, egalitarian growth.
It’s not hyperbole to say that the accelerating climate emergency, which is getting closer to spiraling out of control, is the most serious crisis that humanity has faced in its entire history. Two reports came out at the end of 2018 that ought to have put aside any doubt that we are facing an existential crisis that threatens the continued survival of advanced human societies and possibly even our continued existence as a species.
Richard Smith argues for an emergency plan to meet the climate emergency and "do what the science demands before it's too late." This is an abridged version of a paper that will appear in the March 1, 2019 special issue of Real-World Economics Review.