Anarchist Federation bulletin - also available as a 2 page PDF for printing from www.afed.org.uk
AN ESTIMATED 25 million people have been effected by food supply crises in sub-Sahara this year. The disastrous effects of global warming are already being felt worldwise- widespread, death, homelessness and destruction caused by rising sea levels, increasing “freak weather” typhoons, storms and tornadoes causing floods and landslides and substantial droughts and desertification.
Global warming is caused by human made carbon dioxide which builds up in the earth’s atmosphere causing a dangerous acceleration of climate change and extremes of weather. The main causes are petrol-based road and air traffic, fossil-fuelled manufacturing and industrial agriculture (together 85 %) andfossil-fuelled electricity production. Corporations and governments are the twin vampires who are responsible for the mess we’re in- 122 private and state corporations such as Shell, Exxon, BP etc., are responsible for 80% of the world’s carbon dioxide emissions.
Even the US government officially admits that climate change is a bigger threat to humanity than terrorism; the only people refuting this are professional deniers funded by the big oil companies. Yet politicians and their business sponsors admit that making any real change is “politically unrealistic” .
This makes them keen on “technical fixes” that don’t tackle the causes. Nuclear power is a favourite, sold with the lie that it doesn’t produce carbon dioxide. It’s very dangerous, producing deadly waste with no safe storage solution, is vulnerable to terrorism and fuels the production of nuclear weapons.
It is also so costly that it needs massive government subsidies and relies heavily on dwindling supplies of uranium. The industry has a long and infamous record of “accidents”, near disasters (Windscale, Three Mile Island, Chernobyl) and health risks. Emissions (literally pollution) trading and burying CO2 under the seabed are similarly ostrich-like. Neither tackles the production of CO2. Green taxes are likely to target “consumers” e.g car drivers, rather than the big suppliers like oil companies and there is no guarantee that the revenue will be spent on alternatives.
Cars, lorries and planes are a massive cause of CO2 but the road and traffic lobby is hugely powerful, ensuring that alternatives are not developed. The government’s response to increased demand for transport is to build more roads that immediately become congested –an upward spiraland to expand existing airports and build new ones. Meanwhile privatized buses and trains are run on the basis of profit rather than need making public transport often a more expensive and unstable option, forcing people to rely on cars.
Schemes such as the congestion charge are about ensuring that traffic keeps flowing, rather than creating transport for human need. The idea of a green car however fuelled is as practical as a chocolate frying pan.
Since companies and governments cannot make the necessary changesand don’t even try, it is up to us. As individuals we should do what we canminimize car and air travel, insulate our homes, minimize waste, maximize recycling. Ultimately however, we can only halt and indeed reverse global warming by challenging the systewm that has brought the planet to the brink of disaster. We need to organise against the government’s plans to resurrect the Frankenstein monster of nuclear power, defeat plans for yet more roads and new or bigger airports. We should oppose
Christopher Lee shows a novel approach to dealing with the authorities agribusiness with its use of unnecessary and dangerous chemical production., of GM crops and factory farming.
We can only do this by getting together with our neighbours and workmates, organizing and acting collectively, without politicians and leaders, and taking direct action. The Rossport Solidarity camp in western Ireland, which has [which has support the community campaign that has] halted Shell’s construction of an oil refinery and pipeline is an inspiring current example.
Organising in this way maximizes our power and avoids us being sold out as leaders always end up in bed with the powerful.
We want renewable energy- solar, wind, tidal and hydro-electric, geothermal, etc, different resources deployed as appropriate to the locality. It should be small scale,, generating electicity for local needs rather than the waste and centralization of the National Grid., and genuinely community controlled. Human scale planning and free public transport would minimize the use of cars. We need to go further to question the whole twisted logic of capitalist growth that has chained us to work and consumption, producing increased quantities of goods while the quality of our lives deteriorates.
IT’S OUR WORLD, LET’S TAKE IT BACK!
For more info on Rossport Solidarity Campaign visit: http://struggle.ws/rsc/
For more about anarchism and ecology, read AF pamphlet, ECOLOGY AND CLASS - where there's brass, there's muck.
Read our latest issue of Organise! magazine, for an article about the effects of economic growth on our environment.
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