Red Revolution Needed to Stop Global Warming
Global warming, caused by capitalism’s mad rush for profits and devil-may-care attitude about the future, has already produced alarming weather events — increasingly violent hurricanes like Katrina, and hurricanes in the North Atlantic, where they had never been recorded. It has produced more severe droughts and flooding and the potential for a rise in sea level that will chase tens of millions from their homes in cities near coasts. So what do we make of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s recent visit to India (July 18-20), where she failed utterly in pressuring India’s leadership to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions that cause global warming?
Clinton’s approach to India was a study in the imperialist rivalry that dominates global politics. Rather than accommodate her, India’s Environmental Minister Kamesh criticized the U.S. for generating a century’s worth of greenhouse gases (GHGs) without let-up and then preaching to the developing nations that they should stop emitting GHGs.
The capitalist ruling classes of both India and China — the two most populous nations in the world, containing over one-third of the world’s working class — know that the U.S. call for capping GHG emissions is mainly an attempt to slow their growth and prevent them from challenging the U.S. economically. The World Bank and International Monetary Fund already predict that the Chinese economy will surpass that of the U.S. in the next 20 to 30 years. This is what Clinton is trying to stop, not global warming!
U.S. bosses want a new international treaty on global warming at the December intergovernmental conference in Copenhagen, Denmark (the sequel to Kyoto). But developing nations are fighting against mandatory caps placed on their GHG emissions because it would hinder their economic growth, so Copenhagen is likely to fail due to the maneuverings of competitive capitalist interests. This neglect of the future of the working class and our planet illustrates why smashing capitalism is necessary to stop global warming.
Recently, the U.S. ruling class switched gears in its position on global warming. Previously, it had encouraged media denials that global warming was a problem or that it was caused by GHG emissions. The media and government were obedient to the short-term interests of giant energy companies like Exxon-Mobil. Now the rulers are pretending that they are about to tackle the problem and decrease U.S. emissions. The Obama presidential campaign began this shift in earnest.
But the world’s working class should not be fooled. Obama remains loyal to the profit interests of the energy companies. The U.S. capitalists are merely adopting a strategy to attack and isolate their Chinese and Indian rivals. The actual changes proposed by Obama and reflected in the Waxman-Markey bill (recently passed in the House of Representatives and being debated in the Senate) are too trivial to begin to make any difference in the rising concentrations of GHGs in the atmosphere. The 17% reduction in U.S. GHG emissions by 2020 proposed in the legislation won’t even touch the problem.
Obama & Co. have no intentions of doing anything to harm the global strategic position of the U.S. ruling class. No capitalist government, no matter how worker-friendly it pretends to be, will ever do so. That’s why the world’s working class can only end the emissions of GHGs and prevent the devastating consequences of global warming by taking matters into its own hands.
We must throw the capitalists off the stage of history around the world through communist revolution, and organize a communist society in which both the short-term and long-term needs of workers (including the ecological health of our planet) will be the only considerations in determining how and what to produce.J
BOX: What Else Was Clinton Up to in India?
Clinton’s visit to India wasn’t just about global warming. Loyal to her capitalist masters, she also played the saleswoman for the big bosses. She pushed for a contract for U.S. corporations to build two nuclear power plants, and for a deal for India to buy $10 billion worth of fighter jets from Boeing and Lockheed Martin. The Indian bosses liked this part of her visit. It’s all about the money!