Tag Archives: Global Warming

A Typhoon Destroys the Philippines

 

As capitalism continues to destroy the Earth’s environment, the working class continues to suffer. Over 10,000 dead workers in the Philippines, and the survivors scrounging for food, desperate for help, are a sight that we’ve seen before way too often: Natural disasters’ destruction exponentially increased due to the inequalities of capitalism. Nature will have disasters and will whip up superstorms, but it is the racist systemic inequality of the profit system that causes so many to die and the survivors to be in such a desperate situation. How many of those that were the most affected came from the working class and how many came from the Philippines’ local bourgeoisie?

Some might question the validity of blaming Capitalism’s overconsumption and placing of profits before the environment, yet capitalism’s wanton destruction has significantly contributed to the superstorms. Let’s not forget that the largest polluter is the U.S. military. The U.S. military pollutes the planet with its radioactive depleted uranium bombs and uses vast amounts of petroleum — think how many gallons it takes to move a battleship just one mile! This pollution causes greenhouse gasses and global warming.

This same U.S. military has been trying to engage with Asia and encircle China strategically. There is potentially more oil in The East China Sea than the Middle East. Now, it may not be as easy to acquire, and profitable, as the light sweet crude in Libya just bubbling below the surface, but China is hungry for oil and the U.S. has no intention of letting a major rival have unfettered access to development. The U.S. is sending 9 warships, one being an aircraft carrier, to the strategic area of the Philippines. Once they are there, there’s little chance that those imperialist parasites are leaving. The U.S. didn’t want to leave in the late 19th century when they inflicted genocide on the workers there. The U.S. has a long history of imperialist brutality on the workers in the Philippines, and it wouldn’t be surprising if they took advantage of the devastation to improve their geo-strategic position.

Problems with access to areas affected by the typhoon should not be a bother to a super power that’s had a decade of experience fighting in harsh mountainous conditions. How many high tech stealth helicopters do the U.S. bosses have that can drop on a dime? The desperate workers in there are not their priority. Killing and slaughtering families by remote control is their priority. Wars for oil and domination are their priorities. Where’s the profit in mobilizing millions and millions of workers and shipping them to the to help those affected?

Under communism, the world’s working class would directly organize to meet the needs of those affected by the disaster. Instead of the priority being the continuation of wars without end, there would be help provided, not just amphibious warships and aircraft carriers! A massive rebuilding effort would accompany the massive supplies of food that would be freely given to the affected workers, not the cash loans the World Bank (WB) is hungering to lend the workers in the Philippines. The WB claims it is looking to make only a modest profit from the massive amount of rebuilding that’s going to be needed. Whatever they claim, even if they give the money away, it will not emancipate the working class; it will possibly rebuild some of the houses, but what about the next greenhouse gas accelerated superstorm?

The Philippines has revisionist parties that have been fighting for various strains of socialism for decades. Hundreds of thousands have grasped the ideas of Marxism and the need for revolution. They need Communism. There is a long Red tradition in the Philippines, from the Huks up until today. The only way of truly rebuilding in the Philippines is to build The Progressive Labor Party there. The masses of workers joining PLP will be a superstorm for capitalism sweeping away exploitation and its irrational destruction away with it. The struggle for Communism is paramount to ending the misery and desperation of workers in the Philippines and all over the world. 

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Global Warming: Only Communism Can Save the Planet, Not Capitalist Schemes

Book Reviews: “Hot, Flat, and Crowded: Why We Need a Green Revolution – And How It Can Renew America,” by Thomas Friedman (Farrar, Strous, and Giroux, New York, 2008); and “The Green-Collar Economy: How One Solution Can Fix Our Two Biggest Problems,” by Van Jones with Ariane Conrad (Harper One, New York, 2008).

These two books on global warming were published last year as the Obama campaign moved into high gear. Friedman is a NY Times columnist. Jones is a human rights activist who Obama appointed as Special Advisor for Green Jobs but then was forced to resign recently after being attacked by right-wing Republicans for supposedly being a “Marxist.”

Both Friedman and Jones recognize that today’s severe global warming is due to increasing greenhouse gases (GHGs) produced by fossil fuels (oil, coal and natural gas) in industry, transportation and in the generation of electrical power. They both recognize the urgent need for a solution. But they both (incorrectly) suggest, in different ways, that the capitalist market can solve this problem, if only governments worldwide would adopt “the correct policies.”

In his book, Friedman is an unabashed apologist for U.S. imperialism. Jones, on the other hand, denounces the U.S. history of genocidal theft of Indian lands, slavery and the ongoing racist treatment of black, Latin, Asian and Native American working-class people, as well as the extreme sexist discrimination against women. Racism/sexism and global warming are the “two biggest problems” (his subtitle) facing the world.

Friedman writes as though racism and the current oil wars never happened and calls on the U.S. to regain its mythical moral leadership in the world (after Bush allegedly destroyed it) by taking the lead in decreasing GHG emissions. Jones, on the other hand, calls on the U.S. government to solve global warming by creating green jobs to build clean energy usage that will also help to abolish the inequality of income and opportunity suffered by black and Latino workers. He says neither problem can be solved without solving the other.

The two authors seem to be living in two different universes — Friedman in fantasyland while Jones is almost in the real world.

While Jones doesn’t defend the war-criminal U.S. ruling class like Friedman does, he appears clueless about the nature of capitalism. He doesn’t recognize the antagonistic relationship between the capitalist class and the working class. He doesn’t see the capitalists’ absolute need to promote racism and sexism to enhance their super-profits and to maintain their political power —  control of the state. This enables them to exert their class domination over both the working class and over competing imperialists.

Though Jones advocates the full involvement of “minority” workers to pressure the government to foster use of solar panels, windmills and other forms of clean energy, he proposes that such a coalition be led by “progressive” businessmen. (!) This position is misleading pie in the sky, typical of those like Jones who toy with revolutionary ideas at one point in their lives and then reject them to pursue a career in the Democratic Party.

His central error is not understanding that capitalism, with its driving profit motive, cannot stop using fossil fuels without dismantling virtually the entire body of physical capital in the world, replacing it with new physical plant and modes of transportation employing clean energy sources. The world’s capitalist classes can never agree to do this.

The world’s imperialists are locked in life-and-death competitive rivalries with each other. No “global policy” that interferes with their battle for maximum profits can possibly be written and enforced as long as these imperialists fight with each other over control of the world’s resources and markets.

The main battle we face in the movement against global warming is defeating the misleading strategies of writers like Jones and the fantasies of liberals like Friedman. We must redouble our efforts to demonstrate that only the abolition of capitalism, classes and production for profit instead of for use can lay the foundation for a renewed planet. Only the world’s working class, led by its communist party PLP, once having seized power from the capitalists and consolidated its power through revolution, will be able to clean up the world, revolutionize production processes with safe, clean energy and save the planet.

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Clinton Visit to India

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!

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Gore Wins Nobel War Prize

Just two days before Al Gore won the Nobel “Peace” Prize, the NY Times ran a full-page “Draft Gore” ad urging him to run for president. The prize and the award both reflect an increasing need felt by U.S. rulers for a wartime leader who can militarize the nation.

Neither the prize nor the ad fell from the sky. The Norwegian government handpicks the Nobel committee. A key U.S. ally in the Cold War, NATO stalwart Norway houses several U.S. military bases and has sent troops to Afghanistan. Norway does not belong to the European Union. U.S. companies are the largest single destination for the Nobel foundation’s considerable investments. U.S. war criminals Henry Kissinger, who advised Nixon to bomb his way out of Vietnam, and Jimmy Carter, who’s “Doctrine” about U.S. control of world oil led to the current Mid-East carnage, also received Nobels.

Draft Gore claims to be a grassroots operation. But it gained momentum after a May meeting of Gore “alumni” donors and aides at the Washington home of Peter Knight, a Gore fund-raiser who now toils for Shroders, an imperialist bank based in London.

A host of senior military officers, serving and retired, joined liberal pundits in lambasting Bush & Co.’s failure to mobilize enough troops for Iraq and Afghanistan. With wider Mid-East and global wars looming, U.S. rulers are turning to Gore. They hope the massive pro-capitalist, pro-government movement he leads against global warming can provide recruits for the armed forces and popular support for foreign interventions.

U.S. generals and admirals have already linked climate change to global security and demonized China as the worst polluter. Thomas Friedman, one of the Times’ many cheerleaders for U.S. imperialism, gushed over Gore’s award but concluded, “We still need a vision, a strategy, an army and a commander in the White House who can inspire young and old — not only to meet that challenge but to see in it the opportunity to make America a better, stronger and more productive nation.” (NYT, 10/14)

Gore is now getting rich by partnering with a bunch of ex-Goldman Sachs execs in an investment firm. “Gore is a multimillionaire who has built a media and high-tech empire around himself and his environmental work….and is the chairman of…a cable network with 38 million subscribers…. He receives up to $175,000 per speaking appearance….Fast Company magazine has estimated his net worth at more than $100 million.” (NYT, 10/13)

Gore may not want to forgo this cash for a White House bid. Whether he runs or not, however, the rulers’ war needs will persist and worsen. The Boston Globe (10/7/07) reports, “Defense Department statistics show the number of young black enlistees has fallen by more than 58 percent since fiscal year 2000.” Poor black workers have long been a main source of the U.S. military’s cannon fodder. But the blatant racism of current U.S. wars hinders this economic draft.

side boxes . . .

LIKE FATHER, LIKE SON: CROOKED RACIST, IMPERIALIST MONEY-GRUBBER

Gore, while appearing to help the masses, learned to serve the capitalists’ war aims (and make a buck) from his father. Al Gore, Sr. entered Congress from Tennessee in 1939 and immediately championed the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA), a vast federally-owned electric power company proposed by President Roosevelt to help industrialize the South. With Gore Sr.’s help, the TVA became the prime power supplier to an Alcoa aluminum factory near Knoxville, the world’s largest, that churned out aircraft components in World War II.

Later on, the elder Gore served Occidental Petroleum magnate Armand Hammer, helping Hammer’s Island Creek mines become the TVA’s top coal source. So Hammer made Dad Gore chairman of Island Creek at $500,000 a year, when he left the Senate.

Gore, Sr. blessed the U.S. genocide in Vietnam. He voted for the Tonkin Resolution, the lie advanced by President Johnson that U.S. ships had been attacked, which became the excuse for a massive U.S. invasion. Gore, Sr. voted against the Civil Rights Act of 1964 but for the Voting Rights Act of 1965, thus wanting to maintain segregation but eager to lead black workers down the dead-end road of electoral politics, especially if it meant votes for Democrats.

BIGGEST, BLOODIEST BOSSES BACK GORE

Global warming, caused by capitalists’ profit-driven dependence on coal and oil, is a genuine problem. But the campaign Gore heads is a liberal fascist movement that pushes patriotic service to the state. Militarists and financiers run the show.

The Alliance for Climate Protection, the umbrella group Gore formed last year, has as co-directors Gen. Brent Scowcroft, who advised Bush, Sr. in Iraq Gulf War I, and hereditary imperialist Theodore Roosevelt IV, a managing director at Lehman Brothers bankers. Teddy IV also chairs the Pew Center on Global Climate Change. Its backers include such heavyweights in U.S. capitalism’s (and its British junior partners’) worldwide empire as Alcoa, BP, Citigroup, DuPont, GE, IBM, Intel, Lockheed Martin, Shell and United Technologies. The profits of all these phony “friends of the earth” — many of whom have polluted it for over a century — depend heavily on U.S. military action in the Middle East and elsewhere.

 

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