CAPITALISM CAUSES CLIMATE CHANGE
The 21st Conference of the UN Convention on Climate Change:
From 30 Nov to 11 Dec 2015, the 21st conference of the UN Convention on Climate Change will take place in Paris le Bourget.
This conference aims at a new international commitment with applications in every country, to reduce gas emissions from 40% to 70% by 2050, and keep the rise in global temperature within 2°.
This is a fundamental matter. Our society faces growing climatic abnormalities with disastrous political, social and economic effects on food health and migration. The climatic changes in the last years are clearly man-made, and caused by the irresponsibility of the big financial and economic concerns. They only think short-term, for immediate profits and in their own interests. They are wedded to the industrial use of fossil fuel and energy, like coal, oil and gas.
Industry, transport and development zones are yoked to the massive use of this type of energy. Agriculture is made intensive around it, leading to deforestation, the pile-up of rubbish, generalised pollution, etc.
Harmful gas emissions linked to human activity add their effects to natural phenomena. The resulting steep rise in temperature threatens the conditions for life on the planet. The Earth warms up, the ice-caps melt and the seas rise. Many scientists already consider that the consequences so far are irreversible. Across the American continent, Asia and the north of Europe, abnormal rains and wild floods affect widening areas, or intense droughts spread, as in eastern Africa, the Sahel and Southern Asia.
Europe is not being spared. Brutal heatwaves, storms and floods affect adversely the health of populations, the management of water, the ecosystems and bio biodiversity. According to the United Nations, 300,000 people die each year in the world, due to climate change.
The system is the problem
Although it is imperative to act in every way against this evolution, this international conference may not arrive at the necessary decisions. Enough to see how little was achieved concretely since the Kyoto protocol of 1997 that was ratified by 191 countries. It sought to commit the industrialised countries to a reduction of at least 5% of their gas emissions before 2022. This attempt failed completely because a country like the United States, responsible for 25% of the world’s emissions, never ratified that protocol. The intergovernmental group of experts specialist in climate evolution, is now asking for a further reduction from 25 to 40% on the part of the industrialised countries by 2020.
The poorer countries are the most vulnerable to those changes, but they have also less technical and financial means to face up. It should be the industrialised countries that come up with the solutions. They are responsible for three-quarter of the world emissions. They can only help themselves by helping the rest of the world.
Each country has committed to lower emissions in the European Union, and some countries have set up projects. Even then, however, the targets to be reached stand well beyond the achievements to date. The ecological and social transition wanted to make a difference in this matter requires changes in the modes of production, of consumption, of transport and of life.
The masses are the solution
Alternatives are needed to respond to the needs of the populations where they live. We are not there yet. The international negotiations about climate change contradict the aims of economic growth as pursued by the big multinationals and their lobbies with a grip on finance, the motor industry, energy production, agriculture, big distribution and armaments.
Throughout the world, it is the weight of the mobilisation of the citizens that pressurises the governments, the multinationals and the financial markets. In this mobilisation, a new vision of society arises, respectful of the human being, of the environment and of nature.
Over the years, many organisations have initiated citizen’s actions to fight the catastrophic effects of a system which cannot see beyond capital accumulation. The capitalist system cannot see beyond profit-making at the expense of humanity and of the environment. These citizen’s organisations create collective solutions in their localities to change the ways of living and the customary practices at every level of society. They turn to renewable sources of energy and eco-constructions. They set up collective areas, shared gardens and coordinations. They insist on bio agriculture, on recycling and on environmental education.
These initiatives create alternative habits as foundations for a new society – more just, more open to solidarity, more viable, more humane and more in harmony with nature; but these initiatives are not enough in themselves to modify the situation.
The capitalist system is incapable of meeting the global needs of people. It is the capitalist system that has created the crisis we are in today. As the political and social movements want to change the bases of society, there is a clear need now to bind their struggles together in one single combat – “to Change the System, and not the Climate!”
Les Posadistes.com – 6.10.2015