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Issue #1903      February 17, 2020

Fighting for our lives!

On 22nd February, hundreds of thousands of Australians will be in the streets fighting for our lives, for the survival of humanity.

The ruling elites and the corporations they serve are the principal obstacles to change. They cannot be reformed, and they will not give up power willingly. And this means revolution, we have to take power into our hands to save our lives.

The richest 0.54 per cent, or 42 million people across the world, are responsible for more emissions than the poorest half of the global population or 3.8 billion people.

Australia is the highest emitter on a per capita basis in the world, yet our Government continues to undermine international efforts to bring climate change under control as they did at the recent Madrid Conference.

Capitalist business is driven by the bottom line, by how much profit can be made. There is no meaningful planning for the future. Each day corporate decisions have to be made to please the investors and stockholders. They will not redirect the trillions of dollars and scientific and technical expertise spent on the military toward saving us from environmental catastrophe.

The chaotic nature of capitalist markets and the capitalist drive for profit got the planet into the current predicament and won’t provide the way out. At its core the driver is for profit whatever the cost, not the needs of people. Our economic system ignores the fact that all production ultimately depends on the use of materials from the natural world, and all waste from production and consumption eventually finds its way into the environment.

We the people will have to make the changes needed to save our world.

As oceans rise and temperatures soar, ecosystems will continue to collapse. As resources diminish, social unrest and civilisation collapse are likely. The most marginalised and vulnerable in society will be hit first and hit hardest. And if we continue on our current path, the future of our species is at risk.

Damage resulting from climate change is already with us – bush fires and floods, more intense and frequent extreme weather events like hurricanes, droughts, and heat waves; rising sea levels that threaten the homes, lives and livelihoods of millions of people.

Climate change has become more destructive. Hundreds of thousands of people have lost their lives through drought; from killer hurricanes, cyclones and tornadoes; from landslides and flooding; from raging bushfires. Species are disappearing.

The scientific consensus is that the path ahead is far worse with widespread food and water scarcity, increased exposure to diseases, economic decline and damage to the infrastructure, ecosystems, and social systems that provide essential benefits to communities.

Australia has seen an extraordinary season of environmental catastrophe including thirty deaths, 3,000 houses burnt to the ground, 1 billion animals killed and over 3 million hectares of land burnt to a crisp and all this on top of the worst drought for years. Despite this the Coalition Government continues to give credence to the climate change deniers in its ranks.

We have to get rid of the vested interests that continue to profit from our suffering if we have any hope of saving our lives. A huge political and economic struggle is needed to turn things around.

It is impossible to reverse the momentum toward disaster without economic planning.

In order to have sustainable development, a country has to have a plan for its economy. There are only a few countries today with planned economies. Most notable are China and Cuba.

Socialism offers the scope and means, which capitalism does not have, for solving the environmental crisis and to deliver to workers a sustainable planet, with a decent life, work, and rights.

Workers must be part of climate solutions, and benefit from just and equitable transition programs. To free themselves from climate chaos workers and trade unions must join with other groups to fight for system change. This will not happen without struggle.

In recent years a new movement, often led by young people, has grown up in Australia and many other countries. Calls for system change and signs that denounce capitalism have become increasingly popular.

Large marches of hundreds of thousands of people have taken place but the huge corporations continue to dominate the political agenda. They block efforts to limit global warming, promote climate deniers and spread lies about environmentalists. The capitalist ruling class is fighting to stay in control and prevent any real change.

In Australia, the Murdoch press and Sky News employ the likes of Andrew Bolt, Alan Jones, and Peta Credlin to use every subterfuge and lie to defend the relentless mining of Australia for the profit of rich individuals.

The two-party system is obsolete and unable to move on climate change. Fighting for our future means supporting and voting for progressive and socialist parties.

The coming decades must be a time of massive environmental struggles. Our movement is demanding action now to delay and hopefully reverse the growing climate disaster which threatens every living thing on this planet. And this demands real system change.

Join the Climate Crisis National Day of Action

Saturday February 22

  • Sydney 2 pm Town Hall
  • Melbourne 2 pm State Library
  • Adelaide 10.30 am Parliament
  • Canberra 2 pm Garema Place
  • Fremantle 3 pm Pioneer Park
  • Newcastle 1 pm Foreshore Park

Next article – Editorial – Bandt in, Di Natale out: What Do Communists Do?

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