Capitalism and Climate Collapse

This seems so obvious it hardly needs explanation: the cause of impending climate collapse is capitalism. As I said in my blog last week, one step we can take is transforming the public schools to educate the next generation in combatting climate collapse. But beyond that, we need to advocate vigorously for our governments to do what it takes to curtail the continued spewing of greenhouse gasses by the fossil fuel and energy sectors of the economy, which most likely will ultimately require nationalization of those sectors. We need to plan for a post-capitalist society. The term “Socialism” has such a fraught history and a variety of interpretations that “post-capitalist” seems like a more useful concept, without necessarily defining every aspect of this transformation. Suffice it to say that the elimination of the billionaire class and the redistribution of wealth internationally must be part of the process. 

The key to progress on the climate and all other areas is organizing, working class organizing in particular. Greta Thunberg has shown the way with her student strikes. The option to strike is what gives the working class its power. The surge in unionization and strike activity with Starbucks, Amazon, and the railroads is encouraging. 

Progressive change is a dialectical process. On the one hand, global warming is fueling mass migration around the world. But mass migration can be a good thing in developing an egalitarian world economic system. National borders are just a means of keeping the working class divided. First world people of privilege will strenuously object of course, and will continue to move the right, but there are many more people in the world without those privileges. Again, organizing is the way forward on this front as well. 

Numbers of people – even in my own family, lol – now believe that the climate collapse is inevitable. But as we all used to chant, the people united can never be defeated. And since climate collapse affects everyone, efforts to mitigate it can be profoundly unifying. As the effects of climate change become more pronounced, more and more people will recognize the need to engage with the movement to prevent the collapse. And it’s a small step toward joining the movement to replace capitalism with a system that puts the health and well-being of the people ahead of the profits of the billionaire class. 

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