Capitalism is changing the weather. More fundamentally, it is changing the climate. This is the byproduct of an economic system that relies primarily on burning oil and coal to fuel production and enable the transportation of people and goods. In looking at capitalists’ responsibility for the climate crisis, a central question is whether capitalism must impact the environment in this way, or if it is capable of changing its mode of production so its continued operation does not change the climate.
There were many extraordinary moments during both Sunday’s huge climate march through mid-Manhattan and Monday’s more militant protest in Lower Manhattan’s financial district, from the little boy marching with a tambourine that had “This Machine Kills Fascists” written around its edge to the bored policeman along the march route blowing a huge bubble from the gum he was chewing, but perhaps the most telling occurred in the early afternoon on Monday, when, as several thousand climate action protesters sat or milled around, penned into several blocks of Broadway by hundreds of linked-together metal police barricades, a young man astride a pair of telephone booths began an impromptu IWW rant.
One day after hundreds of thousands protested in New York City in favor of action to reverse global warming, additional actions are taking place today that aim to connect capitalism as the cause for global warming. Several thousand people have shut down Broadway this afternoon.
One participant in the organizing meetings said, “In the beginning people were saying, ‘This is our Seattle,’” referring to the 1999 World Trade Organization ministerial that was derailed by direct action. But the paid staff got the politics-free Climate March. Another source said, “You wouldn’t see Avaaz promoting an occupy-style action. The strategic decision was made to have a big march and get as many mainstream groups on board as possible.”
A series of radical handbills for distribution at #Peoples Climate March events, both in NYC and across the country has been produced. Ecologically, socially, the present moment is an unfolding tragedy. We’re teetering on the edge of an historical cliff: on one side lies the ecological death of the planet, absolute spiritual bankruptcy, universal anxiety; on the other, the end of this way of living and the start of something completely new.
Maybe it was Napoleon Bonaparte or maybe it was Frederick the Great that put forth the maxim that moves the people. Try as you might—and it matters little outside of boutique branding opportunities—you cannot accredit an idea whose time has come. An army marches on its stomach; neoliberal forces crawl on its belly.
As the following information will demonstrate, The People’s Climate March and supporting discourse is about protecting capitalism, not protecting the world’s most vulnerable people from climate change. The People’s Climate March in New York City is a mobilization campaign created by Avaaz and 350.org, with 350.org at the forefront.
The fact that global warming is man-made and poses a grave threat to our future is widely accepted by progressives. Yet, the most commonly proposed solutions emphasize either personal responsibility for a global emergency (buy energy-efficient light bulbs, purchase a Prius), or rely on market-based schemes like cap-and-trade. These responses are not only inadequate, says best-selling author Naomi Klein, but represent a lost opportunity to confront climate change’s root cause: capitalism.
It is not pleasant to contemplate the thoughts that must be passing through the mind of the Owl of Minerva as the dusk falls and she undertakes the task of interpreting the era of human civilization, which may now be approaching its inglorious end.
Rather worrying news about those mysterious sink holes that have appeared in Siberia. It now appears they were giant methane releases - long forecast by climate change scientists as a likely positive feedback occurrence as permafrost in Siberia melted and released trapped methane. Worrying because methane is a 20 times more potent climate change gas than CO2 because it is more efficient at trapping radiation.
On September 20, 2014, Bill McKibben’s 350.org and a host of other Green NGOs are calling for a massive march through New York City to demand “the world we know is within our reach: a world with an economy that works for people and the planet. A world safe from the ravages of climate change. A world with good jobs, clean air, and healthy communities for everyone.”
As the Arctic ice melt accelerates due to climate change it could release more than 1 trillion pieces of plastic into the ocean over the next decade, possibly posing a major threat to marine life, a new scientific report said. The report, titled “Global Warming Releases Microplastic Legacy Frozen in Arctic Sea Ice,” said ice in some remote locations contains at least twice as much plastic as previously reported areas of surface water such as the Great Pacific Garbage Patch – an area of plastic waste estimated to be bigger than the state of Texas.
Barack Obama, scientists and campaigners have all looked at how to engage Americans more powerfully on the environment. Now researchers have come up with one critical piece of advice: do say "global warming", don't say "climate change".
The climate is changing before our eyes. In Berkeley, we’ve only had 5 inches of rain in a year and the weather is nothing like it was just 25 years ago when I moved here. And everywhere else, we’re seeing extreme weather events — burning heat, bitter cold, and violent storms. Although everyone notices and almost everyone realizes these changes are related to human CO2 emissions, we continue with business as usual. Climate chaos risks a mass extinction, crop failure, starvation, and social collapse, yet there is no sense of a popular uprising or outpouring of resistance like we briefly experienced during Occupy.
As 2014 starts off with a continuation of the extreme weather events that ended 2013 its time that political & media commentators realised the problem isn't inadequate preparation for such disasters but the failure to move beyond the logic of recovery through growth that is fuelling run away climate change. No single storm can be blamed on this process but the prediction is that we will see more and more extreme events.
British scientist John Nissen, chairman of the Arctic Methane Emergency Group (of which Wadhams is a member), suggests that if the summer sea ice loss passes “the point of no return,” and “catastrophic Arctic methane feedbacks” kick in, we’ll be in an “instant planetary emergency.”
Roughly speaking, there are four schools of thought about how to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and avert climate catastrophe. The consumer behavior school wants individuals to travel less, recycle more, eat locally-grown food and have fewer babies. The economic reform school proposes taxes, trading schemes, and sometimes regulations. The technology substitution school calls for new kinds of equipment. And the social change school advocates changes in the dominant system of producing and distributing material goods.