Climate change

A Redder Shade of Green

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The author describes this collection of articles as “debates, polemics and arguments because although environmentalists, scientists, and socialists share concerns about the devastation of our planet, we frequently differ on explanations and solutions”. The argument Angus repeatedly returns to is a defence of the Marxist method as he understands that, “If our political analysis doesn’t have a firm basis in the natural sciences, our efforts to change the world will be in vain.”

What does a climate insurgency look like?

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Emissions stop 400,000 Hiroshima bombs worth of heat from escaping the atmosphere every day. In Against Doom: A Climate Insurgency Manual (PM Press, £11.99) Jeremy Brecher warns the outcome will be either “doom” — 800 parts per million of atmospheric carbon, unsurvivable warming — or a plan to stop burning fossil fuels by 2050.

The Shock of the Anthropocene

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This book provides a very detailed history of the Anthropocene — the current geological era in which human activity has become the main driver of climate change — and makes some interesting points about how we should view it.

However, it is let down by its failure to provide any real solutions. This is particularly striking as they start the book by, rightly, reminding us how severe the crisis is.

Hypocrite Trump saves himself

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Donald Trump, now almost sure to be the only candidate with enough delegates to win the Republican presidential nomination, is well known for his climate change denial.

It seems his claims that climate change is a hoax and his opposition to “so-called green energy” don’t apply when it comes to his own interests. Trump has applied for permission to erect “coastal protection works” — that is, a wall — to protect one of his golf resorts in County Clare, Ireland.

Fracking floodgates opened

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No truly democratic institution could have passed Third Energy’s application to frack at Kirby Misperton in North Yorkshire last month. The 4,375 objections gave the County Council a 99.2 percent mandate to vote against. There was almost a day and a half of speeches against. The Tory-controlled planning committee received barristers’ letters and scientific papers detailing health and environmental risks.

Entering the age of humans

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Human activity has transformed the Earth, accelerating climate change in just a few decades. Author Ian Angus talks to Socialist Review about facing up to the new reality.

Can you explain the concept of the Anthropocene and its importance for understanding the current climate crisis?

Anthropocene is the proposed name for the present stage of Earth history: a time in which human activity is transforming the entire planet in unprecedented and dangerous ways. Scientists divide Earth’s 4.5 billion year history into time intervals that correspond to major changes in the conditions and forms of life on Earth.

Can we build a sustainable society?

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There is an assumption that Marx and Engels's vision of communism sees the natural world as an inexhaustible collection of resources. Martin Empson argues that they sought a profound change in how humans relate to nature, flowing from the democratic and collective organisation of labour.

This month will see major worldwide protests demanding action on climate change. As world leaders meet in Paris they have a chance to plan the massive reduction of emissions to keep world temperatures below the 2 degrees threshold. Time is now tight, and the action would need to be quick and drastic.

No jobs on a dead planet?

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In 2009 a group of British trade unionists involved in the Campaign against Climate Change won the backing of four unions — CWU, PCS, TSSA and UCU — to publish a pamphlet, One Million Climate Jobs NOW!

Using information from supportive academics, the pamphlet argued the case for a single solution to the two great crises facing us today.

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