Climate change

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.

All eyes on Paris

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The protests before the UN climate talks in Paris this winter can be a crucial staging post for our movement, writes Suzanne Jeffery.

We have a tendency to talk about climate change as something that will affect future generations. But think how old you will be by the end of this century, or how old your children or grandchildren will be. How old will you be in 30 years when we will have reached an irreversible tipping point in global warming?

The problem is not one for future generations but for our generation. And it will require a huge challenge to the system in order to bring about the kind of changes necessary to organise society sustainably.

Airports study misses the point

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The run-up to the international climate talks in Paris coincides with the period in which the government will make its decision on new airport capacity.

When it came to power in 2010 the Tory/Lib Dem coalition ruled out any new runways but just two years later, under pressure from big business, it set up the Airports Commission. Chaired by the financier Sir Howard Davies, it was tasked to look again at whether new runways would be needed and, if so, where they should be.

Can divestment save the world?

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Four years ago a report by the Carbon Tracker Initiative sparked the global campaign to persuade universities, faith organisations and public institutions to sell financial holdings in fossil fuel companies.

The reasoning behind the divestment campaign is simple. Fossil fuel emissions have played a major role in setting the world on course to a 5˚C rise in temperatures.

Limiting global warming to 2˚C is generally agreed as being a safe limit to avoid catastrophic climate change requires leaving around 82 percent of fossil fuel reserves in the ground.

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