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Global warming

Sting in the Tail: Winners . . . and Losers


"If only we could bottle the feeling - the desire to be rich." This was Seb Coe, Olympic athlete and prospective Tory candidate, speaking at the launch of National Motivation Week (The Guardian 15 May).

The aim of NMW is to encourage all of us "losers" to become "winners". Among the supporting winners present were football managers Steve Harrison (recently sacked by Watford), Alan Ball and Lennie Lawrence (whose teams have just been relegated), and Lou Macari (on bail accused of tax offences).

But suppose we all did what those behind NMW want us to do and became winners. Has it never occurred to these dimwits that capitalism can only function if the vast majority, the losers, are so poor that they must sell their ability to work for a wage or salary?

Socialism and Climate Change

That global climate change has been caused by the excessive emission of carbon dioxide, (CO2) since the Industrial Revolution is now accepted by the worldwide scientific community and (as the attendance at the Paris international conference, COP 21) in December last year indicates) by the ruling political class of all countries as well. Though there are still important reservations and much follow up work will be required, the agreement at the Conference to limit global warming to 2 degrees centigrade (2oC) above pre-industrial levels was a breakthrough regarding tackling the huge problem of climate change.


Too Little Too Late

That’s the most that will ever be done under capitalism about the problems that global warming will bring.

The way the capitalist system works rules out the effective action at world level that is needed to begin tackling the problem. It even encourages economic activities that contribute to it.

Capitalism is based on production being controlled by profit-seeking enterprises which, supported by governments, compete on the market to buy resources and sell products. This competitive pursuit of profits is the essence of capitalism. It’s what capitalism is all about and what prevents any effective action to deal with climate change.

Material World: Rising Sea Levels

Material World

Tuvalu is one of the smallest countries in the world. It has a population of only 11,500 and has been inhabited for almost 3,000 years. In 1997 the then Tuvalu Prime Minister Koloa Talake addressed world leaders at the Kyoto conference. He petitioned countries around the world to take immediate action on global warming and make the changes needed to stop it in its tracks. He explained his low-lying country was sinking into the Pacific Ocean because of rising sea-levels. The current Prime Minister of Tuvalu, Enele Sopoaga, said climate change was the ‘Enemy Number One’ for his country. The people of Tuvalu don't require scientists to explain it to them. They can see it for themselves. Salt water is flooding the land and the people are having difficulties growing their crops because of salination of the soil. Groundwater is increasingly becoming undrinkable due to sea-water contamination. It is brackish and salty. Islanders are relying on catching rain water.

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