Climate Crisis: Our Last Chance

September 2021 Forums General discussion Climate Crisis: Our Last Chance

Viewing 15 posts - 811 through 825 (of 868 total)
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    E-Highways – electric roads

    A promising project

    New diesel and petrol lorries will be banned in Britain by 2040 as part of plans to reduce carbon emissions to net zero by 2050. The weight of a battery required to power a fully laden truck over long distances has prompted trucking companies to look for alternatives. On the e-highway, lorries fitted with rigs called pantographs – similar to those used by trains and trams – would be able to tap into the overhead electricity supply lines to power electric motors. Lorries would also have a smaller battery to power them over the first and last legs of the journey off the motorway.


    The IPCC report is out and the blog’s response


    Sadly it’ll just be tomorrow’s fish and chip paper.


    As to be expected, capitalism is not charged with being culpable but the blame being put down to “humanity”

    We can expect using human beings as the scapegoat will be the strategy of the corporations…you and I will be the culprits, not the CEOs


    Poop Lake in Bolivia is completely dry due to climate change. It is not a Chinese hoax, it is a reality


    It’s not the CEOs either of course, but capitalism and the way it obliges those in charge of capitalist corporations to behave economically.

    George Monbiot makes the same misidentification in this otherwise generally ok video.

    He correctly identifies that capitalism is committed to infinite growth (infinite capital accumulation) but he doesn’t explain why.

    The only reason he seems to give is the greed of the rich but this won’t do. The greed of the rich is only a reflection in their minds of the economic imperative of capital to expand, through the competitive struggle for profits leading to more innovation and investment in machines and processes to keep costs down. Hence the infinite accumulation of capital, the infinite self-expansion of value. He needs to read some more Marx.

    Also to say more about the new economic system to replace capitalism he mentions at the end and how it can come about. Even on this seeming view on why capitalism means infinite growth it would have to involve the expropriation of the rich. And the useful projects he envisages can only be implemented if the Earth’s really have become humanity’s “common treasury”.

    All in all, though, his video is grist for the socialist mill.


    We shouldn’t always overlook the role of individuals.

    Some CEOs have messiah complexes that they believe they can solve the problems of capitalism. Are they servile servants to the system or genuinely hold that they possess sufficient power to steer policies.

    The connection between food production and global warming is clear.

    Bill Gates uses his philanthropy to advance his own beliefs and to manipulate governments to follow his ideas.


    Yes, they are “servile servants to the system”. As Marx put it is section 3 of chapter 24 of Volume 1 of Capital:

    “Except as personified capital, the capitalist has no historical value (…) But, so far as he is personified capital, it is not values in use and the enjoyment of them, but exchange-value and its augmentation, that spur him into action.(…) Fanatically bent on making value expand itself, he ruthlessly forces the human race to produce for production’s sake (…) Only as personified capital is the capitalist respectable. As such, he shares with the miser the passion for wealth as wealth. But that which in the miser is a mere idiosyncrasy, is, in the capitalist, the effect of the social mechanism, of which he is but one of the wheels. Moreover, the development of capitalist production makes it constantly necessary to keep increasing the amount of the capital laid out in a given industrial undertaking, and competition makes the immanent laws of capitalist production to be felt by each individual capitalist, as external coercive laws. It compels him to keep constantly extending his capital, in order to preserve it, but extend it he cannot, except by means of progressive accumulation.”


    This summary I found on the internet puts it well:

    At the core of Marxist political economy is the idea that capitalism is highly dynamic and inevitably expansionary through accumulation. Exclaiming, “Accumulate, accumulate! That is Moses and the prophets,” Marx (1967), in Volume One of Capital, defined the most important driving force and the inner law of motion of the capitalist mode of production. What makes capitalism tick is not only that capitalists make a profit by exploiting workers, but that they reinvest part of the profit in further production. Capitalists are forced to act in that way as a result of competition. The rule that governs the behavior of all capitalists is, then, “accumulation for accumulation sakes, production for production sakes” (Marx 1967: 595). The inner logic of capitalism is thus not only to “work for profit,” but also to “work for capital accumulation.”


    Very possibly the author might just accept more Capitalism as the solution to Capitalism. But just a further example of the kind of writing coming out of the woodwork in the past 20 years which might chime with SPGBers.

    • This reply was modified 1 month, 2 weeks ago by Ozymandias.

    ALB – You’re asking the likes of George Monbiot to accept a level of determinism no idealist will tolerate – presumably like the rest of his ilk he will insist on the existence of ‘free will’ and the ability of the individual to make moral choices.


    The full IPCC report is still in progress and Part 3 won’t be made public until March 2022, well after COP26 and it will be edited by governments to say what it wants it to say.

    Therefore, a leak of the report is important.

    Three very important points are raised in it that echoes our position and something we say the scientific community overlooks. However, importantly some don’t.

    “The essential radical change in an economic system whose perverse operation of accumulation and reproduction of capital in perpetuity has brought us to the current critical point is not clearly mentioned,”

    The second is when we say it is vital that we must continue upgrading the conditions of the poor around the world.

    “Providing modern energy to all those who currently lack it would have a “negligible” effect on emissions, the report notes.”

    And finally, something some members appear to prefer that if we don’t emphasise too much.

    “A shift to diets with a higher share of plant-based protein in regions with excess consumption of calories and animal-source food can lead to substantial reductions in emissions, while also providing health benefits

    If only now people follow this 3rd Report to its logical end and I suppose that is our role, helping to lead them to it’


    ”The essential radical change in an economic system whose perverse operation of accumulation and reproduction of capital in perpetuity has brought us to the current critical point is not clearly mentioned.”

    That is a good quote, a very good one in fact, but it’s not from the scientists themselves but from the Spanish publication, CTXT, that published their leaked report and seems to be a comment on it.

    Perhaps Marcos can have a look at what they say about themselves:


    Having now used Google translator it is clear that it is an editorial OP

    The leak seemingly came from Scientist Rebellion an offshoot of XR

    About Us

    And my initial optimism is now a little bit tempered when it comes to scientific understanding.

    But I am a little more reassured that there is opposition within the scientific community to IPCC’s watered-down published report


    I would have thought, Alan, that that’s a rather a daring claim: That the IPCC report isn’t giving an accurate or balanced picture of the situation and the prospects.

    We as lay people are not in any position to take sides in disagreements amongst scientists, so it’s probably best that to go along with what most scientists in the field feel they can agree on, as reflected in the IPCC report.

    The report sets out five scenarios.

    In the worst case (that nothing is done to change the current trend) the “best estimate” is that by 2100 average global temperature rise to 4.4 degrees about the pre-industrial level (since 1850), which, since it has already risen by about 1 degree since then is a rise of 3.4 from now. On this scenario the best estimate of the situation in that an increase to 2 degrees and more would take place in the years 2041 to 2060.

    In the best case scenario, the best estimate for 2010 is an increase to 1.4, reaching to 1.6 in 2041 to 2060 and then falling.

    The same figures for middle scenario are 2.7 degrees in 2100 and 2.0 in 2041-2060.This in fact corresponds more or less to what would happen if all current commitments by governments were carried out.

    What will actually happen will depend on what industry and government do from now on. Since they will do something the worse case scenario can be ruled out. Given conflicting commercial interests between capitalist states, which will lead those who benefit from using indigenous coal and oil to drag their feet, the best case scenario can be ruled out too. In fact it could only be implemented if we already had socialism or if socialism were to be established tomorrow.

    So we are talking about something in between. If capitalist states do implement what they have already said they will, then it will be an increase to 2.7 by 2100. If they don’t, then it will be more. If they implement more than that then it will be less but unlikely to be less than 1.5 (the target under the Paris Agreement) by 2100. Anyway, that would be my guess.

    We’ll see. Well, nobody here will, though some around today will have a better idea in 2050 how things are going. But I doubt whether it will be towards the collapse of civilisation or the extinction of the human species.

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