Glasgow COP26

June 2024 Forums General discussion Glasgow COP26

  • This topic has 176 replies, 15 voices, and was last updated 1 year ago by Anonymous.
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  • #224097
    ALB
    Keymaster

    But does he explain? He seems to be going back on his famous declaration that he had come to realise that it was not a particular kind of capitalism that was to blame but capitalism as such. Now he seems to being saying that fossil fuel capitalists should be singled out and dealt with by governments “willing it” and then things will be alright.

    This is just not going to happen under world capitalism. The government of states that have internal sources of oil, gas or coal such as Russia, China, India, Australia and Saudi Arabia are not going to “will” it as this would undermine their competitiveness and cause economic chaos and social unrest at home. It could even lead to them being overthrown or voted out of office.

    What he is calling for is just not going to happen under capitalism.

    The transition away from burning fossil fuels could only take place in a world where the Earth’s resources were no longer owned by profit-seeking corporations and states. You can’t control what you don’t own, so these resources have to become commonly owned or, expressed better, not owned by any section of society. Only on this basis could a rational world energy policy be drawn up and implemented.

    Incidentally, I don’t see why this would necessarily have to exclude using any fossil fuels for anything. There are other uses for oil and coal and then there’s “carbon capture”. I know this is only experimental at the moment but so are some renewable energy sources. If it could be shown to work, why not use it?

    #224098
    alanjjohnstone
    Keymaster

    The other major use of petro-chemicals is plastic but that is only 4%.

    But the use of plastics, at least single-use plastic, has to be reduced, as well for the health of the planet.

    With coal, the main beneficiary other than power stations is the steel industry and girders will still be needed.

    #224100
    ALB
    Keymaster

    Here’s more on the non-combustion use of fossil fuels. It’s not just for plastics:

    https://www.eia.gov/todayinenergy/detail.php?id=35672

    In fact, the high price of natural gas at the moment caused two fertiliser plants in Britain to close until helped out by the government.

    I must confess I didn’t know before that this was one of the uses of natural gas or I assumed that it was burned in the process of making fertilisers.

    You live and learn.

    #224112
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    Petroleum is like sugar cane that has a lot of by-products. Eliminating car emissions and plant emissions will not make any difference when they will continue using petroleum for other business applications. They want to push for natural gas but it is the same case as petroleum, and Monsanto is the main producer of chemical fertilizer

    #224116
    ALB
    Keymaster

    This article from a French-language Belgian newspaper on the EU’s plan to reduce CO2 emissions illustrates a problem that will be more acute at world level.

    The European Commission has drawn up a plan which sets out by how much each EU member state should reduce its emissions. Under it, Belgium is to reduce its by 47% while Rumania has to reduce its by 12.7% and Bulgaria by only 10%.

    The article is about the Flemish regional government’s objection to this, calling for Belgium’s figure to be lowered and those for the countries of Eastern Europe to be raised.

    The measures, they say in a note, “must not lead to an increase in the tax burden or the bill for energy in Flanders”, but should “safeguard the competitiveness of our Flemish enterprises as well as the purchasing power of Flemish households.”.

    That’s a tall order but it’s what all the states in Glasgow will be aiming for. All will be seeking to keep their energy costs down so that competitiveness of their enterprises is not undermined. Even if a majority position is agreed, there is no way of enforcing it on the minority.

    #224117
    alanjjohnstone
    Keymaster

    The term vaccine nationalism became popular about the hoarding of Covid19 for the “national interest”, the willingness to sacrifice the lives of the poor and vulnerable in the undeveloped and developing nations.

    Climate nationalism will be exactly the same. “National interest” will bring so many loopholes in all the promises, pledges and policies to reach the 1.5 of Paris it will be like a sieve.

    For all the language of it being a global problem, and requiring world action, we hear very little about doing away with the nation-state. Even among the young eco-warriors, they still talk of abiding by the rules of inter-national treaty obligations and not of one world.

    While the US, the UK and the EU are very happy to cite “humanitarian” reasons to invade or impose sanctions, that humanitarianism didn’t mean sharing patents and surrendering intellectual property. I fear the disappearance of islands and the flooding of low-lying coasts won’t shift their consciences one little bit.

    #224139
    alanjjohnstone
    Keymaster

    Jonathan Cook raises the important issue of how militarism and climate change is being ignored at COP26 in an article.

    Military pollution is the skeleton in the West’s climate closet

    “…armed forces are the most polluting on the planet – and the goal at COP26 is to keep that fact a closely guarded secret…Unlike the farming and logging industries, or the manufacturing industries, or the fossil fuel industries, efforts to curb the growth in military spending – let alone reverse it – are off the table at the COP26 summit… The military’s rationale is neither to be sustainable nor to be kind to the planet…Consumption and competition are at the heart of the military mission, whether armies are waging war or marketing their activities as purely “defensive”…”

    #224145
    alanjjohnstone
    Keymaster

    The first draft COP26 statement

    https://unfccc.int/sites/default/files/resource/Overarching_decision_1-CMA-3.pdf

    My first impression is of Oliver Twist holding out his bowl asking for a bit more.

    #224148
    alanjjohnstone
    Keymaster
    #224149
    Ozymandias
    Participant

    Monbiot inevitably ruins it in the last paragraph. He can no more imagine a world without Capitalism than anyone else can. To think Monbiot. Varoufakis, Chomsky, Thunberg, Brand, Wolff, Klein, Zizek, Moore and all the other blowhards are paid to spout such guff whilst SPGB members could demolish them all just fills me with fury.

    • This reply was modified 2 years, 7 months ago by Ozymandias.
    • This reply was modified 2 years, 7 months ago by Ozymandias.
    • This reply was modified 2 years, 7 months ago by Ozymandias.
    #224153
    alanjjohnstone
    Keymaster

    OZY, I think you put the finger on the real problem we face, not only that but what problem the environmental emergency faces, too

    Our weakness is that for most of our existence through world wars, global recessions, widespread poverty and mass hunger we have never managed to make socialism an immediacy, an aspiration to achieve a solution right now. Socialism has always remained an answer for the far-off future and reform of capitalism, no matter how shallow or how radical, receives the support of our fellow workers as they perceive amelioration of the System as realistic. The squabble among themselves for what is the “better” strategy and socialism simply does not appear on their radar. We are not part of the mainstream media narrative nor involved in the protest movement debates, not even on the fringes of it.

    It is a frustrating truth. And for me, it is like battering one’s head against a brick wall.

    People want something done now and socialism isn’t seen as that. Even the Trotskyist immediate transional demands are outside the policy transitions of the eco-campaigners.

    Our answer sounds like science-fiction as much as the billionaires’ space migration fantasies are.

    If our fellow workers feel happier with easy-to-follow ABC steps, it may be useful to present that clear blueprint of socialism they appear to wish for.

    #224154
    Ozymandias
    Participant

    I understand you A. It’s easy to think as if the whole of the working class have already heard the case for Socialism through the decades. But as you know the truth is the Party has never been able to make Socialism an immediacy because the SPGB message is utterly drowned out by the gigantic behemoth of continual Capitalist media propaganda and nationalism, racism etc even down to what we are taught as kids in school. Add into that the massive confusion caused by the “Left” to the extent that trying to sell Socialism to the Chinese working class of today is even more impossible because they think they’ve been living in Socialism for the past 70 years. The party has tried it’s level best in the past 120 years to make its voice heard. I fear a situation in decades to come when the 99% finally see the light only when the planet is reduced to a gigantic graveyard. When it’s just too late.

    #224160
    alanjjohnstone
    Keymaster

    Our only hope is that when the collapse of civilisation has begun and the extinction of ourselves as a species is imminent, homo sapien – the thinking animal – will out of stark necessity take socialist remedies without realising it is socialist ideas that they are adopting.

    At times I am dismayed and despondent about the future but unlike the past, it is something that can be changed.

    At my advancing years, I have witnessed great progress in attitudes and beliefs. Being Scots like myself, we see the inevitable decline of the Orange Lodge, for instance, with football fanatics rather than religion propping it up. We watched as the SNP, a fringe party in our youth, displace an entrenched Labour Party and become the ruling party of Scotland.

    But broader, we have seen women’s equality, gay liberation, anti-racism and secularism become mainstream beliefs among most of our fellow workers.

    That shift in opinion should offer hope that ideas evolve, even within a generation.

    The downside is we also saw them all being incorporated and integrated within the ruling class, emasculated of any radicalism and now used in identity politics in the vying for political power.

    #224164
    ALB
    Keymaster

    Ok, the rise since 1850 in average global temperature is not going to be limited to 1.5 degrees (to a further 0.4 degrees) by the end of the century. But a rise by 2.4 degrees would mean neither the end of the human race nor the end of civilisation. The real tragedy is that people can conceive of the end of these but not of the end of capitalism.

    #224165
    alanjjohnstone
    Keymaster

    ALB, is the process of feedback loops fully understood?

    I believe the climate science is lacking in many of those and some feature extreme worse scenarios

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