Allan Todd writes:
No, not a nostagia-trip back to The Beatles and the 1960s – but a call for INTERNATIONAL ‘Full-spectrum Climate Resistance’!
Six years ago, the investment campaign group Share Action reported that oil giants Shell and BP were assessing the ‘resilience’ of their businesses against climate models in which temperatures hot up by between 3°C and 5°C!
In plain English, ‘resilience’ here means they expect to be having to cope with such temperature increases, so are working out strategies now that would enable them to continue adding to CO2 emissions – the very things that are driving the planet towards becoming a real hot-house world!
Climate scientists say that a temperature rise of 5°C would be catastrophic for the planet. That’s a level more than double the upper limit committed to by most countries in the world. For those not certain what a 5C hotter world would be like, here’s what Mark Lynas (Our Final Warning: Six Degrees of Climate Emergency) has said:
• Global food crisis
• Amazon rainforests collapse
• Much of China & India uninhabitable
• Mountain glaciers gone
• Mass wipeout of life
• Humans reduced to polar refugees
To add insult to injury, we also found out in 2017 that, despite both companies publicly ‘supporting’ (LIARS!) the Paris Climate Agreement, BP’s total investment in renewable and clean technologies had actually shrunk since 2005, with BP investing just 1.3 per cent of its total capital expenditure in low-carbon projects; while Shell had pledged to invest a mere 3 per cent of its annual spend on low-carbon by 2020. And we’ve now just learned that Shell has decided to drop its previously-announced ‘target’ (yet another LIE!) of reducing its oil production: https://www.theguardian.com/…/shell-drops-target-to-cut…
This is why the climate movement urgently and desperately needs to up its actions against these ecocidal fossil fuel companies, via ‘full spectrum resistance – here, there and everywhere!!’ What is currently missing from climate tactics is an approach that targets those most guilty of ecocidal actions/inaction: the fossil fuel companies; the banks and insurance companies that provide financial support; the governments that facilitates them; and those sections of the media that aid them by still refusing to report the full truth about what’s happening.
If we really do think we’re living through Climate and Ecological Crises that are getting worse, AND that the window of opportunity for taking effective action is rapidly diminishing, then surely it IS time to ramp up action – and go for ‘full spectrum resistance’, by repeatedly shutting down their HQs, offices, premises, and outlets. This costs them money: when Greenpeace shut down VW’s HQ in Milton Keynes in 2018, it cost VW £166,000 in one day’s wages that they’d had to pay out to workers who’d turned up at 8.00am, but couldn’t get into the offices. If this were done on a frequent basis, this would begin to increase their operating costs – either by regularly having to pay wages to employees who’re unable to get into work, or by having to employ more security which, most of the time, would have nothing to do.
The homes of CEOs and government ministers would also be legitimate targets, on the grounds that if these individuals continue to ‘inconvenience’ people via destructive – and often deadly – floods, wildfires, droughts and heatwaves, then they must expect some ‘inconvenience’ themselves. Such actions could be that they find they’re not always able to get into/out of their houses just when they want to. Or that their garden parties are regularly disrupted.
However, such actions MUST NOT be announced in advance, in the way that many XR and JSO actions currently are. Neither the companies nor the police should be told where and when such actions would take place. Instead, after secret security-conscious planning, activists should just turn up unexpectedly, before the working day starts, and implement the blocks before they can be stopped.
And, because the operations of the ecocidal fossil fuel companies are international, all this needs to be planned and co-ordinated on an INTERNATIONAL level – by hitting them, frequently and regularly:
HERE, THERE AND EVERYWHERE!!
Allan Toddis a member of Left Unity’s National Council and of ACR’s Council, and an ecosocialist/environmental and anti-fascist activist. He is the author of Revolutions 1789-1917 and Trotsky: The Passionate Revolutionary – and the forthcoming Che Guevara: The Romantic Revolutionary
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