Allan Todd writes: Chris Packham can join up those ‘dots’, if others still can’t, or refuse to do so – despite it, sadly, being something that’s increasingly easy to do these days. Those still unable to see the bigger picture should tune in to Chris Packham’s programme – ‘Chris Packham: Is It Time to Break the Law?’ – which will be shown on Channel 4 next Wednesday (20 September), at 9.00pm.
Chris says of himself that he feels guilty, because: “I could have shouted louder, more vigorously” about how climate change is destroying the natural world. It is this guilt which has seen him become increasingly supportive of the protests by Just Stop Oil activists – and which has now led him to make this deeply personal documentary. If you only do one thing next week, then make sure you watch it! (Fig. 1 above – Eco-warrior Chris Packham with Just Stop Oil activists)
Two new Climate Crisis ‘dots’ have come within the last few days: devastating floods in both Greece and Libya. In the latter case, the death-toll has already reached 5000, with many thousands more still missing. In addition, entire areas have been devastated, town neighbourhoods have been swept away, and agricultural production destroyed.
These totally UNNATURAL disasters – both created by fossil-fuel capitalism – led Julia Steinberger (Professor of Societal Challenges of Climate Change at Lausanne University, and one of the Lead Authors of the IPCC’s 6th Assessment Report) to Tweet angrily about Climate Crisis deniers: “Tell me again how climate scientists are ‘alarmist’. Go on. I honestly cannot describe how angry I am at this ENTIRELY PREVENTABLE devastation and suffering.”
The number of such Climate Crisis ‘dots’ has increased massively in just the past 8 weeks, in the form of wildfires, floods, and deadly extreme-heat events. Here is just a selection of the much larger amount of evidence of increasing Climate Breakdown:
No prizes for anyone spotting the number of times in the above examples that phrases such as: ‘worst-ever’, ‘record-breaking’, and ‘unprecedented’ occur. As Brazil’s President Lula said: “These days the climate isn’t just a question for ecologists and environmentalists. It’s a question for anyone with a bit of intelligence who can see that things are changing round the world”.
We need to be clear as to why “things are changing round the world” – they are absolutely NOT ‘natural disasters’. Instead, they are absolutely the direct result of capitalism in general; of recklessly-greedy fossil fuel companies in particular; of knowingly-complicit governments which give those companies massive tax-breaks and huge amounts of taxpayers’ money via subsidies; and of large sections of the media that still both discredit the work of climate scientists and refuse to report the true situation.
Whilst, currently, very few argue like Andreas Malm that this extreme and ever-worsening situation now requires extreme forms of protest – such as acts of sabotage – it is quite clear that the present forms of protest need an additional ‘tool’: seriously disrupting the businesses AND home lives of the ecocidal companies AND individuals who are disrupting the lives of millions around the world. Maybe if their relaxing weekends are no longer relaxing, these ecocidal criminals will at last take the actions which they keep ‘promising’ but never deliver!
Ultimately, of course, we need ‘System Change’: from capitalism, to a society based on the principles of ecosocialism. For, as Karl Marx warned as earlier as the 1860s, capitalism creates a fatal “metabolic rift” between humans and the rest of the natural world, of which we are part, and on which we depend.
Allan Todd is Acting Organiser for Transform Cumbria, 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 (out May 2024)
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Just Stop Oil – Slow Marches
Slow marches are still legal (so LOW RISK of arrest), and are extremely effective. The plan is to keep up the pressure on this ecocidal government to stop all new fossil fuel licences.
Saturday 25th November: national march for Palestine
Ceasefire NOW! Assemble 12.30 in Park Lane, London.
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