One thing is fairly predictable no matter which party or coalition of parties comes out on top of the forthcoming UK voting circus; in five years’ time when the next election bandwagon rolls into town Britain will be still be faced with a chronic housing crisis, private corporations will still be trying to get their greedy claws into the National Health Service,  Britain’s foreign policy will still be in hock to the US military-industrial complex, and the widening gap between the one per cent and the rest of us will continue apace. And the Tory press will still be blaming immigrants and benefit claimants for all the nation’s ills. This much is almost certain. And we’ll still be in denial about climate change.

 Unlike nuclear Armageddon, which we have begrudgingly lived under for the past seventy years, annihilation via climate change is a drip, drip, drip affair. And that, in some ways makes it all the more lethal. MAD, the acronym for mutually assured destruction, has given us a de-facto type of stability, albeit an entirely false sense of security. We may yet succumb to our own deadly weapons of mass destruction. But if it does come to pass it will all be over in a few days and the living, as they say, will surely envy the dead. But climate change is a whole new ball game and we are all, to a greater or lesser degree, complicit. On Mondays and Fridays I drive to work in my hideously polluting campervan. I save myself a couple of hour travel time but my actions are wholly irresponsible. I know it but I shrug it off. Billions of us in the developed world are complicit in a similar way. 

But the real culprits of course are the big corporations who have consistently fought against the science and continue to drive their profits with dirty fossil fuels. They’re still at it in a big way. The technology to harness clean renewable sources of energy is readily available but the profit motive is holding things back. The electric car could and should have been rolled out decades ago but the corporates sat on the technology.  Solar, wind and hydro-electric power could and should have been in the ascendancy decades ago but the corporates sat on the technology. The throw away consumerist society could and should have been replaces with a sustainable model of growth decades ago but corporate profit has stubbornly stood in the way. In short, global capitalism is slowly but surely killing the planet and there just doesn’t seem to be the political will to stop it.

There are some  bright rays on the horizon but it may be too little too late. The percentage of energy generated from renewables is slowly growing but so too is the absolute amount of fossil fuels being burnt. CO2 emissions are increasing remorselessly as are the other greenhouse gases like methane relentlessly released from the ever expanding global meat industry. The result of all this human activity is clear for all to see. Our seas are dying. Our rivers are dying. The soil is dying  Our air is becoming unbreathable.  And our rich bio-diversity is dying. To be blunt, the planet is dying in front of our eyes yet still we cannot seem to find the political will to reverse the process.

What is to be done? Clearly, as Naomi Klein spells out in graphic detail in her ground breaking book, ‘This Changes Everything’, 21st capitalism is totally incompatible with our ecological survival as a species. We will need to find a completely different model of development.  But it won’t come easy. The current system will seek to perpetuate itself at all costs. It will be absolutely ruthless in its attempt to survive. The mass of humanity, the ninety nine percent, will need to be equally ruthless if we are to supplant this archaic capitalist system.  The war against climate change is a war against corporate rule. There seems to be no point of coexistence. Either capitalism perishes or humanity perishes. If the science is correct we are at the precipice. But you wouldn’t think so listening to Cameron and Clegg and Miliband.


End JPK Copyright 4/5/15

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Last Updated ( Monday, 04 May 2015 09:33 )