[event] How do we respond to climate change? Disaster Communism or Green Austerity
Climate change is already here, although the effects are unevenly distributed. Last winter saw a series of storms of record-breaking wind speeds, rainfall, and intensity hit the UK. California’s current drought has seen lakes disappear into parched earth. Giant craters have begun appearing in Siberia, as methane explodes out of thawing permafrost. This year Australia has seen wildfires the size of cities. The theoretical possibility of the glaciers of West Antarctica crossing tipping points into irreversible decline is now an observed scientific fact.
Out of the Woods – Disaster Communism
We exist today in a state of ecological, economic and political crisis. Attempts to create international agreement on climate change have stalled, probably irreparably – in likelihood they never really moved at all. Domestically, the environment has fallen decisively off the political agenda of mainstream political parties, furthermore even when it does appear, politicians are structurally and imaginatively incapable of proposing solutions which match the rhetoric of an existential threat. This disconnection naturally leads to further disillusionment and disbelief.
Radical political parties need to appear competent, to be reasonable and pragmatic and thus find themselves in the position where to gain the power required to make radical change, they have to accept a framework which makes that change impossible. The extra-parliamentary movement that gathered at climate camp and intervened at Vestas has been overtaken by ‘more-pressing’, ‘material’ needs with the financial crisis and withered.
The only response capitalism could offer – if and when it wakes up to the scale of the coming disaster – will be reactionary: austere, racist and aimed at saving the rich at the expense of the poor.
Against this backdrop there is an urgent need for an explicitly anti-capitalist environmentalism, join us at Forest Centre Plus from 12 noon on Saturday 8th November to sketch it’s necessity and collectively discuss the form which it might take, rooted in direct action, class-struggle and community and workplace organising.