The following article forms part of a leaflet that Socialist Party members will be handing out at Walk Against Warming demonstrations this weekend.
All the latest evidence shows the situation facing our environment is worsening. In order to stop global warming this means urgent action must be taken to halt climate change.
When the Rudd Labor Government came to power a year ago they promised to tackle the issue of climate change, unfortunately this has not happened.
While Rudd did sign the Kyoto protocol, the signing of this treaty has actually allowed Australia to INCREASE its emissions by 8 per cent from the 1990 level!
Absolutely nothing has been done to shift away from fossil fuels and towards renewable energy and Labor has done nothing to crack down on big business polluters.
The economic downturn is already providing an excuse for governments and big business to delay taking action on emissions reduction. Some economists are saying that the coming recession will produce a cut in emissions anyway due to lower consumption.
Any reduction of greenhouse gasses due to the economic crisis will be small compared to what is required to tackle climate change. Furthermore it will be temporary, since after a few years an upturn in the economy will occur if the capitalist system is allowed to continue, quickly cancelling out any short-term cut.
Socialists argue that the issue of global warming is not only connected to the economy but it is also interwoven with politics. While it is clear that urgent action is required, this action is being blocked by big business interests who are focused on short-term profits.
To effectively solve the problems of global warming we need to take on big business and remove the profit motive from the equation. The best way to do this is to take the big polluters along with the big energy related industries into public ownership.
After all, if $700 billion can be spent in the US to free banks from bad debts and the mortgage companies Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac can be nationalised, surely nationalising the big electricity, gas, water and transport companies in order to save the planet, is entirely justified.
On the basis of public ownership a plan could be drawn up to rapidly halt carbon emissions and give workers and communities more say over the future of our environment. We could also move rapidly towards phasing out fossil fuels and introducing renewable energy on a mass scale.
At the moment, under capitalism, there is no incentive for big business to implement such a plan. Why would they when they are making such mega profits?
The recent economic crisis has shown that capitalism is a totally bankrupt system. It is not capable of providing for the needs of the population let alone protecting our environment.
In order to put a stop to global warming we need to not only campaign against climate change but we also need to put an end to the capitalist system. Only a democratic socialist society would be capable of both providing for people and protecting our environment.