Can Global Warming Become a Political Issue?

Louis Proyect lnp3 at
Thu Jun 8 08:53:57 MDT 2000

>But no matter *what* the scientific facts are. No matter *how
>soon* the disaster will come, Global Warming or Global
>Catastrohe of any kind will never be a core organizing principle
>for socialists.
>Only a Man on a White Horse can save us from Global Warming.
>Socialist Revolution is too slow, too uncertain.

Carrol, you should talk less, and think and research more. The agrarian
question occupied the same place in Marxist theory that the discussion of
global warming does today. It was essentially an ecological question that
addressed basic issues of the "metabolic rift". None of the writings by
Bebel, Kautsky or Bukharin on the topic had any kind of immediate strategic
importance, but they got to the very heart of the question of how society
reproduces itself.

Why do you think that Engels wrote "Dialectics of Nature" or
"Anti-Duhring"? Such works were the first attempts at providing an
methodology that could address the interaction between society and nature
under the general framework of scientific and historical materialism? It is
only through lobotomizing Marxism that we can pretend that an issue like
global warming is immaterial to our agenda as revolutionaries. If you read
Christopher Caudwell's "Studies in a Dying Culture", you'll encounter the
same exact questions.

We are talking about fundamental problems that confront thinkers in every
camp in society, from free-market liberals to Marxists. People such as Paul
Johnson are approaching it from the right, and Lester Brown from the
liberal left. The Worldwatch Institute exists solely to try to come up with
answers to such questions and their annual reports are sold in bookstores
all over the country.

So what do we Marxists say? We don't have solutions to such over-arching
problems? We are too involved with trade union work or defending Mumia? I
find something really annoyingly demagogic in your attitude. It reminds me
of the hectoring I used to hear in the 1960s from some Black nationalists
who would tell a mostly white audience that it "didn't have time" to deal
with any issues that didn't immediately relate to the problems in the ghetto.

Louis Proyect
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