Can Global Warming Become a Political Issue?

Louis Proyect lnp3 at
Thu Jun 8 09:53:00 MDT 2000

>We do need to know about the probability of global warming. But
>we also have to think out how various issues fit into a political
>strategy -- and it seems to me that you and Mark are so spooked
>out by the "big picture" that you have turned almost mindless

Carrol, the problem of the "metabolic rift" did not fit into a "political
strategy" but Marx thought and wrote about for decades. The only solution
was posed in the Communist Manifesto in these demands:

7. Extension of factories and instruments of production owned by the state;
the bringing into cultivation of waste lands, and the improvement of the
soil generally in accordance with a common plan.
8. Equal obligation of all to work. Establishment of industrial armies,
especially for agriculture.
9. Combination of agriculture with manufacturing industries; gradual
abolition of all the distinction between town and country by a more equable
distribution of the populace over the country.

These kinds of demands are obviously just as important today in face of
desertification, water pollution from chemical fertilizers, cancer
epidemics, etc.

But in addition to these, we need an updated Communist Manifesto that
addresses the problem of energy. It would look something like this:

--Preserve the rainforests in order to maintain access to valuable herbs
and plants that have medicinal properties, in order to protect indigenous
people against genocide, and in order to create a "carbon sink" for the
absorption of greenhouse emissions.

--Replace the automobile with energy-efficient public transportation.

--Foster the development of alternative energy sources, such as solar and
wind power.

Get it? These are not "strategies" but goals for the world socialist system
that alone can preserver humanity. We want to also be able to put all this
into a scientific and historical materialist context that can win young
scientists to Marxism. People like the young Stephen Jay Goulds, Richard
Levins and Richard Lewontins out there. By stating that it is all too
"complicated" or "catastrophic" means throwing in the towel before the
fight is begun.

Louis Proyect
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