Carrol: Are apples red? Mark & Lou: No, they are round Re: Mark's environmentsal panic attack

Jose G. Perez jgperez at SPAMnetzero.net
Fri Jun 9 23:33:09 MDT 2000


>> The exchanges between Jose and Mark has
been overly technical IMHO, although I think that is mainly Jose's fault
who uses technical minutiae as a way of deflecting attention from the
overarching economic and social questions.<<

Louis,

    It is precisely in the "technical minutiae" that the interesting science
is taking place. These grandiose, sweeping proclamations about floods,
droughts and so on are *precisely*  the problem with the way the discussion
is carried out in the bourgeois press. How good is that satellite data? How
good is the land based data? It is FACTUAL that there's been an increase in
hurricanes? (NO)  Is it true that cyclones and typhoons are "cousins" of the
hurricanes? (NO, they're all the same thing). It is true that their
formation is determined by whether the water gets to a certain temperature
(no, much, much, much more is involved). Is it true that temperatures swings
are becoming more extreme (NOAA says the opposite).

    Each and every assertion can and should be put under the microscope of
scientific and technical scrutiny. Ninety-some percent of the catastrophic
factual claims made about global warming fall apart at the slightest brush
with scientific inquiry and the scientific method. The Internet gives us a
wonderful resource in that we can often go right to the source, to the
people in the trenches, so to speak, and see what they say.

    Now, the reason this is necessary is POLITICAL. As an article you just
reposted here shows, and which I comment on separately, there are politics
behind trying to make global warming the overriding social and political
issue of our epoch.

José

----- Original Message -----
From: "Louis Proyect" <lnp3 at panix.com>
To: <marxism at lists.panix.com>
Sent: Friday, June 09, 2000 12:12 PM
Subject: Re: Carrol: Are apples red? Mark & Lou: No, they are round Re:
Mark's environmentsal panic attack


Carrol Cox:
>No. I don't think anything in particular at all on this topic. I am asking
you
>and
>Lou to explain to me why I should think something on it. You refuse to
answer
>my question, but instead prefer to give 10k post after 10k post arguing on
a
>topic the importance of which you have not even tried to establish.

Actually, the best course of action would be for you to read something,
starting with Ross Gelbspan's book. The exchanges between Jose and Mark has
been overly technical IMHO, although I think that is mainly Jose's fault
who uses technical minutiae as a way of deflecting attention from the
overarching economic and social questions.

>On the basis of your non-answers I would have to assume the following. Mark
>and Lou have despaired of working-class revolution. They now feel that Marx
>and Lenin were completely wrong in assuming an antagonistic contradiction
>between Labor and Capital, a contradiction which could only be resolved
>through the overthrow of capitalism by the working classes of the world.

No, we have despaired of trying to get you to read any literature written
by authors who publish in CNS or John Bellamy Foster's journal.

>So I repeat:  If global warming proved *not* to be a threat, would
>that show that capitalism is eternal?

Sigh. You don't get it. Marx never busied himself with answering a question
like this: What if the soil was not being systematically robbed of its
nutrients by industrial farming? Would this mean that capitalism worked?

>That is, is the threat of global warming the *only* evidence we have that
>capitalism is defeatable. Unless, that is, Nature itself can defeat
capital, are
>we forever doomed to suffer under it?

It is not the only question, but if we have the wrong answer we will not be
doing our job as materialists. We are just trying to do our job, Carroll.

>Now I do believe, without reading more cascades of irrelevant factual data,
>that the continuing hegemony of capital will (and is) doing immense damage
>to the ecosystem. The price in human misery (now and in the future) of that
>damage is huge and incalcuable. But I also believe that that damage can
>only be limited or reversed by a revolutionary movement in response to
>the internal social/political contradictions of capital. So my question to
>you is "Do those contradictions exist?"

You are missing the point completely. Marx never expected that the loss of
soil fertility would create a Paris Commune, nor would the return of soil
fertility through the re-integration of town and country become a slogan
for a mass demonstration. We are dealing with questions that are not
immediately translatable into slogans or demands that you put on the
government. But having stated that, this is no reason for Marxists not to
apply our brainpower to their solution. We are part of the intelligentsia
that is competing for hegemony in the working class. Our opponents are
people like Lester Brown and Frank Furedi. If you are not interested in
this battle, just ignore it. But don't have the audacity to argue that it
is irrelevant to our tasks as socialists.

>If they exist, then we must focus on them in building an anti-capitalist
>movement, and the issue of global warming can only be a marginal
>matter in that process. (The ecological destruction of black communities
>in the U.S. is an issue that can be central to the process. Probably many
>other ecological issues can and must be incorporated into that process.)

I have no idea what you mean by a 'marginal matter'. You seem to think of
politics in a very unidimensional fashion, as if it is the sort of thing
that gets reflected in leaflets passed out in bus stations or shopping
malls. Where did you learn to be such an anti-intellectual? I guess that's
what comes from a lifetime spent in academia.

>I prefer to continue to try to build a socialist movement, incorporating
>ecological
>concerns, but not making them central.

Okay, me and Mark have different ideas.


Louis Proyect

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