Fighting and dying for the environment (response to Mark)

loupaulsen at loupaulsen at
Wed Dec 4 11:50:20 MST 2002

Mark Jones wrote:

> Yet people were being asked to die for
> causes which, however worthy, were possibly not as important as the
> preservation of all life on Earth. The real issue in this present discussion
> is not the abstract ethical way you pose it, but concretely whether, and to
> what extent, opposing things like climate change, ecocide and the senseless
> pillaging of priceless and irreplaceable natural resources, including
> energy, are *also* causes worth fighting and dying for, as our forebears
> thought that things like democracy or the right not to be ruled by Hitler,
> or the right to national self-determination in the face of Western
> colonialism, were things worth fighting and dying for.

OK, Mark, I can see that the preservation of the species (I don't think you
really mean the preservation of 'all life on Earth', I think that some life is
certain to survive just about anything we do to ourselves) is worth fighting
and dying for, but some of us don't have a clear idea of just what you have in
mind when you talk about "fighting and dying" for the environment and so on.
I assume you don't mean getting killed by bears or tigers, or fighting the
biocidal bourgeoisie (of course we have to fight them, but that's not
specifically what you're talking about, right?).  So what kind of dying are
you actually talking about?  Water shortage?  Famine?  Plague?  Degenerative

I am sure that some limitations on our standard of living in the imperialist
countries may well be on the agenda, but my question is under what
circumstances populations will really have to 'give their lives' or 'be
sacrificed' by the socialist order.  Even if the population of the planet is
in the throes of famine, plague, and water shortage at the time of the
revolution, and the environment is collapsing, I would think that the
transformation to socialism would free up a lot of resources and dramatically
improve the situation, so we can begin the process of environmental
reconstruction while ensuring everyone at least the means of physical
survival.  The attacks on the environment are mostly not due to the strains of
producing the clean water and calories *necessary to the survival* of 6
billion people.  They are mostly due to other stuff.

Lou Paulsen

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