[Marxism] Re: Another Wake-Up Call around Global Warming

Suresh borhyaenid at yahoo.com
Mon May 3 12:44:05 MDT 2004


We certainly do need to be constantly reminded about
not just the impending, but the contemporary effects
of global climate change, from the loss of water
aquifers in South Pacific nations to the disappearance
of pack-ice and permafrost in the Arctic tundra.
Moreover, this issue will need to be an integral part
of any mass 21st century socialist movement. As John
Sutherland writes today in The Guardian, these issues
are obscured by the haze of evangelical obscurantism
which beleaguers America, and which has become closely
intertwined in its elite structures:

"The White House has recently been accused of
inveighing (via Nasa) against the movie The Day After
Tomorrow (out on May 28) because it narrates the wrong
apocalypse. One caused by man-made global warming,
that is, rather than God's white-hot rage against
sinners. The apocalypse depicted in Tim LaHaye's Left
Behind books is, we assume, the US government-approved
version."

Link: 
http://www.guardian.co.uk/uselections2004/comment/story/0,14259,1208413,00.html


However, the notion that Antarctica will be the only
continent fit for human existence a century hence, is
rather extreme. Professor King points to conditions 60
million years ago - but it's worth considering that
Antarctica was located farther north in the late
Cretaceous than it is today, and that it was linked
to, or just separating from Australia. In other words,
continental drift and plate tectonics have to be taken
into account when making comparisons between geologic
periods. At any rate, the mass extinction 65 million
years ago, whether caused by the meteorite which
crashed into what is today the Yucatan in Mexico, or
by massive volcanic activity in the Deccan Flats in
India, was closely linked with attendant climatic
shifts. Similarly, the current sixth mass extinction,
which uniquely has been precipitated by capitalism
fulfilling it's historic mission of creating a world
market - is also tied to an increase in average
temperatures over the last couple hundred years since
the Industrial Revolution.

This new disaster movie the Guardian article talks
about, is linked to one scenario that scientists have
studied with regard to the Greenhouse Effect - that
pollution-linked warming could actually produce
cooling in parts of the globe. For example, if the
waters between Canada and Western Europe warm enough,
the Gulf Stream could cease flowing, producing an
effect perhaps worse than the Little Ice Age in the
later Medieval period, which is often singled out as a
partial explanation for the decline in Norse
trans-Atlantic traffic.



	
		
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