[Marxism] Fwd: Our Place in the World: A Journal of Ecosocialism: 2252. Strategy and Tactics for the Climate Justice Movement: A Critique of 350.org “Break Free from Fossil Fuels” Campaign

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Sun Apr 3 14:53:06 MDT 2016

Global warming caused by over 250 years of fossil fuel-powered 
capitalist industrialization has resulted in climate crisis.  350.org is 
a leading organization in the climate justice movement which has grown 
in tandem with it since its inception less than a decade ago.  However, 
the climate justice movement a whole and 350.org in particular need a 
discussion of the scope of the problem we aim to solve, our action 
program, and strategy and tactics.  The aim of the essay is to encourage 
and help initiate such a discussion.

Political consciousness lags reality.  In the late 1970s, scientists at 
the Exxon corporation discovered that fossil fuel use can cause global 
warming.  In 1988, climatologist James Hansen told a congressional 
hearing in Washington, D. C., that greenhouse gases have already caused 
global warming.  In 1992, the United Nations agreed to form the 
Framework Convention on Climate Change which began functioning as the 
Conference of the Parties (COP) in 1994.   In 2000, the first climate 
justice conference took place in the Hague, Netherlands, in parallel to 
COP6 (the sixth COP).  In 2007, Vermont-based environmentalist Bill 
McKibben helped lead the Step It Up campaign in which some 1,400 
supporters protested climate change at select famous sites across the 
United States. This effort led to  the formation of 350.org taking its 
name from James Hansen’s “safe upper limits threshold” of  350 parts per 
million of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Carbon dioxide has been 
considered the main greenhouse gas which in February 2016 stood at over 
404 ppm.  In December 2015 at the conclusion of COP21 summit in Paris, 
world governments signed a non-binding agreement to adopt policies to 
mitigate climate change. As Bill McKibben (2015) puts it the Paris 
agreement is a good one for 1995 but not for 2015.


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