by Annie Morgan, Glasgow South SSP • The Intergovernmental Panel On Climate Change (IPCC) has reported that we have little more than a decade to curb emissions or face catastrophic climate conditions.
The necessary action demands energy transformation. The destructive capitalist, for-profit framework redistributes from poor to rich and the impoverished communities at home and abroad will be increasingly affected by accelerating climate chaos.
This environmental racism and disregard for the working classes are also issues for the SSP.
The report however is compiled with the authority of science but lacks a semblance of a political programme. The following is a call for such a programme alongside other progressive agencies.
Socialists must link practical local action and campaigns to global issues of multinational control of energy, capitalist war, pollution and the destruction of eco-systems with the fight for socialism, liberation and justice.
The title takes from the anti-globalisation or global justice movement ‘Another world is possible’ which rallied protestors with the slogan ‘System Change not Climate Change’.
Moving beyond slogans, the system change we need is Socialism and Eco-Socialism or as our French comrade translates as Environmental Socialism and Planification. A plan d’action.
Changing the system, dismantling capitalism and a full scale ecological revolution may seem too big, complicated, even fanciful. A myriad of solutions can be realised. As previously spotlighted in the Voice the Campaign against Climate Change Trade Union Group propose. 1 million Clean Green government funded jobs.
Edinburgh based start ups are working on low carbon and negative carbon design two examples are plastic from eggshells and hemp household materials.
Renewable energy, alternative building materials, the way we farm and eat, ending fast fashion and so on.
A green Scotland must be closely connected to indigenous/First Nation/working class and ecological action worldwide where innovation for example is the reintroduction of traditional fire management is about survival as well as carbon reduction.
“Indigenous people and workers are likely to be in a strong position to achieve change because they are most involved in the production and reproduction that shape the environment,” says Derek Wall, a left activist in the England and Wales Greens.
Materials, extraction methods have major health and safety eco issues. People as well as waterways air and soil are poisoned injured and killed.
Thus ecology is a priority issue for socialists. Eco problems are problems of capitalist production and alternatives to destruction can first be found in the workplace.
A Scottish response to the IPCC report, without the illusion of greening capitalism, must be to unhook from the polluting energy multinationals and arms manufacturing with polluting genocidal wars. Militarism is the most oil-exhaustive activity on the planet.
To this end we have to have trade unions on board with organised labour especially in the majorly problematic industries.
Problematic workplaces in Scotland include Raytheon arms factory manufactures the guiding system for killer smart bombs used by Saudi Arabia in the assault on the Yemen, BAE systems in Govan making war ships.
Thales the 2nd largest defence company also based in Govan (one component in the defence misnomer is optronics for drones used by Israel in Gaza).
The Raytheon debate recently has the Scottish Govt justifying Scottish Enterprise funding of £180k to Raytheon for diversification.
These multi-million profiteers of atrocities receive licences from the UK government. They do not need the sum of £180k to diversify, this grant could fund the eco start ups or engineering firms for renewables.Any funds to them cannot be whitewashed while the attacks to schools, hospitals, farms and supply lines continues.
The Trident base at Faslane the Tool of Tyranny as useless as its expense. I had the pleasure of walking with Ula the German activist who swam in to the base and had time to spray paint ‘useless’ on the side of the sub before arrest. She conducted her own defence in court citing international law and was found not guilty.
We can learn a lot from the direct action of our peace protesters. To return to trade union involvement Unite (my union) and the GMB supported the renewal of the monster. I spent a long time feeling angry about this. Then I read a comment from a Unite member “Are we to get jobs in Brigadoon”.
I understood the fear. The need for alternative jobs outlined by CaCC trade union group and Scot E3 Employment Environment Energy has to be central to SSP policy and we aim for an Action Group will progress.
Furthermore equality is integral to the transformation and transition to an eco-socialist and independent Scotland.
Women, despite their vulnerability in the intersection of gender inequality and environmental destruction, are in the forefront of climate action.
Another article on the empowerment of women is required to elaborate.Its heartwarming to see the young people of Sweden refusing school to argue for change, saying break the rules for the rules are causing harm. Calling for a new politics.
A real socialism, participatory, inclusive, diverse can be that change. Young people will be picking up the pieces of a broken system let’s attract them with a proactive agenda for creative jobs for a green, independent Scotland.
Finally Barry Commoner who decades ago laid out the concept of a socialism which would not support the manufacture of products which harm the earth has a profound message for enlightening the meaning of controlling the means of production that is, to control what is produced. By workers.
We are many, they are few (Shelley). Politics should be more like a public service less self serving and elitist. Caroline Lucas said this in relation to gender equality in parliament but this article asks that as socialists we may go beyond this to implement a programme of inclusive action to transform how we might live.