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The Saker
A bird's eye view of the vineyard

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Public Inquiry
Interested in maladministration. Estd. 2005

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Human Rights in Ireland
A Blog About Human Rights

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Spirit of Contradiction

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International Day of Direct Action against Climate Change and the G8.

category international | summit mobilisations | other press author Sunday April 08, 2007 19:23author by F - Rising Tideauthor email info at risingtide dot org dot uk Report this post to the editors

Direct Action for Climate Justice – Resistance is Self Defense!

We have a ten-year window to act. As the megalomaniac G8 leaders meet in Germany, masked behind a barrier of fences and soldiers, intent on leading us further towards catastrophic and irreversible climate chaos, we must shout, scream and roar ‘no more’. Now is the time to take direct action and shut them down, them and their climate criminal industry friends!

We all know the terrifying statistics: a million species extinct by 2050, 19 of the 20 hottest years on record since 1980, Greenland and Antarctica melting, droughts, floods, famines … the G8 have had over 30 years to address climate change and only succeeded in providing trillions in subsidies to the very industries that are destroying our planet and our future. And while the G8 continues to line their pockets, island states disappear and hundreds of thousands die as a result of the freak weather conditions caused by their irrational and uncontrollable obsession with never ending economic growth.

The 8th of June International Day of Action Against Climate Change and the G8 has been called by the International Rising Tide Network. This is a call for autonomous, decentralized actions appropriate for your town, city, or local area. Use this international day of action to support local struggles against oil refineries, gas pipelines, strip mines and coal-fired power plants. Disrupt the financial backers of the fossil fuel industry. Organise workshops to spread sustainable post-petroleum living skills. Find a weak point in the infrastructure of resource exploitation and throw a literal or symbolic wrench in the works. It’s time to visit your local polluters and give 'em hell!

We already know of actions planned across the UK, North America, Germany, Canada and Australia and that’s just the start! By 8th June actions will be planned around the world. Pass this call out on to all environmental justice, climate action, radical sustainability and related movements in all the G8 countries and the Global South.

Rising Tide will create a collection of outreach and agit-prop materials (including this call out in five different languages) that can be used by groups around the world to organise locally. These materials will be downloadable from and

Direct action and civil disobedience are the rational response in this time of crisis. Support the 8th of June International Day of Direct Action against Climate Change and the G8! Tell us about planned actions for climate justice being planned in your community. Contact us - and

In June 2007 the G8 will understand the meaning of rebellion, revolt and revolution. Their recipe for catastrophe will be met with our worldwide resistance!

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author by Socialistpublication date Sun Apr 08, 2007 20:18author address author phone Report this post to the editors

International capitalist rivalry compounds the problem of climate change because the most powerful country, the USA, has the most to lose and will be in the forefront of attempts to block any meaningful action on global warming.

Another factor blocking progress is that the anarchy of the market system makes it impossible to plan even a few years ahead, whereas any genuine programme for sustainability must be planned over decades.

The main capitalist countries' dilemma is that they need to introduce a viable programme to cut global warming but aren't willing to pay for it, particularly if any one country stands to lose significantly more than a rival. Of course they will all lose if there is an environmental catastrophe but this is a secondary consideration in the short-term logic of their profit-driven system.

As a way out of their impasse the main industrial powers, some more openly than others, increasingly turn to nuclear power. The advantages they see are that nuclear energy, by coincidence, does not produce greenhouse gases and the technology is cheap compared to the investment required in renewable energy such as wind, wave and solar power.

However expanding nuclear power would produce more and more toxic nuclear waste, for which no safe storage method has been devised. It would increase the chances of another Chernobyl-type disaster.

The socialist alternative

Under the capitalist 'free market' system, the environment's future is unsustainable, whether due to global warming or proliferating toxic nuclear waste. The market's increasingly obvious failure makes people ask: what is the socialist approach to tackling the environmental crisis?

Although the Soviet Union's collapse and the degradation of the environment in Eastern Europe during much of the Soviet period appeared to discredit the ideas of planning as an alternative to capitalism, the planned use of resources will be the essential tool in tackling global warming and other threats.

Such a planned economy, if democratically controlled, is an alternative both to capitalism and to the perversion of socialism practised in the former Soviet Union.

A social system based on democratic planning would have enormous inherent advantages in saving energy. It would for example avoid the duplication of resources, planned obsolescence and destruction of plant and machinery in slumps, experienced in the capitalist system.

Removing these features will have a significant impact in increasing the efficiency of energy usage and so reducing pollution. However, the biggest advantage of a socialist society where production is driven by need not profit, will be the ability to tackle threats using democratic planning, compared to the inevitable environmental degradation linked to the anarchy of capitalist production.

Renewable energy

A socialist plan for the environment would have at its centre a long-term programme of investment in renewable energy sources, leading to the progressive replacement of oil-, gas- and coal-fired and nuclear power stations. Workers in these industries would need to be retrained and re-skilled for the different technologies involved in wind, wave and solar power generation.

Also, research and development in new techniques for energy generation would be massively stepped up. So would work to improve the capability and efficiency of presently available renewable energy technologies such as hydrogen cells. The additional experts needed to do this could be assigned from the arms industry, a sector that could be rapidly run down.

Significant resources will need to be deployed to clear up the mess inherited from capitalism. In particular, workers in the nuclear industries will have their hands full in organising decommissioning of nuclear plant and devising safe ways to store or neutralise toxic waste.

Environmentally-friendly consumption habits can be promoted by giving subsidies to key areas such as public transport and the use of re-cycleable materials. In general eco-taxes, which hit the poorest hardest, should not be used unless directed at certain items of energy-intensive luxury consumption.

To implement this programme an integrated environmental plan would be needed that can be effective only if the energy industries are nationalised under democratic workers' control and management. The investment in research and development required for ecological transformation can also only be effective if it is part of an integrated plan. It needs to be linked to other aspects such as energy production and consumer subsidies.

The planning process itself would involve allocating resources of labour and materials for the production of goods and services for the benefit of society as a whole, including the environment, rather than to make profits for the capitalists.

Planning would not primarily be a technical question - its success would depend on creating bodies through which the working class can democratically control production from the workplace upwards. The most important part will be the conscious control by working people, on a day-to-day basis, of the decisions that shape their lives.

Planning would operate at three levels: nationally and internationally; at industry or sectoral level and at individual workplaces. Planning at the national and international level will be a crucial area for environmental sustainability.

Here planning would involve the direct allocation of resources to fulfil improvements that have been democratically determined in all countries, and agreed internationally. That would be impossible under capitalism due to bitter rivalry between the main imperialist countries.

The planning bodies would organise the progressive replacement of fossil fuel energy sources with renewables and the elimination of non-recycleable materials. This programme would be phased in consistently over several decades, allowing a progressive transformation to a sustainable society.

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