Wednesday, 21 October 2009

Last words (for now)

The social disaster that is climate change is already apparent. It can no longer be framed as 'just' an environmental issue, or as a topic of debate only for scientists. The real question now is just how capitalism will turn climate change to its own advantage, or whether climate change can provide the revolutionary rupture that the world so desperately needs. The stakes have never been higher: Revolution or Death is the last scientific certainty.

We have seen the emperor without his clothes – so many times now – but out of fear of climate disaster he is still given the benefit of the doubt. Beause if not him, who has the capacity to save us? When the governments at the negotiating tables are so far removed from the people they are supposed to represent, and corporations have gained their power and place at these tables by the very practices that are responsible for climate change, will they honourably change their ways for the benefit of humanity and the ecosystems we rely on? Or will they continue to expand the system of private property, exploitation and technocracy, with the borders and wars necessary to maintain it? We should not stop asking questions and we must continue exposing the emperor, but now is the time to kick him off his throne for good and burn the ugly thing - and how many carbon credits is that again?

Any true alternatives to the capitalist system that has created this mess will throw us into conflict with powerful interests, the people behind them and their footsoldiers. Creating and defending real solutions from below will not come without a struggle. Like climate change, our defence must know no borders.