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Individual versus social solutions to global warming | Links

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Posted by Links editor on May 4, 2008, 10:57 am
 
By *Terry Townsend*

/A talk to the Climate Change Social Change Conference held in Sydney
from April 11 to 13, organised by /Green Left Weekly <http://
www.greenleft.org.au>/. For more articles, audio and video from the
conference, click here. <http://links.org.au/taxonomy/term/138>
/

April 13, 2008 -- Im sure everybody here is aware of the basic facts
of global warming and the likely consequences if rapid and serious
action is not taken. There is virtually unanimous agreement among
scientists and activists, and increasingly among millions of ordinary
people, about the degree of the problem and the time frame we have to
make fundamental changes to address it.

The main solutions being offered by the capitalist class, its
politicians and the corporate-dominated mass media  and endorsed by
some key peak environmental organisations  are consciously designed
to shift the responsibility for, and the major costs of, addressing
global warming away from the most polluting corporations and to
preserve the basic structure and mechanisms of Western capitalist
economies. They are also designed to delay the necessary political,
economic and social changes for as long as possible, and to keep them
to the minimum that are compatible (in their assessment) with both the
survival of capitalist society and ameliorating the worst of climate
change.

This is why major-party politicians and the corporate media  and
again unfortunately some peak environment groups  do not place
serious demands on big business, but endorse  even celebrate  big
business preferred measures of emissions trading, green taxes,
carbon offsetting projects in the Third World and capitalism-friendly
publicly subsidised techno-fixes such as so-called clean coal and agro-
fuels.

These false solutions are not only inadequate, they are
counterproductive. However, since other speakers and workshops will be
focusing on those, Ill concentrate on another of the establishments
favoured  and ultimately also counterproductive  solution  on=
e
that is intertwined with the others. The push for all individuals to
voluntarily consume a little less, and buy green whenever they can.
That the answer to global warming is for all of us  consumers,
workers, residents, pensioners  to voluntarily change our wasteful
behaviour.

Full article at: http://links.org.au/node/386

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