FIST Editorial: A Key to A Green Planet, More Red

What’s so revolutionary about being an environmentalist these days? To a casual observer, it might seem that there is almost universal consensus on the need to address global warming or “climate change.” Sure, there are those on the right who continue to deny the existence of global warming, but faced with mounting and overwhelming scientific evidence of this crisis, the ruling class has made its way into the “green” movement.

Everywhere you look — television, movies, advertisements — people are talking about “going green.” And, better yet, there is an entire new industry developing to profit off this crisis, ready to pump a slew of new “green products” into an already glutted market. Ruling class politicians and polluting capitalists propose schemes like cap-and-trade: a system that would create an entire new market where the rich could literally buy and sell pollution!

Yes, the ruling class has so far come up with countless ways to profit from the mass concern about the environment. The question remains: Will any of this actually prevent global warming?

To answer this, revolutionaries should first study the cause of global warming: capitalism. For as long as capitalism has existed it has expanded ruthlessly and violently, without regard for the well-being of the vast majority of the earth’s people, much less for the well being of the earth itself. Can we trust capitalism to solve this global crisis that will undoubtedly lead to death and suffering for millions or workers and oppressed people? Or do we need a new system to solve this crisis: one that is based on planning and on putting the interests of the earth and its people before profits?

To see how we could organize a society that could actually respond to an environmental crisis, we can look to the example of Cuba. After sustaining an enormous decline in the size of its economy following the defeat of the Soviet Union, the Cuban people, under the leadership of a revolutionary socialist government, reorganized themselves and found ways to meet their material needs and expand their economy in sustainable ways. Today, Cuba is considered to be one of the most environmentally efficient countries on the planet.

We can live by the Cuban example as well, but we have to fight for it. The solution to a global environmental crisis is not through a system that puts profits first. We need a red revolution in order to have a green one!


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