24 Oct 2008

Socialism and ecology meeting


Thanks to Darren for telling me about this. The SPGB have a long record of putting forward ecosocialism, right back to 1904!

An Inconvenient Question. Socialism and the Environment

In recent years the environment has become a major political issue. And rightly so, because a serious environmental crisis really does exist. The air we breathe, the water we drink, the food we eat have all become contaminated to a greater or lesser extent. Ecology - the branch of biology that studies the relationships of living organisms to their environment - is important, as it is concerned with explaining exactly what has been happening and what is likely to happen if present trends continue.

Since the publication of our Ecology and Socialism pamphlet in 1990 environmental problems facing the planet have got much worse. We said then that attempts to solve those problems within capitalism would meet with failure, and that is precisely what has happened. Recent research on increasing environmental degradation has painted an alarming picture of the likely future if the profit system continues to hold sway. Voices claiming that the proper use of market forces will solve the problem can still be heard, but as time goes on the emerging facts of what is happening serve only to contradict those voices.

In this pamphlet we begin with a brief review of the development of Earth and of humankind’s progress on it so far. We then examine the mounting evidence that the planet is now under threat of a worsening, dangerous environment for human and other forms of life. The motor of capitalism is profit for the minority capitalist class to add to their capital, or capital accumulation. Environmental concerns, if considered at all, always come a poor second. The waste of human and other resources used in the market system is prodigious, adding to the problems and standing in the way of their solution.

Earth Summits over the last few decades show a consistent
record of failure - unjustifiably high hopes and pitifully poor results sum them up. The Green Party and other environmental bodies propose reforms of capitalism that haven’t worked or have made very little real difference in the past. Socialists can see no reason why it should be any different in the future. Finally we discuss the need, with respect to the ecology of the planet, for a revolution that is both based on socialist principles of common ownership and production solely for needs, and environmental principles of conserving - not destroying - the wealth and amenities of the planet.

Contents
Introduction
What is ecology?
Earth under threat
Profit wins, the environment also ran
The waste of capitalism
Earth Summits - a record of failure
Green reformism
Socialism - an inconvenient question?

To get a copy by post send a cheque or postal order for £2.50 (made out to “The Socialist Party of Great Britain”) to: The Socialist Party, 52 Clapham High Street, London SW4 7UN.

The pamphlet will be launched at a public meeting:
Saturday 25 October, 6pm
SOCIALISM AND THE ENVIRONMENT
Speakers: Brian Morris (guest speaker) and Adam Buick (Socialist Party)
Chair: Gwynn Thomas (Socialist Party)
Forum followed by discussion.
Socialist Party Head Office, 52 Clapham High Street, London SW4 (nearest tube: Clapham North).

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