There have been five major extinction events in the planet’s history. The dinosaurs were killed during the fifth extinction, which scientists believe was caused by an asteroid crash that drastically changed the climate. Now, scientists say we are living in what could be the sixth extinction. But this time, our species is the cause of climate change and also the victim.
Scientists have pointed out the dangers of climate change for decades but the problem has only gotten worse. Severe weather is just the tip of the iceberg. Rivers are drying up; oceans are becoming more acidic; sea levels are rising; grasslands are turning into deserts – the ecology of the planet is in crisis.
Scientists explain that ongoing carbon emissions in the atmosphere are causing this worldwide change in climate patterns that threatens another extinction event that would wipe out more than half of the world’s species including our own. It’s true that the carbon emissions are the immediate source of the rising temperatures. But the real problem here is not climate change.
Capitalism – A Deadly System
Climate change is just one part of this deadly system known as capitalism, where the only goal is the endless generation of profit. This economic system is what’s heading our species down a path of extinction. And as long as the corporations and the politicians who serve them are left in charge, they will keep heading us in the same direction. They know exactly what they want – to maintain their profits at all costs, their motto: to grow or die. Since there is always money to be made in the short run – they have no concern for what will happen in the long run.
Their disregard for the environment is nothing new. Rivers, lakes, oceans and the air have been dumping grounds for the poisons produced by their industries. Entire mountaintops are being blown up to get at coal, one of the deadliest polluting fuels.
Regulations have been imposed when people mobilize an opposition but eventually any restrictions are either ignored or overturned in order to keep the profits coming. Laws are sometimes passed, imposing restrictions on pollution but corporations would rather break the laws and pay the fines because the profits are so enormous.
The challenge we face is one that will decide the fate of humanity. The source of these problems is this system of capitalism, which has led to the misery of billions of people and destroyed vast areas of the earth. If we are to have a future – we must put a stop to this system.
We Must Look to Ourselves
People around the world know that something is deeply wrong. Our schools, our cities, our lives and our planet are being torn apart. We are working harder for less. We can’t hope for change from politicians with their false promises.
We can’t leave our future in the hands of those who have put humanity on the endangered species list. They will continue to pollute and ravage the planet to get at the profits that await them, even if it means destroying the precious possibility of humans and other species to live on the planet.
Our lives and our planet are worth more than their system of pollution for profit. It is in the interests of the vast majority of people on this planet to stop this environmental destruction. It’s up to us to change it.
We need a society that is organized to meet human needs, that develops scientific knowledge to understand the world and how we can live well within it. Working people are the ones who do the work to make this society run, and together we can organize a society that truly puts our needs and the needs of the planet above all else – a truly socialist society. Only when we remove the interests of profit and corporations, and put the needs of humanity front and center, it is only then will we be able to tackle the problem of climate change, and begin to live in harmony with the planet.
That society is possible. It is the only possibility for our species to avoid extinction, and to provide all human beings with healthy, fulfilling lives. Either capitalism will lead to the extinction of our species, or we will carry out the extinction of capitalism – the choice is up to us.