Environment on the Brink

In June thousands of mussels literally cooked in their shells along Bodega Bay, just north of San Francisco. Climate catastrophe is not about some far away future. The past five years have been the world’s hottest ever recorded. This past July was the hottest month ever recorded. In France, an all-time record was set at nearly 115 degrees. In the last week of July, the melting of Greenland’s glaciers was approaching levels not expected until 2070. In one day 12.5 billion tons of ice melted. If all of Greenland’s ice melted sea levels would rise by 20 feet!

According to the report of the intergovernmental panel on climate change, a team of scientists working for the United Nations, we have 11 years left to totally reshape the world’s economy in order to drastically diminish our carbon dioxide emissions (by 10% per year). Without this they estimate that runaway climate change will be out of our control. Every day more reports are published, and the severity of the problem as well as the time line changes.

Instead of making the needed changes, this capitalist economy is churning out more and more fossil fuels, with the US leading the way: in 2019 this country is the biggest oil producer in the world, producing over 12 million barrels per day. Capitalism and its leaders have proven over and over in this emergency that they are driven only by profits, and that in this crisis they can’t give up these deadly investments and transition to a different way of producing what we need. We must challenge their right to rule. We don’t need capitalism or the profit motive. We need a democracy of the producers to take this emergency seriously and put life in the place of profit as our number one value.

[Image credit: Paul Souders_Getty Images]